EXCLUSIVE FILM REVIEW: AQUAMAN (12A)
SHOWCASE CINEMA DE LUX PETERBOROUGH, OUT NOW
CAST: JASON MOMOA, AMBER HEARD, PATRICK WILSON, WILLEM DAFOE, YAHYA ABDUL-MATEEN II, DOLPH LUNDGREN, NICOLE KIDMAN, TEMUERA MORRISON, RANDALL PARK, GRAHAM McTAVISH, LUDI LIN & MICHAEL BEACH
RUNNING TIME: 2 HRS 23 MINS
DIRECTOR: JAMES WAN
So this was meant to save the DC Universe?
Well to me it was pretty much a washout.
There was meant to be early buzz about this latest DC Comics’ movie – particularly after its massive box-office opening in China last weekend – but it was actually just more of the same.
In fact, it’s not even as good as Justice League or Man of Steel – and not in the league of Wonder Woman – and ends up only a bit better than Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. And that’s only due to intermittent entertainment wielded by Jason Momoa’s title character.
Momoa’s Arthur Curry/Aquaman simply deserved better than this mish-mash of a superhero movie – that doesn’t seem to have picked up anything from the solid foundations laid by Marvel. Doesn’t DC watch their movies?
The first half an hour builds up nicely – showing some early promise – but then it descends into a top-heavy computer-generated mess with stereotypical movie tropes that have been done to death (and better) hundreds of times before.
Momoa’s Curry learns he’s the half-blood heir to the underwater world of Atlantis – son to Nicole Kidman’s powerful Queen Atlanna and Temeura Morrison’s human lighthouse keeper Tom – when he realises he has powers far beyond any mortal.
When firstly Willem Dafoe’s right-hand man Vulko, then Amber Heard’s beautiful Princess Mera try to entice him to take up his rightful position on the throne, his head is finally turned when his half-brother – aspiring Ocean Master, Orm – wreaks tidal waves of destruction on the world’s coastal areas.
This then leads Curry and Mera to go on a voyage to find the fabled Trident hidden by the first King of Atlantis – that will give Aquaman the power to stop Orm from destroying the world.
And as a little side dish, Aquaman has to tackle Yayha Abdul-Mateen II’s vengeful Ant-Man lookalike Black Manta in the process. Which has a comical Power Rangers vibe to it.
What transpires is a disappointingly predictable adventure with a script that could have been written by anyone. At any age.
How the likes of Kidman and Dafoe could have degraded themselves so much is beyond me – as at times it gets borderline embarrassing.
In the end Aquaman tries swimming too fast in a paddling pool before getting to grips with the open sea first – and despite pockets of fun this won’t keep the DC Universe adrift.
Maybe only if it makes a stack load of cash...
By Gavin Miller