Director: James Wan
In Theaters: 12.21.18
It hard to believe that we live in a world where millions upon millions of dollars are spent on large-scale superhero productions that now include a shrinking criminal who maintains his human strength, a high-school student with the ability to climb walls and, now, a burly drunkard who can communicate with the creatures of the sea. The idea of an Aquaman feature has been tossed around for years. The Geek Show Podcast, which I’m a panelist on, has been joking about a comedic interpretation starring Danny McBride as The King of the Seven Seas. It was even a large plot point in HBO’s series Entourage with James Cameron helming the fictitious project.
Well, fast-forward 13 years later, and a different James, James Wan (Furious 7, The Conjuring), has brought the outrageous concept to fruition. We’ve already met Jason Momoa’s interpretation of Arthur Curry in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and 2017’s Justice League. Now, the robust hero gets his own adventure as he battles his half-brother, King Orm (Patrick Wilson), for the seat at the throne with help from Mera (Amber Heard), a conflicted princess of Atlantis. In order to take command of the waters, a lost trident must be unearthed, all while avoiding the violent attacks of Black Manta.
To a certain degree, DC has managed to pull off what Marvel did in 2015 with Ant-Man and develop an entertaining adventure with absolutely ridiculous characters and absurd storylines. Aquaman is fun, but as I’ve said in the past, you have to modify your brain to sleep mode and enjoy the silliness, as it can be preposterously idiotic at others. No one walking into the theater should expect anything more than underwater soldiers riding sharks, seahorses and whales while engaged in heavy combat.
As in the other productions, Momoa stands before the camera, muscles and all, and does his damnedest to deliver his lines seriously. It doesn’t always work. If you saunter into this summer blockbuster (that for some reason was released in December) knowing that this outlandishness that will soon be projected before your retinas, then you will experience superhero nonsense to the fullest extent—nothing more, nothing less. The floodgates are now open to allow any character in the history of comic books to grace the silver screen, and this geek will be there with welcoming arms. –Jimmy Martin