Who knew that a B-grade hero like Aquaman and a feminist icon like Wonder Woman would have better film adaptations than their more famous counterparts—Batman and Superman? Aquaman (2018) is not only DC’s finest flick since Wonder Woman (2017) but also the best comic-book movie since last year’s Avengers: Infinity Wars.
With indescribable CGI it comes as a shock that Aquaman wasn’t nominated for a Best Visual Effects Oscar (or even for Best Costume Design or Best Cinematography for that matter). From start to finish, this action movie actually makes proper usage of its VFX rather than utilizing this aspect for the sake of its colossal budget.
James Wan (known for Saw, Insidious, and The Conjuring) surprises viewers with his directorial take on the superhero genre. He manages to make a non-horror film which is as cartoonish as it should be while never losing sense of the source material. The picture is further aided by stellar performances primarily from Jason Momoa, Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe, and Patrick Wilson.
One of the highlights of the adrenaline-pumping scenes is the chase sequence involving Amber Heard’s character Mera—running across rooftops to avoid fiends on her trail.
However, Wan might have escaped criticism but the screenwriters have not. Both David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beall lacked the experience of adding originality to this comic-book adaptation due to a lack of experience with the genre. The dialogues are poor, the climactic events are predictable, and the plot is horrendously linear.
All in all, superior writing would have saved this venture from being clichéd. Nevertheless, Aquaman’s positives outweigh its negatives rendering it as a thoroughly engaging and entertaining visual spectacle of a blockbuster.