Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) is the son of the queen of Atlantis and a human lighthouse worker. While he’s growing up, Atlantean royal guards show up at his father’s house and kidnap his mom. She is thought dead afterwards but Arthur’s father never gives up hope. Meanwhile, Arthur/Aquaman must go to Atlantis to stop an army from invading the surface world.
Aquaman is alright. It has some pretty cool scenes, some great action, a decent story, and some decent villains who aren’t just killed off in a lame way. I appreciate that Aquaman is able to have a story that’s easy to follow and isn’t trying to be anything but a movie about everyone’s favorite aquatic superhero. So… better than DCs other movie’s outside of Wonder Woman, at least since Christopher Nolan made a Batman flick. It plays it safe though, something most will be able to tell, and even emulates some of the Marvel movies, which isn’t a plus or a minus. Truthfully, I wish I could watch any superhero movie without having to see what they’re trying to do. Create their own franchise. Can’t we just make movies for their own sake and stop trying to be something they don’t have to be? It’s fine here though, don’t get me wrong this is an enjoyable movie, it’s just super noticeable when it’s emulating other movies.
I do like the villains though. I wanted to mention that, one is Black Manta, a man bent on revenge because Aquaman let his father die, and the other is Ocean Master, Aquaman’s half-brother who wishes to get Arthur out of the way so that he can get what he sees as his rightful place on the Atlantean throne. These aren’t new motivations for being evil by any means, but it’s better than say Yellowjacket from Ant Man, a villain who’s only motivation is that he’s jealous of Hank Pym and he likes being evil. I just like that it’s willing to give villains a chance to be interesting instead of just another hump the hero has to get over.
One major complaint, that’s right at the beginning so this isn’t a spoiler, the reason Black Manta wants Aquaman is because when his father was in danger, Aquaman turns his back and just lets him die? True they were trying to kill him a moment before this, but being that he saw his mother die in front of him and it’s revealed later that he blamed himself for this, wouldn’t it make more sense (and be more, you know, heroic) for him to try to save the father only for it to be fruitless and the father has to die anyway? His turning away makes no sense storywise, therefor it only happens because its more convenient to the plot.
+7.5: Manages to be a movie about Aquaman doing Aquaman-type stuff, maybe the next Superman can do the same
+1: decent villains with actual motivation (I feel this should be an obvious thing for any movie, so take note filmmakers, it’s better to have villains be real people than cardboard cutout “Evil Guy”)
-1: Aquaman creates Black Manta for no reason