Year Relesed: 2018
Directed by: James Wan
Starring: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Nicole Kiodman, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren
(PG-13, 143 min.)
Genre: Action and Adventure, Science Fiction and Fantasy
Aquaman is like a trip back to the 80s, when we cut up mythology into a crazy quilt of colorful distortions and created new epics out of old cloth.
Who can forget Liam Neeson’s “Release the Kraken” from the 2010 reboot of Clash of the Titans, a total mishmash of Greek and Norse mythology (i.e. the infamous Kraken is Norse in origin)) mixed with equal parts Hollywood fabrication, such as Bubo, the metal owl, whose name unfortunately “…is ironically also the Greek word for a swollen lymph noderesulting from the bubonic plague, gonorrhea, or syphilis.” - Kevin Carr
So forget any of those old History Channel programs about the fabled underworld city of Atlantis. This one is no underwater relic. It actually exists:
The underwater city of Atlantis is a futuristic metropolis dotted with giant, purplish structures that look like Art Nouveau jellyfish. The jellyfish theme is repeated on one of Mera’s ceremonial gowns: Its collar is trimmed all the way around with the squiggling, glowing creatures, like psychedelic ermine. – Stephanie Zacharek
And its title character (Jason Momoa), the “exiled” king and rightful heir to the underground throne, looks like a brunette version of Fabio, with the macho arrogance and bulging pectorals of of Chris Hemsworth’s Thor. No wonder it’s doing so well at the box office. Maybe the movie going public is tired of those skinny metrosexuals taking over the airwaves as well as considerable portions of New York City. And also those over earnest Oscar bait flicks that plague us this time of year.
The rest of the cast seems to be having fun as well. Mera (Amber Heard), who recruits Aquaman to save the world, has a few misadventures as a landlubber, eating a bouquet of roses at an Italian market, but Aquaman, just to prove he’s not a complete jerk, eats some as well to smooth things out. Kind of like Atticus Finch eating peas piled on his knife to make young Dill feel at home, if I recall my To Kill a Mockingbird correctly. By the way, this scene is the all time favorite for Asian audiences.
Nicole Kidman (Queen Atlanna) and Willem Defoe (her loyal minister Vulko) bring their great acting talents to roles that seem beneath them But they both put their whole hearts into this film. In fact, one critic remarked that Kidman carries herself as if this is some highborn Greek tragedy. Perhaps, like Benedict Cumberbatch in Dr. Strange, they seem to relish a little fun and freakiness.
So, yes, I have broken my pledge to quit seeing super hero flicks. I just wondered why this one is doing so well and had to take a peak. Not fabulous, but lots of fun, and that has become a rare things in films recently.
Wash it all down with a few “Moxie” Cocktails from Maine, the state that houses the Curry Lighthouse where Aquaman is conceived. Even its name fits our brash new super hero.
3 1/2 Drums