8 December 2018 | lucasohara17
A step in the right direction.
This movie is pretty entertaining. That, however, doesn't mean that it has a great script. The truth is, DC played safe on this one, and it pays off, mostly.
I was never bored throughout this movie, but that is not because of the clever dialogue, or the the amazing score. No, it's because everything in it is incredibly over-the-top. No kidding, be it the heroes or the villains, the action scenes or the romantic ones, every single thing in this movie is kind of exaggerated. Sometimes it worked for me, but sometimes it didn't. With that in mind, let's get to my pros and cons.
First, what i liked the most: the direction, specially during the action scenes. James Wan managed to differentiate himself from that Snyder style of action pretty well (there's still one or two "Snyder slowmo" kind of shots, but that's it). The fight sequences were well choreographed and shot, with wide angles for most of the time. It was very pleasant to see. Now, I usually don't like when movies start looking like videogames, but it didn't really bother me here. During the gigantic CGI battlescenes you've seen in the trailers, the amount of elements on-screen can be overwhelming, but for the most part, they are well enough shot that you can differentiate what's going on, and so they eventually become quite satisfying.
The interaction between the two lead characters is too very entertaining, but then again, because Aquaman is just really extravagant most of the time, so it becomes this quirky, awkward chemestry. But that leads me into the cons.
Yeah, remember when i said everything was exaggerated in here? Well, sometimes that leads to some really weird and unfitting, or just unintentionally funny scenes. For example (and I don't wanna spoil here), the movie will have this really awkward romantic song playing throughout this "lovey dovey" scene, but that just took me out of the film because it's so over-the-top and doesn't fit at all with the previously established tone of the film. It was weird. Not only that, but this certain character will constantly scream during battle scenes like he's a football commentator announcing a goal, like he's really badass when in reality it just comes off as "just too much". I won't lie, I started laughing after a while because he repeats it quite a few times during the movie. Most of these are nitpicks, but because this movie blows everything out of proportion, these small problems end up REALLY standing out.
Some bigger complaints are: characters having really flimsy convictions and changing them in the matter of seconds for weak motivations. The movie is also filled with cliches, but that's mostly because Aquaman follows the standard superhero movie formula. On top of that, i found some inconsistencies regarding character's abilities (like, it is established that inhabitants of Atlantis cannot breath outside of the water, but during certain moments they do it just fine).
The CGI is very inconsistent, from this gorgeous color filled underwater kingdom, to some pretty terrible green screen effects.
The dialogue, is mostly not very well written. Some characters don't suffer from it, including Aquaman, because it ends up fitting their personality, but some characters end up sounding really artificial.
The acting is fine. Willem Dafoe is Willem Dafoe, Jason Momoa is Jason Momoa. Temuera Morrison, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman and Dolph Lundgren all did fine with their respective characters. I think the worst ones are the villains, played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen and specially Patrick Wilson (who's character is the embodiment of "over-the-top"). Too bad, I don't consider him a bad actor, but goddamn was he subpar in this one.
I don't have major complaints wit the editing. It's pretty good, except once or twice where there's just too much going on on-screen and I couldn't follow it, but those were rare moments. However, the sound design has some odd choices. There's this scene where a certain character is handling a knife, and every time he gently touched it, the knife went "KATCHING" with that standard blade sound , but just extremely loudly and exaggerated. I just thought to myself "what?".
Despite the fact that i nitpicked a lot, i think this movie works more than it doesn't. Yes, it's as a standard superhero movie as you can get, but it's a good one. Even with all of the odd choices and apparent problems, it's not a bad movie. The direction is quite good, some shots are fantastic and the fight sequences were very satisfying. It's pure, blown out of proportion, massive CGI fest fun, and I think that's enough for me. For an Aquaman movie, it does everything it should.