Aquaman is a movie set adrift without a clear course to follow. Arthur Curry has become a social media sensation following the events of Justice League and finds himself sucked into heroics and Atlantean political intrigue when all he really wants is to knock back some beers with his dad. In one of the rare moments of introspection, Aquaman aptly describes himself as a “blunt object who doesn’t play well with others.”
The story jumps from one genre to another with each scene and plays out like a video game, with a new boss fight for each level. This works better with some scenes than others, the opening crimefighting scene is probably the best, while the Saharan scene in search of a MacGuffin seems lifted from another movie altogether. The CGI is impressive enough to make James Cameron jealous but often the spectacle deep-sixes actual storytelling and character development. The undersea world depicted is visually stunning but the audience is keelhauled through it at a dizzying speed without enough time to appreciate the world-building or be introduced at any real depth.
Overall, it’s a fun movie that meets its goal of making Aquaman more than the mascot of the Justice League and it’s environmental message is certainly timely in the current political climate. The cast, especially Jason Momoa, play their roles to the hilt and give good performances but the material they’ve been given just doesn’t come up swimming.
Aquaman opens everywhere on December 21, 2018.
Thanks to Allied Media for the tickets.