Getting Our Feet Wet: A Review on DC's Movie: "Aquaman"

Bear in mind that not everyone will agree with this, most of you won’t. After all, the world has many more Marvel fans than DC, but that’s another discussion for another time.

I was excited to see Aquaman, stoked by the previews I saw.

I got to the theater, and I highly suggest from the minute I got in… if you’re gonna watch this movie, go alone.

I’m not saying to blow off your friends, but if you have friends like mine who talk and make fun of the minute details in the film right from the start, you’re gonna have a hard time sitting through it because while you give the movie an honest shot at being good for you, others might not. We live in a time that Marvel is the epitome of superhero genre movies (a fad that will pass on; a hard truth but it will), and Marvel has earned the spotlight over a lot of other companies with their movies. Give them credit and I will as well, but I’m a DC person at heart. And the one thing that we should try to not do is compare them. The characters are not the same, nor is the lore or the situations they handle. It is not a Marvel movie. If you want one, go watch one.

The Good:

Each actor/actress casted embodied their role and captured the essence of their characters as they are portrayed in the comics. They are the characters. The built up relationship between Arthur (Aquaman) and his father is sweet, and the bond between the parents in the beginning and the end of the film are very touching moments.

Mera has her shining moments without Arthur and proves herself a formidable and powerful foe. She’s a voice of reason in the film and a catalyst for what happens because without her, Aquaman would not have gone to save Atlantis. She serves a big purpose in the film, but I do think her combat could have been used more. Her abilities are powerful and she’s extremely skilled but I don’t think it’s played upon quite enough for myself.

The setting and the costumes make you believe you are in a different world. They are true to the comics, and the set designers, visual effects artists, and costume designers really captured its essence. There’s a scene where Mera wears a dress that looks like it’s made of jellyfish and it’s positively beautiful. The work done to make the Atlantians look Atlantin while keeping the human essence was, I believe, very well done.

The Hesitant:

The run time was long, and I think the movie could have been sped up more by cutting down on some establishing shots, but those elements allowed them to show the world and build it for their audience.

The bad:

As much as I hate to say it, the script didn't do the rest of the film justice. And I understand that my critique is subjective, but the script is the most important part of the film. You can have the best actors in the world but if the lines they say don’t build the tone or characters or conflict, the rest of the movie falls flat. For a movie about him, Aquaman didn’t have many lines that drove the plot. While this fits the character he portrayed- a man who doesn’t want to get involved with problems that aren’t from his world yet he’s attached to by blood- the script didn’t really show him building to care about Atlantis or wanting to do what was right. He seemed more along for the ride. Somewhere in there he should have started to care, but until his final battle he didn’t.

I also think there’s a better title out there than “Ocean Master”. Personal opinion, and it may be cannon with the comics, but seeing it in print and hearing it out loud from another person on screen are very different.

Whether you think the movie was flat out awful or you would rate it a million stars, there is always something we like and dislike about a movie; otherwise, that movie wouldn’t have been made. It doesn’t have to be your favorite movie, but a good movie is a good movie, whether it captures your heart or not. For me, Aquaman was a good movie, but it may not be for you, and that’s okay because we’re all allowed our own opinions. That’s one of the best and hardest parts about industries like film: it’s subjective, and sometimes subjectivity hits and sometimes it misses depending on the person. Whether the movie floats or sinks is up to you!

Sterling M.Z.