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Film Review: Aquaman (2018)

My rating: 

As with most film reviews, there will be spoilers, so stop reading if you haven't watched the film yet. 
The 'DC Extended Universe' films have been really good, with 'Wonder Woman' being my favourite so far. However, I was dubious with how the Aquaman film would be executed after watching the character as a cameo in the other films... I never felt he was within the same calibre as the other superheroes. I could never put my finger on the exact reason why.  
The film starts off with a lighthouse keeper, finding an injured Atlanna (princess of Atlantis) played by Nicole Kidman. I didn't know she was going to be in the film and upon seeing her made me feel a little more positive with what was to come. Her and the lighthouse keeper obviously fall in love and Arthur (Aquaman) is born. Their happiness doesn't last for long as soldiers from Atlantis come to take Atlanna back home. Her fight scene was actually pretty cool to watch and helped set the pace of the film... but then once she leaves (to protect Arthur) ... there is a slump. 
There is a whole fight scene with Arthur rescuing a Russian naval submarine against some pirates who happen to be the introduction of one of his enemies - Black Manta ... but it was such a waste of time, totally unforgettable. I can't even be bothered writing about it.
Fast forward, Arthur meets Mera, a princess of Atlantis... she tries to convince him about his birthright, yada yada yada ... it really isn't exciting... I'm wondering if the film is going to end soon or when I'll get to see Nicole Kidman and her cool costume again... because by this point she is deemed to be 'dead' upon discovery that she gave birth to a 'half-breed'... but obviously she isn't dead because she is Nicole Kidman... so at least I had that to look forward to. 
Viewers then learn about an ancient trident which can only be wielded by a 'true' King of Atlantis. Thus taking Arthus and Mera on an 'Indiana Jones' type adventure. Here is when it gets more confusing and disjointed. There are weird, unexplained costume changes, for example, I would have actually liked to know how Mera managed to go from her scaley green underwater costume to chinos and linen shirt combo. Is her catsuit in her bag? The bag looks too small. Would I still be wondering where her catsuit was if the film wasn't so higgledy-piggledy? Also, how is her hair and make-up still so perfect when she's in and out the water all the time. Did her hair have to be THAT red? 

There are many comical moments in the film but I didn't really find it funny. Not when compared to films like Thor, where the humour is always well placed. 

When Mera and Arthur arrive at The Trench (where the trident lies)... the film finally picks up momentum... the monsters look cool, the effects are decent and yay,  Nicole Kidman is back! Her hair is dishevelled and grey, her catsuit is worn, and she wears additional survival armour after being stuck in The Trench for 20 years, I was so glad to see her again!!

Arthur then of course gets the trident (I must admit this was a much better scene then the first half of the film) ... and heroically appears in front of his mother and Mera in his new gold scaled armour. I don't know if its because the film wasn't that great, or that I have a Fashion Design background, but I really wanted to know how that armour came about. Did the golden scales rise up from his skin upon holding the trident, or was it more like a magnetic effect where the golden scales came from around him and clung to his body. I wanted to know these details!! The whole film was about him becoming the true King and when 'Kings' traditionally go into battle, there is always a scene with them putting on their armour!!

Anyway, the ultimate battle scene is about to happen, with millions of armed sea creatures...the sea horses were interesting but I found myself wondering if orcs and goblins looked cooler. Mera appears in her green catsuit to join the fight but this time with her tiara. I mean, she really wouldn't have had time to go and put her tiara on, this is a massive fight scene... it was such an eyeroll moment for me.

Most of the film felt like a huge eyeroll to me and by the last scene, the only thing that really interested me was the embellishment technique used on Nicole Kidman's royal gown and crown.

I wish it was either humour based like Deadpool or darker and more 'serious' like Batman. The Black Manta character was an absolute joke and reminded my boyfriend and I of the Power Rangers rather than watching a cool DC film. Amber Heard as Mera was OK but her character was purely to act as a love interest which felt super old-fashioned and to model a jellyfish dress which under different circumstances could have been interesting but seemed desperate for attention. Willem Dafoe did what he could but its a shame he didnt' have any cool fight scenes. Lastly, Jason Momoa as Arthur/Aquaman did what was needed and also shone a light on diverse casting (Aquaman from comic books is caucasian/blonde) but the storyline did him no favours. Star of the show if you haven't guessed already was Nicole Kidman as Atlanna, Aquaman's mother who had approx 30 minutes total screen time.

Probably a great, straightforward action/fantasy film for kids to enjoy, but not up to scratch against the other DC films and wasn't worth my trip to the cinema. 

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