Review: Aquaman

Recently I attended the world premiere of Aquaman and I am still smiling about it! I was lucky enough to see it at the IMAX in Leicester Square which had an enormous screen. I don’t think my eyes blinked for the whole time I watched it! This review, it is my opinion, and as I always say “the best person to tell you how good or bad a movie is, is yourself”. So, this is my opinion/review of Aquaman, the movie that blew me out of the water!

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Honestly, find the biggest screen you can!

Now, about this film. I have been waiting for it for an age, ever since I saw the first trailer. Each trailer that came out showed a little bit more each time and of the final trailers was an epic 5 minutes long! Many people said that this was too long and it gave too much of the movie away. Trust me. It did not. All the trailers combined only covered about 5% percent of the movie!

 

I would hate to spoil the movie for anyone so I will try and keep this review as spoiler-free as possible and I will break it up into sections. This is mainly for me so that I keep control of my feelings! When I start remembering this adventure story, I begin to get over-excited!

Writing:

As well as directing the movie, James Wan also helped write it. Multi-talented! For me this origin story was incredibly fun, easy to follow and not filled with too many flashbacks. If you didn’t know anything about Aquaman before going to see this movie, it didn’t matter. You were given an insight into where Arthur Curry came from and were then taken on a thrilling ride where you got to know Arthur Curry, what he stood for/swam for and you got to see him become Aquaman without having it forced down your throat.

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Explosive action. I only needed the edge of my seat!

From start to finish, this story made me feel like I was in it. It flowed from scene to scene and location to location. At some points it felt like an Indiana Jones movie and we were travelling by map and as the story progressed and the heroes searched for relics, so did the action. Each fight scene got more intense and each explosion was getting bigger. At one point there was a battle which occurred and filled the screen. I felt I was riding an armoured seahorse into battle. I am going to have to watch this in 3D/4D! For me the story was clear, we had a great progression of characters and it did not take long for me to fall in love with the heroes, dislike the villains and hope for a sequel before the film was even halfway through!

Direction:

James Wan, you are a hero! I am so happy that I got to shake this man’s hand and thank him for all the hard work he has done as he has made this film his own. His method of storytelling made me get lost in the epic adventure. I fell in love with characters, felt malice for the villains and I felt suspense, excitement and quite a few times, fear! Wan brought a lot of his trademark styles to this movie but also a lot of new ones. Things I hadn’t seen in his previous films.

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A master at work.

There were emotional scenes and tender scenes and each and every one my eyes were getting a workout. I need to see this film again as I want to see what I missed. Wan made me feel like I was in the movie and I need to feel that again. The escapism I felt from start to finish left me exhausted and emotional when the lights finally went down. I am pretty sure I only used the edge of my seat! Even though a film has many talented people included in its creation, I feel James Wan was a big part of it all.

Visuals:

I have said this before and I will say it again. Watch this film on the biggest screen you can! The things you will see in this movie will blow you away. Avatar meets Star Wars meets Lord Of The Rings meets Indiana Jones. It has so much! At some points the P.O.V shots made you feel like you were soaring through the water alongside the cast. I think seeing this film in 3D is a must for the underwater scenes alone.

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I want to move to Atlantis!

I was curious at first about how the underwater scenes would work. I didn’t want it to look too much like a space scene. I shouldn’t have worried! There is so much we do not know about out oceans and that gave the visual effects crew a black canvas to work with. There are so many strange and beautiful creatures in the movie and quite a few gave me a classic James Wan jump!

When we weren’t underwater, the locations and sets were just as stunning. I wanted to see more of Atlantis before its demise. We did get to see some of it in a flashback scene but because every building was so stunning, it made me want to see more. It made me want to live there! Is it too early for a Aquaman prequel?

Characters:

  • Arthur Curry/Aquaman:

Wow, what can I say? This role was made for Jason Momoa as I believe he is the character! Each scene he was in he dominated. From his very first scene to his last, you can see why he was offered the part a few years ago. People will want to date him and people will want to be like him! His Rock God like presence combined with his devil-may-care attitude was a joy to watch but as the movie progressed, we get to see him become Aquaman and we get to see him become more hero-like without losing his charm or cool factor.

  • David Kane/Black Manta:

Every hero needs a villain and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II was deliciously evil. We got to see why he is set in his ways and what made me so happy, seeing that Dolph Lundgren was also in the film, was that he got a Rocky-like montage as he was adapting his Black Manta costume and making it his own. That suit. I will get to that later!

  • Orm/Ocean Master:

I can see why James Wan likes to work with Patrick Wilson so much. Wilson was another juicy villain. More than once I wanted to “Boo” at the screen when he appeared. His royal presence flowed across the screen and as the movie progressed you could see his megalomania escalate. At times his speeches were almost Shakespearian and his condescending lines were a treat! I loved this character and his progression throughout the movie.

  • Mera:

Amber Heard made every scene a royal triumph. Her fighting skills were matched only by her charm. The chemistry between Amber and Jason reminded me of the classic adventure films such as “Romance In The Stone” and the two worked wonderfully together.

  • Queen Atlanna:

Nicole Kidman might not have been in many action movies in her successful career but she made up for it in this movie. When she wasn’t being a Queen and a loving mother, she was kicking all kinds of butt!

  • Nuidis Vulko:

When I heard that Willem Dafoe was going to be in Aquaman, I was very happy! His roles over the years have been incredibly diverse and he always brings his characters to life with a hint of mystery. I really enjoyed seeing him be Aquaman’s tutor. I would happily watch a movie of the two of them together!

  • King Nereus:

This film had some serious names in it! Dolph Lundgren is the only man I know who can ride a seahorse and look like a warrior while doing it! I would have liked to have seen a lot more of King Nereus as each time he appeared on the scene you can see why he was given the role of a no-nonsense King.

Costumes:

I was fortunate enough to see two of the costumes up close and the detail that has gone into them is fantastic. Every stitch and every shade of colour has been thought about with great detail. Kym Barrett has made some fantastic costumes but in the film we saw so many different styles.

Mera

We saw magnificent Atlanteans, royal robes and absolutely glorious suits of armour. Each time Mera appeared for a royal occasion, her dresses were as awe-inspiring as her red hair.

The moment I was really waiting for was when we first get to see Black Manta in full costume. It was worth the wait! That costume looked equalling menacing as it did awesome! I cannot wait to see more behind the scenes footage of this movie as I would really like to see how these costumes were imagined and created.

There is one moment in the movie for me though that really stood out and you could hear a collective gasp in the theatre. When Aquaman emerges from a waterfall in the suit he was destined to wear, it was simply magical. I am not sure if this scene was shot in slow motion or it was just me, but that moment stayed with me as it was a shot that will go down in comic-movie history. It gave me the same amount as chills as when Superman first takes flight in Man Of Steel.

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Epically heroic!

Soundtrack:

From the moment I saw the first trailer to the moment I saw the film end, Rupert Gregson-Williams’ score hit me like a tidal wave. Each scene was accompanied by music which boosted the experience for me. The music made me want to take on the world, save the oceans, travel the world and hug my mum! As well as an original score the movie, also had some actual songs in it. Not many D.C. films have done this before and it was a nice touch. There is a bar scene in the beginning of the film which had the theatre laughing and the music only helped the scene come to life. Also, if you include a cover of Toto’s “Africa”, you win some cool points with me!

Overall:

I go to see movies to escape. No phones, no emails. Just me, being told a new story by a storyteller. This film sent me to a world that I couldn’t ever imagine and the story gripped me from beginning to end. I am ready for the world to see this movie and I am more than ready to see it again.

I have enjoyed all of the D.C. Comics movies over the years and as we know, some have done better than others. In a way, this film can’t be associated with its predecessors as it is a totally new design and that is down to the writing and James Wan’s input.

I adore Superhero movies and have for as long as I can remember and we are lucky to live in an age where get a few a year. With Aquaman being the final Superhero movie of 2018 it only gives me hope for the future of comic book movies and I can’t wait to see how this epic adventure will be topped.

Aquaman is soon to be released in cinemas across the world and I can’t wait to watch it again and again!

 

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