I saw Aquaman today. This is somewhat of a major achievement for me. It took me a week to see Avengers: Infinity War and it took me almost two months to see Black Panther. I don’t get out to see movies much. However, today presented itself as the perfect opportunity to go out and see a movie I was undecided about seeing right up until the moment I walked into the theater.
So with that being said, I thought I’d run through who (and what) I thought were some winners and losers from the movie, which overall I’d give a pretty straightforward review of “not bad.” And there might be some minor spoilers in this, but settle down. One of the losers would be predictability because this movie is totally predictable. Which is fine. You know what’s coming and you are cool with it because within the context of the story, it makes total sense. So settle down and let’s do this.
Winner: Jason Momoa, the action star
As an action star, he was great in this movie. As an actor, like the movie, I give him a non-committal “not bad.” But hey, doing action star stuff, he kicked ass and looked dope doing it. In Aquaman, he is somewhat of a more gruff, less polished version of a character The Rock would play. Whenever he was doing big-time action dude stuff, which was a lot of the time, I was all in. Those other times? Sure, why not.
Loser: Patrick Wilson
Wilson plays King Orm, the half brother of Momoa’s Arthur/Aquaman. He’s also the movie’s bad guy and dude who has to somehow declare that he desires to be the Ocean Master with a straight face. No joke, Wilson has to say some dumb shit in this movie. It’s tough business and I don’t think anyone could have really killed this role. I’m not saying he’s bad. I’m just saying he was dealt a bad hand. Also, his hair is weird. It just is.
Winner: Amber Heard
Heard also is the victim of some weak, vanilla dialogue, but I will say that she looks pretty good while doing it and I don’t care if that seems sexist or anything, she’s a great-looking movie star and maybe, just maybe I’m going to start following her on Instagram. The red hair though? Eh, not great when she’s on dry land. Especially rough when Momoa’s hair looks wonderful regardless of the circumstances. Maybe he’s born with it, maybe he’s…just born with it and that’s that.
Loser: The Dialogue
As previously started, the dialogue in Aquaman isn’t great. It gets you from Point A to Point B in the most utilitarian way possible. For a movie that feels so alive visually, it feels incredibly flat from a dialogue perspective. To the defense of the writers, they did have a lot of pieces that needed to move and because of that, not a lot of time to waste in terms of moving the story along. So because of that, you’re going to get dialogue “I have a trident.” “Not like this one, you don’t.”
Aquaman is not just part human dude, HE’S PART MAINER. That counts him as winner in my book, regardless of what he does with his life.
At one point in the story, Arthur and Meera find themselves in Sicily. Why? You shut up, I’m not going to tell you. They stop in an adorable little seaside village and literally smell the roses. However, they also cause a considerable amount of damage while there. And by considerable, I kind of mean “a shitload.” It’s a shame and I have no idea how that village is going to afford to rebuild.
Winner: The Ocean
That shit is huge and has a lot going on.
Loser: Black Manta
The movie’s other villain takes a huge L at one point and that’s all I’ll say about that. I’ll also say that it’s what you get when you rely too much of technology. It’ll be your best friend one minute, your worst enemy the next.
Winner: Dolph Lundgren
I mean, between this and Creed 2, 2018 is really becoming a Dolph-renaissance. Look out Ariana Grande and Gritty. Dolph has worked his way into the running for winner of the last few months of 2018.
Loser: Zak Snyder
Between being refreshingly bright visually and barely ever mentioning what Aquaman did in Justice League, the movie really seems to distance itself from Snyder’s work. THIS IS A GOOD THING, unless you are Zak Snyder. Then it’s kind of a bummer.
Winners: Lighthouse Keeper’s Fantasies
I’m not a lighthouse keeper, nor do I know anyone who keeps a lighthouse, but I would imagine that coming across a beautiful mermaid (or something similar) and then falling in love with that creature is the dream of all single lighthouse keepers. This gives them hope and if these comic book movies have taught us anything, it’s that hope is a good thing. And CGI. That’s a good thing too.
Loser: Pitbull’s version of “Africa”
It’s as bad as you’d think and more. Plus they play it when they go to Africa, calling even more attention to it. Kind of a rough patch in the movie.