After his teaser in Batman vs. Superman and a full-on role in Justice League, DC fans everywhere have been waiting expectedly for an Aquaman origin story. Lucky for us, Warner Bros. and DC wasted no time and delivered. So did the movie live up to expectations? Here we’ll give our thoughts on the film, and we want to warn you: there will be spoilers! If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you might not want to read this!
Right off the bat, the movie goes into how Aquaman— the son of a lighthouse keeper and a sea queen— came to be. It pulled at the heartstrings a bit and made us think, although it was a bit cheesy. Still, we understood the need for it, and better to get the cheesiness out of the way and get to the good stuff through the rest of the film.
After the Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman movies, the CGI and other effects seemed a bit remedial. Costumes felt a little too fake, even for a superhero film. Mera’s hair color, for instance, was a little too Ariel. It definitely could have been modified to suit actress Amber Heard a bit better.
Likewise, Atlanna’s outfit seemed off and Black Manta’s whole getup could have used a little work to look more high-tech and less like a Halloween costume.
King Arthur is a tale that reaches beyond the barriers of time and speaks to every generation, and we love that Aquaman’s origin story included this theme. This type of journey fit well with Aquaman’s character as the man who didn’t feel like he belonged— or deserved to be— king of the ocean.
In Batman vs. Superman, Aquaman was a superhero with a bit more of an attitude. Drunk and angry was how we got to know and love him, and we missed that in this film. Though still focused on happy hour at the beginning of the film, the Aquaman we came to love and roll our eyes at in Batman vs. Superman largely disappeared.
True, he still wanted nothing much to do with Atlantis, but he lacked the chip on his shoulder that he had in the previous film, and that aspect of his character really enhanced his role as an individual superhero.
The DC Universe movies have always been, well, dark. Superman and Batman have always had a foreboding tone, and it fits, but it was nice to see a movie with a lighter feel. Aquaman was serious in its own right, but the touches of humor and the literal light (read: sunshine and color) in the movie were a welcome change to the muted tones and dark backdrops we’re used to in DC films.
Overall, Warner Bros. did a good job of bringing the story of the man of the sea to life. We have a villain, and of course, a newly introduced superhero to look forward to as the DC Universe continues to bring the comics to life (interested in the Aquaman II details? Check out more on the film here).
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