I saw Aquaman last night. It wasn’t terrible. If you remember one of my last movie posts (here’s the link to it in case you don’t), I can get pretty miffed if a movie sucks eggs. I walk out of theaters after the movie is over actually angry. However, I didn’t walk out of Aquaman angry. I walked out of it indifferent.
Spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned.
So for those of you who are just wondering if Aquaman is worth the price of admission, let me tell you right off the bat that it is exactly worth a nine dollar movie ticket. Go ahead and see it if that is the price of your local movie tickets.
The movie is meant to take place after Justice League, or at least I think it’s supposed to. Arthur Curry is still doing his surfer-bro super hero stuff. His plans are interrupted when Princess Mera of Atlantis comes to him for aid. Arthur’s half-brother, Prince Orm, wants to attack the surface world. In order to stop this, Arthur has to reclaim his heritage and take the throne of Atlantis.
And that’s exactly what he does.
The predictable plot points are part of what brings down Aquaman’s story. For example, Arthur’s mom, the Queen of Atlantis, is pronounced dead after she was “sacrificed” to the Trench People, but since we didn’t see it happen, everyone could kinda guess that she actually survived and was living in exile. The whole story has that kind of I-could-see-that-coming vibe.
There is also a lack of character development. That’s one of my absolute favorite thing in movies, when a character starts out the story one way, but then turns out another by the end. Arthur doesn’t really feel like he progresses (or regresses) in any way. Jason Momoa is cool and all. He looks good shirtless. But the character itself doesn’t seem to have an internal struggle. A smarter film-person than me would know if that’s the actor’s fault or the writer’s fault. I honestly can’t tell.
Oh, and Black Manta comes out and just…does super-villainy stuff. He looks neat. But…you kind of get the feeling he wasn’t integral to the story. I mean, Ocean Master was clearly the main big bad.
The movie is at its best when it showcases the alien nature of Atlantean life. Some people might laugh at the notion of warriors riding into battle on sharks, leviathans, and mega-seahorses, but that was my favorite thing about the movie. I have a soft spot in my heart for ridiculously outlandish battle customs in fiction.
But even when I was enjoying Aquaman, it was a mild enjoyment. And I don’t think it was entirely the movie’s fault.
I hate to admit it, but I think I’m suffering from Super Hero Fatigue.
I love super heroes, perhaps even more than the average person. I have a healthy collection of comic books. I’ve dressed up as a super hero more than once for Halloween. Nearly all the posters I have had up in my bedroom are of super heroes. I could spend hours talking about super heroes.
But I also like variety.
There is no longer a drought of comic book movies. There’s a deluge.
Not a year goes by that we don’t have a super hero movie. So in order to grab my attention, a super hero movie has to be pretty special or unique. And Aquaman was just…meh.
See? I couldn’t even be bothered to come up with an actual word to describe it.
It is neither above average or below average.
I rate Aquaman a this-is-seriously-just-an-average-super-hero-ish-movie-where-the-most-special-thing-about-it-is-that-it-has-sharks-and-underwater-stuff.