AQUAMAN Review — Splashy Superhero Action

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Aquaman Review — This ‘Aqua Dude’ dives right into dazzling visuals that make a big splash on the big screen

aquaman reviewAt last, a DC Comics movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Batman and Superman are so dark and earnest, and even Wonder Woman could have benefitted from a little more light.

Aquaman, on the other hand, stars a hunky, self-deprecating Jason Momoa as more of an Aqua Dude, buoyed by a riotous deluge of dazzling visuals that refresh the entire DC universe.

Apparently the whole concept was so much fun that serious actors like Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe and Patrick Wilson simply couldn’t resist. Dolph Lundgren and Amber Heard were daring choices to support them. How could anyone turn down a film where all the men get man buns, and all the women get lavish, seashell-laced updos?

The mention of endlessly undulating coifs is by no means a snipe at the movie—they just add to the fun. Director James Wan, who has mostly worked on horror movies like the Saw franchise and The Conjuring films, let his imagination flow freely, giving us an origin story that takes Aquaman from life as as the physically gifted son of a simple lighthouse keeper, to the depths of the ocean where his mother ruled as Queen over all things swimming.

The film may feel a bit water-logged at times by a few too many Ulysses-like challenges, but for the most part, you never get tired of seeing characters riding into battle on seahorses, or an octopus playing taiko drums.

One of my hangups with most superhero movies is the collateral damage. As they face off in epic battles that usually destroy New York, countless buildings are smashed, and we can only assume the people inside them don’t fare so well either. But in Aquaman, everything happens under the sea, and most of the casualties are fish, which, let’s face it, are just not that sympathetic.

I think Aquaman complements, rather than competes with Mary Poppins Returns over the Christmas break. Audiences of both films will be equally delighted, and there’s plenty of time to see them both.Viewers and Hollywood win.

Rated PG-13

2 Hours 23 Minutes

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Aquaman Review — This ‘Aqua Dude’ dives right into dazzling visuals that make a big splash on the big screen

 

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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