16
Dec
2018
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Aquaman

Aquaman

One night, lighthouse keeper Thomas Curry (Tuemera Morrison) discovers an injured Atlantian queen (Nicole Kidman) swept ashore during a storm. Bringing her back to life, they eventually fall in love and over the years have a son called Arthur (Jason Momoa). However the sunken realm of Atlantis has not forgotten their queen so easily. Dragging her back into their undersea war, Arthur will have to confront both his regal destiny and half brother Orm (Patrick Wilson) who is intent on world-wide destruction.

… chokes up the best and the worst of Zak Synder’s DC intentions.

In this latest comic book adaptation, Director James Wan’s bloated ‘Aquaman’ chokes up the best and the worst of Zak Synder’s DC intentions. Pulling its pages directly from what you’ve already seen, Wan’s formulaic clash of the titans is a loud, watery mess that dampens any irony it might have initially promised. 

Serving up yet another contested-crown saga between two warring siblings (think ‘Thor’, ‘Black Panther’, etc.) and you have a script that is already wrung-dry before it can soak up any interest. In thieving both visuals and musical cues from ‘Avatar’ and ‘Tron Legacy’ amongst others, ‘Aquaman’s’ overly battered CGI set pieces repeatedly drown out all concerned. So, in this latest DC eye-roll, please be so good as to grab the seat in front of you, as the ‘Aquaman’ script tries to steady itself.

In terms of its acting, ‘Game of Thrones’ Jason Momoa does his best to dodge each drum roll that comically underlines every dramatic moment. In a role heavily reliant on trailer-park quips and smirks, any genuine attempt at character acting is left flapping around his brawny smoulderings. Cast opposite, Patrick Wilson’s Orm is given equally short thrift. Rendered as a CGI-lite version of Orando Bloom, all growly intent with a ponytail on loan from ‘Lord of The Rings’, any real emotion is similarly watered down. Additionally Yahya Abdul-Mateen is brought on as second tier nemesis ‘Manta’, for when the regal saga gets really soggy. However, encased inside a ‘Smash potato’ robot with insect eyes that only a movie executive could love, his role is another one lost at sea. 

Such is the life aquatic for the ‘Aquaman’ ensemble. 

With the only real acting left to Temuera Morrison, his wearisome Maori father is the one beating heart that never gets a decent shout.

With its video game cut-scenes masquerading as vistas and hilarious “age-defying CGI” liquifying the faces of its cast, ‘Aquaman’s’ storytelling is horrifically mechanical. With characters levied like gears and dialogue dropped like levers, the only real clue to progression is whenever a shock explosion sends Aquaman reeling backwards. Bouncing around like a dockside spratling, the rationale here for such hammy interventions are as sprayed-on as Amber Heard’s costume. 

So, whilst I cannot blame the winds down in Africa or any other of its non-sensical insertions, I can begrudgingly concede that ‘Aquaman’ is better than ‘Batman vs Superman’. However that said, hauling itself ashore ahead of such damp competition is no real guarantee against boredom as this is another DC adaptation that regularly dips below the water line.

 

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