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  1. Published on: 07/02/2019 09:02 PMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: A human-born Atlantian sets on a quest to prevent a war between land and sea.

    A new film within the DCEU and already I'm fearing another rush project with messy story-telling despite showing a lot of promise.

    With this one involving Aquaman, a character that I did not like nor care for after seeing him in Justice League. It's fair to say that I was going into with the lowest of expectations.

    It started off surprising well with an action sequence that was filmed in such a tense and exciting way that I rarely see. Seeing that put me in a more comfortable position. As we were being introduced to this world, whilst being totally flawed by the incredible visual effects of this under-water world, the inconsistency in its editing and story-telling was already showing.
    But as the film went on, I'm not sure that aspect was getting better, or I was slowly ignoring and appreciating the high fun-factor that this film has.
    It moves along at a good pace and the sense of adventure around it all felt to me as the type of film Jules Verne would do if he ever thought of going into film-making if the medium was around when he was alive. All of that had me surprisingly enjoying this and having fun with it despite its problems.

    Despite not really liking Jason Mamoa's portrayal of Aquaman in Justice League, I gradually warmed to him. He began with the tropes that was not enjoying. But as his character developed, he seemed to tone it down a bit and concentrate and fulfilling his characters story arch. By then I was invested and rooting for him to succeed and I thought he did a good job overall.
    Amber Heard was a perfectly fine support for Mamoa, but was never exceptional. She helped moved the plot along and that's all I saw from her I'm afraid.
    I think Willem Dafoe was did as good a job as you could do with a role like his. The entrance his character makes, I bet Dafoe never thought that would happen to him in his career.
    Patrick Wilson continues to show how under-rated he is as an actor. His style fitted the tone of the film perfectly and was a good antagonist.
    A couple of shocks to see in a film like this was Nicole Kidman and Dolph Lundgren. Kidman did a good job and felt very believable in this world full of CGI and many things that I don't usually see Kidman being part of. As for Lundgren, he was quite the surprise and never felt out of place. 2018 has been quite a year for Lundgren. With this and in my opinion stealing the show in Creed II, Lundgren looks to be saving his best for last.
    I also noticed a nice little minor role for Graham McTavish, who I know from TV series Red Dwarf and The Hobbit trilogy.

    Easily the films biggest strength is the visual effects. There lots of pressure on this with the film being shown largely under-water. What they managed to do something so spectacular. Going back to Verne, it was as if I was watching something like 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea or the under-watch animated segment in Bedknobs And Broomsticks or an under-water version of Thor Ragnarok. The level of detail, the high amounts of imagination and the lively colour palette made the viewing experience such a feast for the eyes.
    The way the action and combat sequences were well executed. The way the camera was placed almost as if it was perched on a person's shoulder and the way the tracked around the people involved made it quite frenetic and almost as if you were part of it.

    Sadly despite having lots of fun with this, it still has a lot of similar problems that many other DCEU films have. The way the story is told felt messy throughout to me was rushed in parts. Especially in the opening act or when developing certain characters.
    Also, it's way too long. The duration is 2hrs 23mins and there enough that I feel could easily be expendable and get down to 2hrs at the most. There was a section just before the finl act that saw our main characters travel to various places around the world. All of certainly slowed everything down, and a few cuts would have easily benefited the pacing.

    But even knowing of its blatant problems, the large amounts of fun I had with this made it a surprisingly good watch. I can see the international appeal this film is getting at the box office and manages to deserve that.
    The tone of adventure and the high quality visual effects makes it totally worth your money and seeing on the biggest screen possible. Even when it gets to its most bonkers, I manged to stay on board with it and get invested in this world.
    Big credit to James Wan and his team. His popular style is very noticeable in this and I hope he becomes a saviour of sorts for this much trouble franchise.

    I'm glad to finally be going into the DCEU film with some promise. It might not be as solid or well-rounded as Wonder Woman, but it's certainly the next best and definitely the most fun.

    Rating: 7/10
    Last edited by Film Critic; 17/03/2019 at 07:39 AM.

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