Oh me oh my, two film reviews one after the other. Who would have thought this is where we would be on this glorious day? Anyway, to business. The reason I put this review after Valerian is to draw comparisons between the two. They are both surreal dystopian fantasy films. Perhaps most importantly neither of them have a plot, yet both remain captivating.
James Wan has always been a master of directing. Aquaman is no different. I’ve followed him through various of his phases as a director. The Conjuring is one of the finest horror films I have ever seen. While Aquaman has no discernible story progression, the character development is exemplary. One truly gets to grips with who Aquaman (Jason Mamoa) and Mera (Amber Heard) are. Equally, lesser-seen characters such as King Orm (Patrick Wilson); Vulko (Willem Dafoe) and Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) are accessible and well-developed. Of course Dolph Lundgren played King Nareus, which delighted me. He used to date Grace Jones, which, as you know, means he is in my good books. As is anyone who had a modicum of contact with her.
Aquaman covers the story of two nations on the brink of war – the land and the sea. Aquaman must mitigate this potentially catastrophic situation by fetching a nice trident and fending off his half brother King Orm, who is amassing an army to destroy the surface world. In essence, this is all that happens plot-wise. Visually, they go through various kingdoms on land and in the sea in order to fetch said trident. Numerous beautifully orchestrated fight scenes are peppered throughout. The film is an impressive work of the imagination, much like Valerian. A particular favourite scene of mine is when Aquaman and Mera (both consistently breathtaking, by the way) pass through Sicily. One of the most exciting fight scenes in the movie, and indeed in modern cinema, happens here. Look out for it.
In all, this movie drips with delicious money. It is clear from the get-go that the ($160–200 million) budget for Aquaman is eye wateringly well spent – no pun intended. The cast is star-studded, the fight scenes were epic and the visuals are breathtaking. Though I couldn’t find a hint of a plot, I enjoyed it thoroughly. I hope you shall too.