Aquaman: An Amateur Review By Caelan Roche


Caelan Roche

Sporting a $160 – 200 million budget and an all-star cast of rising and senior stars such as Jason Momoa, Patrick Wilson, and Nicole Kidman, Aquaman was released on December 21st, 2018 to widespread applause. Grossing in over $1 Billion in the worldwide box office, critics and fans alike seem to have taken the movie well. However, as a DC produced movie, and more importantly, as a superhero movie, Aquaman falls short in many aspects. As such, it has to make up a lot of ground with flashy action scenes and fan service. This means overall, the movie in and of itself is at most, just average.

Lets begin by discussing Aquaman as a DC movie. Now, compared to its closest competitor in Marvel, DC is infamous among fans as being the lesser of the two studios when it comes to creating a cinematic universe. Granted, DC got off to a much later start than Marvel, and only has a few movies in total to its name that define the DC universe. This would be a valid excuse, if said previously released movies competed in quality to that of Marvel flicks. Sadly, that is not the case, and Aquaman is a prime example of many flaws DC movies suffer from.

Firstly, one of the main problems with DC movies that is ever apparent within the world of Aquaman is questionable acting. I saw the movie with a good friend, and afterwards, one of the first things he pointed out was how the acting of Black Mamba and teenage Aquaman were suspect at more than one point in the movie. After mulling it over some more, i am inclined to agree with his assessment. For me, it was the acting from Aquaman himself at some points that left me internally cringing. Maybe it could have been the fault of the director of the editing team at certain points, but throughout the entire movie, Jason Mamoa, at least in my eyes, appeared to take the role very lackluster, similar to a teenager given the keys to his first car. Thus, I walked out thinking the movie itself didn’t take itself seriously, which leads very nicely into my next point.

Now, do not be mistaken, when it comes to how seriously movies take themselves, that is up to the jurisdiction of the director and the company. Where Aquaman suffers in that department is the timing of its jokes and and comedic moments. Due to the poor management of this timing, the movie overall suffers in tone, and it leaves viewers such as myself thinking the movie is not being serious in nature. Again, this is not necessarily a bad thing, but as a superhero movie, there has to be an apparent balance between serious and funny, and that line is distinctly blurred in Aquaman.

Moving on, however, one thing Aquaman does shine as is an all around superhero movie. This is due to the aforementioned flashy action scenes and, to an extent, the comedy. Firstly, it is important to understand a superhero movie thrives on one main factor, the scale of its action. If your superhero movie doesn’t deliver fun-to-look-at action that keeps viewers engaged for 90 minutes, then it might as well not be a superhero movie at all. Aquaman thrives in this area, providing viewers with a fun experience full of everything from hammering blows to creative chase sequences. A favorite of mine is the scene in Greece, where Aquaman and Mera are being chased by soldiers of Atlantis. This scene encapsulates the creative approach the director took to the movie and signifies the fun he did had with the flick.

Overall, Aquaman is bang buck average in my eyes, mostly due to the questionable acting and directive choices. However, this is only the opinion of one viewer, and while I may have personally not have liked the movie all that much, if it was on TV, I would watch it, and I implore you as a reader to go and watch it for yourself. If anything, take this amateur review with a grain of salt, because in the end, it’s up to you whether you like the movie or not.