Brat Farrar (bratfarrar) wrote,
Brat Farrar

review(ish): Aquaman

Full disclosure: it's been a couple months since I watched the movie, so no guarantees about accuracy. But at the time I thought it was an interesting study in how a movie can almost work but fail to gel into something worth revisiting.

Things that were surprisingly good!

  • Jason Momoa was probably the best actor they could've cast for the character--he's just so likable that I found myself rooting for Aquaman despite the near-complete lack of character development. And he has the physicality to make some of the stunts semi-plausible instead of blatantly ridiculous

  • Loved his relationship with his dad--didn't get a lot of it, but what we did see was very sweet

  • Fewer awkward backstory/training montages than I feared. There were still a couple, but it didn't feel like yet another superhero origin story

  • Really, this wasn't a superhero story--it was Indiana Jones under the sea, with additional blended family issues.

  • A refreshing near-lack of characters making stupid mistakes just so plot could happen.

  • That Aquaman's reasons for not wanting to become king were completely different from what the Atlanteans thought were his reasons. They kept yammering on about bloodlines and stuff, while he just didn't think he was good enough to do the job properly.

Speaking of: things that weren't good!

  • Someone needed to sit on the composer. Made him just ... chill out for half a minute here and there so the dialog and acting had a chance to land on its own. Instead it was the audio equivalent of trying to have a conversation while someone's doing interpretive dance six inches from your face the entire time

  • The pacing was really, really weird. Felt like we were watching the next-to-last draft of the script instead of something that had been finished and polished before production.

  • Some of the underwater scenes had so much CGI stuff going on it kind of hurt my eyes just looking at it

...Which, okay, that's a shorter list than I expected, but those first two points really are enough to break the movie enough that it'll wind up just being forgotten after a few more years. It's a shame, because given a tighter script (and a better-integrated score) it could've been something on par with The Phantom--a bit silly, but well-constructed enough to invite repeat viewings.
Tags: reviews & recommendations

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