Who would’ve thought that, in order for DC Comics to REALLY get things going on the big screen, something fishy had to happen?
‘Aquaman’ isn’t the best superhero movie to wash ashore…it’s not near as good as another DC team member’s solo outing, ’cause ‘Woman Woman’ was awesome…but it could be the most fearlessly creative. The ‘surfer dude’ half-human, half-man-from-Atlantis – unquestionably the best facet of the otherwise murky ‘Justice League’ – has an origin tale that is almost more of a fantasy film than your average spandex-clad dose of action. The result is a movie that’s probably more enchanting than anything else….but it IS fun, and that’s what comic book fare is supposed to be, right?
Jason Momoa brings more to the pool than that obvious visual dominance too – he’s a bit of a bad boy with an attitude to match. Even with a constellation of undersea kingdoms blasting your senses, it’s impossible to ignore a hero that has a chip on his shoulder, but is still near childlike in approaching his destiny. Director James Wan, best known as a horror movie director, lets everything hang loose with ‘Aquaman’…from his bright box of underwater visual elements to Momoa’s cheeky performance as the son of a lighthouse keeper who learns that he’s the rightful heir to the throne of Atlantis.
Some hefty Hollywood talent gets in on the act too, obviously aware that they’re part of something pretty big here – otherwise, I doubt they’d take it as effectively serious as they do. The list includes Nicole Kidman as Momoa’s exiled mother, Willem Dafoe as his deep sea mentor, Amber Heard as princess Mera – his faithful ally and possible love interest – and Patrick Wilson as his ruthlessly ambitious brother on a power trip. Brother against brother for the title of King sounds Shakespeare in nature, yes…..but it’s a little more light when the combatants are riding seahorses.