Dir; James Wan. Starring; Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe. PG-13. Color. 143 min.
Throughout the years I have learned to try in both a positive as well as negative way to do my best in holding off on guaranteeing a movie a masterpiece or a crap-fest. Time changes perspectives. There are however a few you can label as classic or trash with complete confidence the moment after it is over. “Aquaman” falls into the second category. The term “that movie didn’t hold up with age” will be said by everyone ten years from now. This will be compared to George Clooney‘s take on the caped crusader travesty in “Batman & Robin”.
I do not know where to begin. From Willem Dafoe‘s man bun to Nicole Kidman‘s spandex costume complete with fish bones covering her boobs and a plastic fin that flaps on her back, “Aquaman” is one of those what were they thinking movies. And I have not even mentioned Patrick Wilson as the bad guy with a giant man-junk look at my crotch costume or the sunken ship that the characters can enter and somehow are not underwater when the producers did not have the budget to afford the green screen CGI that day. There’s also the laser shark guards protecting the opposing city that only the girl in a green suit can get past due to diplomatic clearance.
The film opens rather well. Atlanna (Kidman) shows up after escaping the tyranny of the underworld Atlantis empire at local fisherman Tom Curry’s (Temuera Morrison) home off the shores of the Atlantic. They fall in love and birth a halfbreed child named Arthur. The child has the ability to control sea creatures while also being raised as a moral person because of his parents. An aura of positive potential in the movie builds. Then a group of random bad guys with plastic laser guns from Wal-Mart ala “Power Rangers” toys show up looking for Atlanna, the long lost queen of the Atlantis universe. And now we know what the intelligence level is here.
Cut to Arthur/Aquaman (Jason Momoa) as an adult. He broods over the loss of his mother while also moonlighting as a secret underwater phenom that is able to prevent a submarine from destroying his sea-homies while this secret government organization, I’m assuming they’re American, is looking for the Aquaman. Why this group is trying to hunt down Aquaman is never explained. Perhaps a reference to whale hunting?
The only survivor of the submarine attack is a black soldier (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) who witnesses his father killed during the attack and vows to get revenge on Aquaman by becoming the Black Manta. We’ll get to him in a moment.
On the shores, Aquaman is cool in his home town. He’s ripped with tattoos, has a nervous affliction of not wearing a shirt, and despite his oceanic journeys never loses his chain wallet. He is also not afraid of taking selfies with biker fans at the local bar.
Mera (Amber Heard) shows up in Aquaman’s life. Apparently the water-world area is under duress. Aquaman’s half brother King Orm (Wilson) is making moves to take over all the kingdoms in their literal bubble universe and she needs the one true king Aquaman to return and take his rightful place on the throne.
I return to Black Manta, as this movie has about three or four ridiculous side plots. Black Manta gets in touch with King Orm via a water hologram version of Skype and gets himself a suit. With the help of Orm’s army of plastic soldiers, Black Manta attacks Aquaman and his new red haired boo above ground. Obviously the bad guys fail. Then the movie goes on for almost another hour!
There are so many criticisms that are way too obvious here. I will make only the most glaring one. Jason Momoa sucks. He is one of the worst actors in history. He may very well be a good person and I’m sure could bench press two of me, but never would a person think that an actor could continually make Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson look like Leonardo DiCaprio. A fun drinking game for the college students. Every time Momoa flips his hair in slow motion, take a shot. You will be far more intoxicated than you would be if you had to take a drink every time he delivered a line of dialogue well.
“Aquaman” is an utter mess in every phase of its being. The visuals are horrible. The acting ranges from terrible to completely phoned in. I remember a movie called “Masters of the Universe” I liked when I was a kid. Based on the He-Man show/comics, it is admittedly ridiculous now. Show kids these days that movie and they will laugh. Funny how He-Man was played by Dolph Lundgren, who is also a central character in “Aquaman”. Coincidence? Find out by showing “Aquaman” to kids growing up in the 2020’s. I’m pretty sure we all know what their reaction will be.
Suck Factor: 7out of 7 (7 means your movie really SUCKS!)
Written by Byrd
The SUCK FACTOR, how it works. We have flipped the rating system upside down. If a film is classic, it gets a 0. Meaning that movie has 0 SUCKS. If a film is complete trash you must avoid at all costs, it gets a 7, meaning this movie really SUCKS!