‘Aquaman’ embraces its comic bookiness

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‘Aquaman’ embraces its comic bookiness

Joel Herrera, Editor-in-chief

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Aquaman may be predictable but this dense, nerdy, and sublimely silly film exceeds above our expectations.

James Wan’s Aquaman is the newest superhero movie that joins the the DC universe. The film screened worldwide on Dec. 21, 2018 and gained over $67.4 million on opening day according to Box Office Mojo.

The plot of the Aquaman? It’s simple: Aquaman is Arthur Curry (Jason Mamoa), the product of a star-crossed romance between the lonely lighthouse keeper Thomas Curry (Temuera Morrison) and the Atlantean queen Atlanna (Nicole Kidman). Having lost his mother under mysterious circumstances long ago, he’s uninterested in his royal heritage—until the sea princess Mera (Amber Heard) shows up and tells him he needs to find a mythical trident and save the world.

His first solo film may seem corny at the surface but it owns all that with the audacity and fearlessness to just go for it. It’s precisely because it so downright zany, unafraid to embrace its comic bookiness, and it’s just plain out there that Aquaman is a blast.

The movie is the most unabashedly DC Comics embracing movie in the current shared universe, introducing film goers to the mythical realm of Atlantis, where sci-fi and fantasy converge. It does has it shortcomings when it comes to the depth of characters other than Aquaman himself but it does a fantastic job of introducing the vast kingdoms of the deep blue sea.

It’s a remarkable how Aquaman works as a whole, given how many ingredients have been thrown into this seafood stew of a movie. And for that successful balancing act credit must go to director James Wing (created horror films like Saw, Insidious, and The Conjuring) for managing to keep this overloaded ship from sinking.

But Aquaman works not only because of its ability to pull off the impossible—it’s both joyously whimsical and confident in its own seaworthiness. Aquaman serves as further evidence that the DC Universe can thrive if it embraces the fantasy of its godlike heroes rather than trying to ground them in the real world.

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