This is by far the most entertaining DC superhero movie. Wonder Woman gave us class and elegance, while Aquaman delivers cheese by the truckload. But cheesiness is what keeps this origin story afloat.
How serious can you be in a movie that has armoured seahorses? And let us not forget that drum-playing octopus.The best way I can describe Aquaman is that director James Wan has curated a best-selling cinematic greatest hits compilation.
The film is made up of scenes reminiscent of those seen before in other blockbusters, such as How To Train Your Dragon 2, Jurassic World, The Lord Of The Rings, Thor: Ragnarok, Indiana Jones, Avatar, Pacific Rim... the list just goes on.
Much like how Arthur surprises Atlantean warrior princess Mera (Amber Heard) that an imbecile like him actually possesses in-depth knowledge of Roman history, Jason Momoa surprises with his ability to adapt to different genres in the movie - action, drama and comedy.
He clearly knows he cannot take the subject matter too seriously, and there is always that wink, smirk and devil-may-care attitude that makes him rather charming.Heard is an adequate sidekick cum love interest, and the repartee between Mera and Arthur is often corny but bearable.
While Wan has a good hold on the action sequences, that cannot be said about his storytelling, which is rather messy.The pacing and balance are thrown off by the convoluted underwater politics championed by Patrick Wilson's power-hungry King Orm and Dolph Lundgren's King Nereus.
The de-ageing of Willem Dafoe, who plays Arthur's Atlantean mentor, is also quite disconcerting.Another off-putting element is Yahya Abdul-Mateen II's bad acting - all he does is pout and put on that "Look at me, I'm the bad guy" face.
His Black Manta makes a worthy adversary though.Thankfully, Wan knows it is best to point his camera squarely on Momoa.Be it being a reluctant hero or riding a monstrous sea creature into battle, this is Momoa's film. He is truly the real deal.
The writer is an assistant entertainment editor of The New Paper, Singapore
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