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"Aquaman" is a Little Waterlogged But Fun [Review]

I've always been a fan of Aquaman, even during his orange shirt and seahorse-riding ways. Maybe it's because I have a great love of the ocean and sea life, so exploring the underwater world of ancient civilizations and weird sea monsters appeals to me. Also, Aquaman is the ultimate underdog superhero. He's never been held in high regard among superheroes, but all that has changed with Aquaman: The Movie.

Instead of the prequel approach that Wonder Woman took, most of Aquaman takes place after Justice League. The opening gives Arthur Curry his origin as the son of an Atlantean queen (Nicole Kidman) and a humble lighthouse keeper (Temuera Morrison). The queen fell in love with the human Thomas Curry and had a baby, but was forced to return to the ocean where she was to be married to someone else. Now, Arthur has turned his back on Atlantis for the death of his mother, and has become a well-known figure after his exposure in JL, but still would rather drink beer and beat up pirates.

Starring Momoa as Arthur Curry, Aquaman takes him on a journey from the swaggering tattooed musclehead of JL to the heroic king of Atlantis as he's drawn back to the ocean by Mera (Amber Heard). Mera warns Arthur that his half-brother Orm is trying to unite the tribes of Atlantis to wage war on the surface. The only way to stop him is to challenge Orm for the throne, and get a legendary trident.

It's really sort of a Game of Thrones meets Indiana Jones under the ocean. At times, the story can seem predictable, but there's a lot of imagination in this movie. For one thing, the visuals are nothing less than revolutionary. Instead of portraying Atlantis as just an Arthurian castle underwater, Atlantis is a collection of all the best oceanic visuals, from giant jellyfish to glowing coral. There are epic action sequences like Aquaman fighting his brother in an underwater gladiatorial arena, a chase across rooftops in Italy, and an epic battle between mermaids, crab monsters, and Atlanteans riding sharks.

Orm (Patrick Wilson) makes a great villain as the one who wants to bring order to the oceans, even if it means killing a few people along the way. By his side is Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), a pirate with a huge helmet and a grudge against Aquaman. Black Manta is one of my favorite supervillains, so it was awesome to finally see him on screen.

Much of the credit for the success of this movie goes to Jason Momoa. His rough beer-swilling "superbro" persona, impossibly buff bod, and star-making charisma carry a lot of the film, allowing it to go to places that it shouldn't have gotten away with. His endless smirk and sarcasm send the message not to take it too seriously or point out plot holes before the audience can. An underwater city in the desert and a giant seahorse with legs probably would have ruined a lesser movie, but you go with it because Momoa raises a scarred eyebrow, makes a meta-commentary joke about it, and then moves on. Much like Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, just the sight of a muscular Momoa walking with a smirk across the screen goes a long way.

Ten years ago, an Aquaman movie was a literal joke, so it's amazing that DC managed to not only create an Aquaman movie but a successful one. While it's still not on the level of Marvel's hit like Iron Man or Captain America, Aquaman is still great fun.

What did you think of Aquaman? Let us know in the comments!

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