The following Blu-ray was provided to me by Warner Brothers for review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
The DC Universe is in my opinion not the huge mess that people make it out to be. First off I am a comic collector, but I know that collectors like myself make up about 2% of the target audience. These films, and I mean Marvel as well are geared towards the mainstream family audience. I don’t pick them apart as bad as some. I just want to be entertained. I enjoyed Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman was ok, Man of Steel was ok, and I really enjoyed Justice League. I hated Batman v Superman, and Green Lantern. Aquaman fell somewhere in between for me. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t like it either in some aspect.
Aquaman stars Jason Mamoa as Arthur Curry aka Aquaman. Before I go any farther I will say he did a fantastic job. The film starts out in 1985 where Thomas Curry, a lighthouse keeper finds a lady washed up on the rocks during a storm. He brings her in and nurses her back to health. They fall in love and she gives birth to their son Arthur. Turns out though that the lady, Atlanna is the queen of Atlantis and she eventually goes back home because the king send his troops out looking for her and she doesn’t want to endanger her family. She does however tell her royal advisor Vulko (William Defoe) about Arthur so he begins go to the surface to train him in the ways of Atlantis. Se Arthur can communicate with fish. He also has super strength to a degree, and can swim fast. When he grows up he begins using these powers to fight the bad guys who terrorize the Ocean Seas. In fact one of the bad guys he runs into in the beginning is the Black Manta. A high tech pirate who works side by side with his father. They are attempting to steal nuclear warheads from a submarine. Aquaman stops them and kills Mantas father in the process.
Turns out these warheads were being stolen for an Atlantean named Orm (Patrick Wilson), Arthur’s half-brother. He wants to start a war with the surface and plans on having the warheads launched at Atlantis to frame the surface dwellers thus uniting everyone to his plans for war. Mera (Amber Heard) the Queens daughter does not agree with this and heads to the surface to find Arthur in the hopes that he can unite the surface people with the Atlantis as he comes from both worlds. He is reluctant at first as he believes his mother was executed upon her return to Atlantis. But he does go after the first attack from Orm nearly kills his father. Arthur challenges Orm to combat and is almost killed until Mera saves him. They escape to try and find the ancient trident that Arthur will be able to yield in battle. While they are off to multiple spots on earth to find this Orm gives Black Manta some Atlantiean weapons to help him hunt down and kill Arthur. This sets a very long long sequence of globe hopping and fighting before returning to Atlantis for the final battle.
This film looks like a million dollars, actually between 160-200 million dollars as that was the production cost of this epic. James Wann did an amazing job of directing this film as it is beautiful on every level. The score is great and sets the tone for all the pulse pounding underwater battles. I will be honest and say that I have never seen a better looking superhero film. The final underwater battle is truly a thing of beauty. The visuals are amount the best in film. Mamoa is fantastic as I stated before. He's funny, sympathetic, and bad ass everything you want in a hero. The supporting cast is great. Black Manta is one of the coolest bad guys I've seen in film.
The problem for me lies with the structuring. The film is based off of the amazing animated film, and story arc of the same name, Throne of Atlantis. It's of course "Movied up" to make it more streamlined but the film goes on to long. Aquaman losing his battle to Orm and retreating to fight another day is ok, but he's gone to long doing to much. We see him going to the Sahara Desert, to Italy, back to Atlantis, and more. For me it was too much. It was a story that could have had a good 25min cut out. It seemed for me that it just kept going and going to simply to introduce things to set up the inevitable sequel.
As Ive said it looks great and the transfer on the Blu-ray is great, as is the sound. The film is worth watching just for the visuals alone. It looks like a comic book come to life and it's easy to get completely engrossed in the world that Wann has created.
Is it worth watching? Of course. It's not a bad film. It's just a bit stretched out. It's a good film, that in my opinion if it we're a bit shorter would have been a great film. It is fun for the entire family and kids will love it. Go ahead and pick it up.
Overall 2.5 out of 5 Stars!