Wan, a director who’s proven himself to be a can’t-miss ace regardless of genre (from the horror formulas of The Conjuring and Insidious to the big-budget tentpole mayhem of Furious 7) seems to finally be out of his depth. He’s conjured an intriguing world, but populated that world with dramatic cotton candy and silly characters, including a hero who’s unsure if he wants to make us laugh or feel — and winds up doing neither. Pass the Dramamine.
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What are critics saying?
In a better world, Aquaman would excel at delivering an ecological message to the masses. But all the fish in the sea can’t salvage a movie that refuses to go more than surface deep.
This is an Aquaman film that needs lots more Aquaman and vastly less bombast. It’s visually wild and recklessly inventive, but the cast deserve better than to be cast adrift in a tempest of CGI.
The glee that director James Wan clearly has playing in the world of Aquaman is infectious. He’s made a movie for both types of 10-year-olds: literal kids and those who are 10 at heart. Aquaman is one hell of a popcorn movie.
Aquaman is imaginatively ambitious superhero cinema with no rules, which is more positive than negative as Wan's vision is realized like an underwater laser light spectacle that the DCEU so desperately needs right now.
Often divertingly colorful and busy to a fault, the film seems to dare us to mock the world of comics' most risible superhero.
Wilson is just, frankly, dull. He is not allowed to develop an interesting character and he suffers from the obvious comparison with Loki, Thor’s adopted brother played with relish by Tom Hiddleston as a velvety-voiced villain. But then Momoa’s good-ol’-boy characterisation of Aquaman itself only goes so far. This is a film that never quite comes up for air.
For all its sporadic wackiness and wonder, on balance Aquaman still comes out a bore. But they’ve given it a heroic shake.
One is grateful to have Momoa for company. Unlike some strutters who can't hide how delighted they are to show off their trainer-honed bods, Momoa wears his superb physique casually and his take-it-or-leave-it, devil-may-care attitude makes the narrative's long haul much easier to bear than would otherwise have been the case.
It’s a weird and wonderful superhero adventure that strives — and almost succeeds — to be the most epic superhero movie ever made.