The DCEU has gone through so many changes as a film franchise and with a year break between this and ‘Justice League’ they had to move forward in a new direction for what the audience wants to see then what the creators wanted to make on film. The serious tone doesn’t work for every characters and the joyful reunion of the League can only work if there is a proper build up than a rush. This film has a lot of color and visual flare that I haven’t seen since ‘Avatar.’ There are a lot of great creature designs that come off the page that you haven’t seen on screen in this visual way. The dry-for-wet method of bringing the underwater scenes to life work well in continuing the story. The bubble effect in ‘Justice League’ was not use as a crutch.
Jason Momoa is perfect casting in helping the character of Aquaman become a legitimate serious character than just a joke. He had on screen charisma to own the film. His chemistry with Amber Heard shows and they are very like-able as a duo. The costume design and suit for Aquaman translated very well to the screen. There is such a strong rebrand of this character that I hope they move forward with this style in all mediums of the character. There is that campiness that needs to be there to make sure that they aren’t taking it too seriously. Mera’s costume turned out well also, much better than her last appearance and with stronger color.
My father was a lighthouse keeper. My mother was a queen. But life has a way of bringing people together. They made me what I am.
My negatives with the film were mainly the clunky dialogue at points throughout the film. It is trying hard to be campy at times but is saved by its great cast. The film also has a lot going on that feels like excess that doesn’t need to be in the first installment to captivate the audience. There are some derivative elements from movies like ‘Sword in the Stone’, ‘Indiana Jones’, ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Thor’ but it never detracts from the overall story. I did like the spin it has to make the story unique. I did like the diverse amount of creatures and worlds they set up of the Seven Seas, but there was too much that I wasn’t able to remember much of them distinctly. Black Manta was unnecessarily introduced in this film, he could have been saved for a sequel then a forced supporting role. I wish they had focused on a fewer characters and areas of Atlantis to have a solid foundation that is easy to follow. There was also an unnecessary abundance of slow motion that didn’t need to be in the film.
I am looking forward to more films in the world of Atlantis. The characters they established like Black Manta and Orm are interesting enough to continue to see where the story goes. The cast is great and James Wan did a lot of work to build a great world that can live autonomously. Though I do wish that he would learn from this film that he doesn’t have to use explosions after long pauses to substitute unnecessary jump-scares. I do want him to come back for the sequel so he can level up as a director and as a storyteller.