Synopsis: Arthur Curry learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and must step forward to lead his people and be a hero to the world.
Review: As an early Birthday treat. I decided to go and see Aquaman given that I had not bothered on the opening week and I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was.
While the film does tip its hat to the events we saw in ‘Justice League’. This is very much the origin story of Aquaman, which is bookended with some voice over from Arthur Curry as he explains the journey he has been on.
It kicks off in 1985 when lighthouse keeper Tom Curry rescues Queen of Atlantis Atlanna as she washes ashore against the rocks. The two fall in love and have Arthur who is unbeknownst to the world the future king of Atlantis. Unfortunately, before she is able to prepare Arthur for his future role Atlanna is taken back to Atlantis by her people to marry King Neurues, but when the King learns of her having a child with a surface dweller he banishes her to a fate, which could actually be worse than death.
Fast-forward to the present day and Arthur is continuing to be a heroic geezer while indulging in some healthy drinking with his father. But has occasionally had some contact with Vulko who teaches Arthur to fight with the trident and also teaches him a little about his people.
When the situation in the various underwater kingdoms becomes unstable King Orm. Who is Arthurs half-brother forms a coalition with various factions with a plan to wage war on the people of the surface.
Arthur is recruited by Mera and Vulko to go on a quest to find the Trident, which was wielded by the first king of Atlantis to take on King Orm and take his rightful place as the only King that can be a bridge between the underwater kingdoms and the world of the surface.
Jason Momoa gets a lot more to do here than he has in ‘Justice League’ and embraces the role of superhero with absolute authority. He’s also pretty good in some of the more jokier scenes as well as being a natural when it comes to all the physical stuff. Many of Momoa’s scenes are with Amber Heard who proves to be just as game as he is and the two have fun and believable chemistry.
Patrick Wilson proves to be a pretty good adversary for Arthur Curry as King Orm, who believes he should rule Atlantis and basically expects to get what he feels he is entitled too but is not beyond using contacts on the surface in order to get Arthur out of his way. Sadly we got very little in the way of backstory about any of the supporting characters, but I’d hope we’d get that in future movies.
Nichole Kidman plays Arthur and King Orm’s mum Atlanna and Dolph Lundgren plays Orm’s father.
I was surprised at how good this film was. It is a self-contained story, which does a great job of introducing us to Aquaman and tells us his origins. The world building is impressive and the underwater sequences of the various kingdoms and locations are absolutely stunning.
The only downside is the fact that we do not get to learn too much about the various characters as they are introduced. Orm is basically a bit one-note in that he wants Arthur dead because he is not pure Atlantian.
The film also hammers down on the environmental message in which the people of Atlantis has serious issues with the people on the earth surface using the sea as a dumping ground for waste.
Overall though. This was an entertaining film, which in a nutshell makes Aquaman far cooler than he has a right to be. While not quite hitting the high benchmark set by Wonder Woman. Aquaman is a great set up movie for more underwater adventure in the future and is something I’d definitely re-watch in the future.
- Incidental Music9.0