On Saturday, December 22, 2018, I watched the film “Aquaman,” directed by James Wan, starring Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, and Nicole Kidman. The plot, Arthur Curry learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and must step forward to lead his people and be a hero to the world (IMDB).
“A war is coming to the surface. And I am bringing the wrath of the Seven Seas with me.”– Orm, Ruler of Atlantis
Arthur Curry’s story takes place after the Justice League’s battle with Steppanwolf. The story opens with Arthur’s backstory; his father the lighthouse keeper and his mother the queen of Atlantis. Arthur saving a submarine from a pirate hijacking; this sets up the origin and feud with Black Manta, played by Yayha Abdul-Mateen II.
Later, Mera seeks his help in stopping Orm, Arthur’s half-brother, from attacking the surface world. Arthur is reluctant until Orm strikes the coast with a tsunami. This is Arthur’s turning point.
Mera takes Arthur to Atlantis and a secret meeting with Vulko, played by William Dafoe. They talk of a plan to locate the trident of King Atlan and use it to take the throne of Atlantis. Arthur is located by Orm’s army and taken into custody. Orm challenges Arthur to an Atlantean right of combat; Arthur loses and is rescued by Mera.
The hunt for the trident begins. Arthur and Mera locate King Atlan’s message, in the Sahara Desert along with a map (in a bottle). They travel to Sicily, Italy where they find the location to the trident. However, Black Manta attacks with the help of Orm’s men. Arthur and Mera survive the attack they travel to the Trench to retrieve the trident.
Arthur and Mera fight the creatures from the Trench and find the location of the trident. Arthur passes the test, claims the trident and the throne of Atlantis.
This was a light-hearted film compared to previous DCU films. The jokes were clever but didn’t land as well as they could have. Some of the scenes were easy to predict.
I thought the battle with The Trench was good. Black Manta’s quest to kill Aquaman was more plucky than vengeance; in the comics, Black Manta is a cold-blooded killer http://aquaman.wikia.com/wiki/Black_Manta. I imagine we will see this portrayed in sequel films.
There were a lot of cheesy moments like the men in the bar wanting selfies with “The Fish-Man.” The third act delivered an epic battle scene; so much happening there, but I enjoyed the sensory overload.
Overall, Aquaman is a decent film for DC fans who want to see a lighter side of the DCU.