Aquaman (2018) Review

I saw Aquaman tonight. It seems to be doing well internationally so I thought I’d give it a shot, plus I’m an AMC A-List subscriber so there was no real risk going to see it. Lately the Rotten Tomatoes score for the movie seems to be falling though and now I can see why.

Aquaman suffers from many of the same problems that other D.C. films have suffered from. Mainly – bad screenwriting and bad editing/directing. The pacing of Aquaman is awful. The movie seems to be ending almost 8 times in just 2 hours.

Maybe the writers are trying to pack a ton in, but they need a more organized effort to make it all connect. Some plots could easily be deleted out of the movie and make the movie better for it. Sometimes less is more.

The transitions are laughable between scenes. The screenwriting is also incredibly cheesy and exposes some bad acting as well.

The worst is Manta played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. This villain reminds me so much of a Power Rangers villain both in looks and acting that I cringed in my seat.

Also the “DUN DUN DUN” music with King Orm scenes is silly.. It seems to be an attempt to get a Kylo Ren reaction, but falls completely flat. These villains could easily be on Super Friends. Speaking of music – the soundtrack of this movie is all over the place to the point that it is confusing.

Jason Momoa (Aquaman)’s serious lines are just plain bad and not memorable at all. It feels like something you’ve seen in almost any other coming of age or hero story and it doesn’t match his character or attitude at all.

The best scenes are Aquaman’s humorous scenes with Amber Heard as Mera. They have a good dynamic in earlier scenes and that is the better part of the movie. However, just when you start to care, the movie changes direction.

In the later part of the movie, the romance between Aquaman and Mera feels way too forced on the audience. It is almost like Hollywood is just checking a box so we can proceed to the end of the movie.

The worst part about Mera is that D.C. made her a sidekick to Aquaman instead of letting her stand on her own, although she at least can fight throughout the movie.

You don’t find yourself admiring Mera the way Marvel has learned to make their female stars stand on their own. Every female character in Black Panther is far more complex and enjoyable to watch when compared to Mera. Mera is written in a way that only makes her relevant to Aquaman.

Aquaman also does a bad job at making the audience feel urgency. It never feels like Aquaman is seriously in danger or going to lose any battle and that makes the story less interesting. I understand that Aquaman is a superhuman and should be powerful, but for plot purposes it is important for a character to struggle and overcome that struggle.

The CGI is beautiful, but not impressive in the 21st century when CGI is everywhere and it begins to feel tired by the end of the movie when it is most important.

Overall, D.C. still has nothing on Marvel movies and they don’t seem to have a grasp yet of how to make their movies flow correctly, which is a letdown because Aquaman has plenty of potential, but this movie is best watched at home or skipped completely.

Score: 4/10


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