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  • Alex Barnhill

Alex Reviews "Aquaman"

To know that the character of Aquaman would be the balance between superhero movies sounds crazy even as I write this. From the announcement of “Game of Thrones” alumnus Jason Momoa being announced as Arthur, son of an Atlantean mother and human father that is the rightful heir to the throne of the lost city of Atlantis who doesn’t really want it but has to embrace his destiny, the fans were intrigued on how he would do in “Justice League” and ultimately his own film, but with the lukewarm at best reception to the films before it and the high praise going into this one, that balance came into play once more.

With over-the-top action and comedic moments, this film hits on all cylinders for what truly could be the best movie of the DCEU. Telling Arthur’s story while weaving in flashbacks to fill in the holes, this does its job of keeping the action moving while not falling into the traps of an origin story including the smaller story of a classic villain in Black Manta (which I anticipate playing a larger role in the future). The third act does drag a bit, but as the story works towards its climax, the fun kicks back into high gear.

Momoa owns this character just as much as any other has, but I would even put this one on the level of Jackman’s portrayal in another universe by seamlessly shifting between force of nature and lovable goof in a way that it would take serious effort to not love him. He is also complimented by Amber Heard as Mera, who surprised me as the hero love interest that could easily fall into the “damsel in distress” role but winds up with strength and toughness that rivals another female hero that Arthur works with in his “other” job. Willem Dafoe and Temuera Morrison also deserve recognition as the personifications of Arthur’s two sides, above and below the surface. I personally would have like to have seen more of Morrison’s character as Arthur’s father, but it is already almost two and a half hours as it is.

So much of this should not work, but with a solid script, a great director in James Wan, and outstanding visual effects come together in one of the best movies of 2018, and I am looking forward to the sequel, which should be called “A2: Rise of the Manta”. And if you want a little “bonus material,” check out Momoa’s moment on the red carpet at the world premiere. Trust me on this, and in advance: you’re welcome.

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