I've said before that the difference between Marvel and D.C. is that Marvel is humans becoming gods and D.C. is gods becoming humans. If there was a character from D.C. that embodies this type (at least on Earth), that would be Aquaman. Not only is he the king of Atlantis, but like a lot of people within the D.C. universe, he already has god-like powers. His story seems more classical then Superman or Batman; one in which he may have grown up amongst humans only to find that his connection to the sea makes him a king. Tell me this doesn't sound like something that fits along with Homer's Odyssey.
Aquaman had already been featured in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, but he had never gotten his own movie. Come to think of it, he's a character that hasn't been seen within a live action. Given how expansive the comic books have shown Atlantis and the majority of his powers, I can't imagine how this guy would have been portrayed without computer effects. It almost seemed that the D.C. universe was doomed after the negative reception to Justice League. Let's see how things have improved in the standalone movie Aquaman.
As shown through a flashback, a lighthouse keeper Thomas finds the queen of Atlantis, Atlanna (played by Nicole Kidman) washed up on shore. The two fall in love and have a child, Arthur. When Atlantis comes looking for them, Atlanna returns to the sea, leaving Thomos to care for his son. Cut to years later when Arthur (played by Jason Mamoa) has gained reputation as an "Aquaman" who stops pirates on the high seas. After coming home one day, he's approached by Mera (played by Amber Heard) who asks that he return to Atlantis to dethrone his stepbrother Orm (played by Patrick Wilson) who is ruthless and wants to become Ocean Master of all kingdoms. Arthur declines, but agrees to accompany her to find his mother's trident.
From here, Arthur and Mera return to Atlantis, meeting with his old teacher and a confidant of Orm, Nuidis (played by William Dafoe). While getting information, their ambushed and Orm attempts to fight him, but they escape. Traveling to the Sahara and Sicily, they figure out where the trident is, but the battle rages on as Orm wants to declare war on the surface world and Arthur has to fulfill his destiny as the Aquaman to stop his brother from becoming Ocean Master.
For the most part, Aquaman is the movie that Warner Brothers had needed to make in order to compete with Disney's Marvel brand. Is it a perfect comic book movie? No, but it was a lot more entertaining then I expected it to be. Director James Wan (The Conjuring, Fast 7) seems to have thrown out the brooding darkness from the previous movies and embraced the more fantasy elements of the DC universe. Aquaman is not a bad movie to do that with, given that the majority of the story is set underwater and the kingdom of Atlantis.
Environment is one thing, but it's all for nothing if the characters aren’t interesting. The good news is that Jason Mamoa is not only charismatic, but he's also a welcome change to the typical, all American or strong women we see. He's more like the former jock from high school whose at least nice and willing to make a friend. Mamoa not only fits in well with his position as the son of a lighthouse keeper, but has a noble pose, giving him more of a royalty ambiance then I felt with Chadwick Boseman from Black Panther.
His journey is also interesting, as the goal is not only simple, but is genuinely fun. When we see him in Sicaly fighting high-tech pirates, im invested. When he's in Atlantis talking to his brother, I want to see where things so. When Arthur has to fight, I'm curious to see how the movie will incorporate the various elements of the ocean. Most of it is played out well, though if I had a problem, its that the movie is a tad too long. Without giving anything away, there's a second villain they could have cut, as the story is mainly setting him up for a sequel. Not to mention there are exposition bits of dialogue that could have been shortened.
I'll give this four Aquaman comics out of five. It's crazy to think that while Superman and Batman were not done well, its Wonder Woman and this that are the better movies within Warner Brothers. This is likely to help those who've been dissatisfied with the previous DC movies. All I can say is that Aquaman does not blow the man down. Go check it out.