Aquaman Review – Spoiler Free


Aquaman promotional poster.

Nicholas Silva, Layout Editor

D.C. Comics has had a very rough road in terms of its cinematic enterprises. D.C. movies often are either too dark or too comical and are remade constantly, making it terribly difficult to get too attached to any character, since they will change entirely soon enough. That is not to say that D.C. has no good movies, indeed, the Dark Knight trilogy was a cinematic masterpiece. But that is all in the past, and D.C. has moved into the D.C. Expanded Universe, its first rival to the Marvel Cinematic Universe which it has always hoped to emulate. First there was Batman v. Superman, then the Justice League, and now -carrying on with perhaps the best Aquaman (or Arthur Curry) ever- is Aquaman the movie!

Portrayed by the talented Jason Momoa, this rendition of Aquaman is a witty, down to earth guy that just happens to have fantastic aquatic powers.

Aquaman begins with a flashback to the hero’s parent’s first meeting. As the trailer says, “My father was a lighthouse keeper. My mother was a queen. But life has a way of bringing people together. They made me what I am.” However, things took a bad turn, and resulted in the beginnings of a war.

The main antagonist of the film, Orm, is Arthur Curry’s half brother, and the second born of his mother, Atlanta -the queen- and therefore not the rightful ruler of Atlantis, for that honor is bestowed on the first born. However, Arthur does not want to be king, and Orm is tired of the antics of the “surface world”, and seeks to destroy it.

Orm is actually a pretty good villain, full of family treachery, backstabbing plots, and the like, but does fall a little flat. However, some of his shortcomings are filled by Black Manta, the second villain of the film. As the movie portrays it, Black Manta was driven into his quest to kill Aquaman because Arthur did not save his father -a pirate. Black Manta was done really well, but was not used as well as he could have been, only seeing brief action in a couple of short -if not entertaining- scenes. However, the filmmakers should have only included one of the villains. Regardless, Black Manta will likely get the spotlight if Aquaman 2 ever is made.

The plot mostly revolves around Arthur trying to find a mythical trident that belonged to the old King of Atlantis. This powerful weapon would declare him the rightful ruler of all of the undersea folk, and would allow him to defeat Orm and end the war.

The quest to find the trident is overall a pretty good storyline, and offers a lot of action, a fair amount of interesting globe trotting, and a more Indiana Jones style feel that is welcome in a superhero movie -a category that rarely sees anything new.

Overall, Aquaman keeps the audience on their toes, and delivers great characters, a pretty good plot, and of course -a modern movie necessity- an excellent (if necessary) CGI battle to top it all off. Currently coming in at 65% on Rotten Tomatoes, Aquaman might even deserve a little more credit than that.