Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Short Attention Span Review - Aquaman (2018)

Short Attention Span Review - Aquaman (2018)

A visual spectacle that dishes out ample doses of excitement and cheer, Aquaman is a glorious achievement.  This offbeat superhero yarn is a fun picture that offers up thrills, laughs, drama, and magical special effects.  It is a journey brimming with epic staples, and as such, it is centered upon a daunting quest with the fate of the world at stake.  Yet even as director James Wan dazzles us with grandeur and all the most rousing aspects of a legit blockbuster, he allows his imposing but playful star to wink at the audience from time to time.  Arriving as DC's second surefire hit amid a couple of mediocre outings and at least one misunderstood gem*, Aquaman stands proudly alongside Wonder Woman, giving us renewed hope in this comic book juggernaut's ability to translate their work to the screen for current audiences.  For me, the most impressive thing about this crowd-pleaser was the fact that while it was overflowing with eye candy of the highest order, the visual treats never overshadowed the characters or the performances.  This cast and the story may have won me over even if the FX wizardry had fallen short.  Seeing both of these elements of the production fire on all cylinders is a fabulous experience.  At the center of all this enchantment is Jason Momoa as a hero who has been a punchline for much of his existence, at least where the general public is concerned.  Despite bearing no resemblance whatsoever to the character, this dude was born to play the king of the sea, and his casting is the biggest gun in DC's arsenal right now.  Truth.  His physicality and charisma are the foundation upon which Aquaman is built, and it's one hell of a foundation.  Stars like Nicole Kidman and Willem Dafoe join Momoa and the ever-potent Amber Heard in elevating this impressive adventure, while Patrick Wilson and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II portray dastardly threats to the world Wan has created.  In fact, Wilson really impresses, making Orm an arrogant and dangerous opponent despite Momoa's prowess, while Abdul-Mateen II damn near steals the show.  In closing, Aquaman is an enjoyable film that aims for the stars and soars to incredible heights.

*Batman vs. Superman (the extended cut)

Final Grade: A
Aquaman is a stunning movie that likely would have survived the presence of a lesser performer in the lead role, but Momoa's athleticism and warmth only add to its wow factor.

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