The Reel Review
Jason Momoa stars in this Iliad-styled, DC Comics saga about the son of the former queen of Atlantis (Nicole Kidman) and a human, whom is recruited to take the throne and stop his half brother Orm (Patrick Wilson, sporting blond hair more akin to the Aquaman comics) from launching an attack on the filthy, ocean-polluting surface dwellers – yup, us humans!
Director James Wan (The Conjuring, Furious 7) rolls out a truly astoundingly array of visual effects in this CGI-laden extravaganza, which along with a terrific-looking Momoa, more than makes up for the film’s shortcomings – some embarrassingly lame dialogue, corny humor, and performances from Momoa and Amber Heard (as red-haired sidekick Mera) that frankly lack the larger-than-life charisma expected in such a film. Fortunately, Wan’s more experienced supporting cast (Kidman, Wilson, Willem Dafoe) is more on par with the wildly creative CGI – whether it is Mera’s jellyfish dress, daggers formed from red wine, or the cleverly-designed manta ray battle vehicles, the undersea equivalent of Star Wars tie fighters. It’s a fun, silly film best seen in 3D, to get a true appreciation for the spectacular, bioluminescent visuals.
• Jason Momoa’s big break was his role as Khal Drogo, leader of the Dothraki warriors in the first two seasons of HBO’s Game of Thrones.
• Director James Wan initially was unsure about including Aquaman’s octopus sidekick Topo in the film, but was inspired to do so after watching Mad Max: Fury Road. “If that film could have a guy playing a flaming guitar, I’m going to have an octopus drummer in mine.”