The latest entry in the failing DCEU universe has arrived. In his first solo silver screen outing we follow the chronicles of Aquaman as he develops and comes to terms with his dual life as an Atlantian and as an ordinary man. Set after the events of Justice League following his defeat of the villain Steppenwolf, Aquaman is faced, unwillingly, with his Atlantian heritage where he is expected to take his place as the rightful King of Atlantis. And in the process, defeat his half-brother, Orm, whose intention is less than kind to the people of the land or sea. As a result of this Aquaman is faced with the task of not only saving the people of Atlantis and the Earth but, outside of the world of Aquaman and into the world of cinema he is carrying the weight of the DCEU universe too.
This being said, some DCEU movies thus far have been successful such as ‘Man of Steel’ and ‘Wonder Woman’ but even so there is still much that needs to be done to improve the future outlook of the franchise. One of these improvements was to introduce top-quality directors to the world of DCEU; something that Aquaman has achieved. James Wan, an Australian born film-maker, well known for his tremendous success in the horror franchise and contributing to the highly successful ‘Fast and Furious’ instalments took to the stage (or the sea) for Aquaman. It is worth noting the magnitude and vastness of the skills and strengths of James Wan making him the perfect choice of director; able to easily switch the genres he is filming and still remain capable of captivating audiences; a visionary in the world of film. Of significance is the new aura Wan has created within the DCEU universe with Aquaman, moving away from the dark undertones of its sibling films into a lighter tone. This transition allowed Aquaman to become one of the more visually pleasing films within the franchise to date. The impressive feat that director Wan has also achieved is the use of special effects to give us the feeling that they are underwater. The movements by the characters and particular fight sequences are very impressive, especially with the challenge of making it look like it’s underwater.
A brilliant director is accompanied in Aquaman by a brilliant cast including, most obviously Jason Momoa as the lead, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Nicole Kidman and Patrick Wilson. With Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe and Patrick Wilson’s on-screen experience and talent, they are one of the many reasons why Aquaman is as good as it is. Being aware of Momoa’s light and joyful personality through interviews, it is clearly noticeable that these traits played a role in the production and creation of Aquaman as a character. Aquaman speaks for itself in this sense, bringing out his energy and charisma throughout the film
Like most films, whilst there were poignant moments there were also moments that left the viewer unsure of what the appropriate reaction may be. A few scenes meant to instil laughter fell flat giving a moment of awkward silence and a few action set pieces that didn’t blow me away. Whilst not perfect and most definitely not one of the best films this year, it is the light at the end of the tunnel for DC that a successful future may be just a few tweaks away.