This is a discussion of the " Aquaman " movie.Out " SPOILERS  at the top of posts that include thhem. I just saw the movie, on this night. 

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They certainly did make reference to "Justice League". Mera refers to Arthur as having defeated Steppenwolf. I couldn't help but ask myself if the continuity goofs were an Easter Egg of sorts. Why not honor the DC tradition of ignoring continuity when it suits the story? Nah...they probably just screwed up; but, in a good way. I enjoyed the film overall.
 
Captain Comics said:

I enjoyed Aquaman quite a bit, although I don't think there was an original thought in it. Atlantis looked like it was lifted from a Star Wars prequel, Aquaman's quest had most of the elements from Joseph Campbell's monomyth, we've seen the "war with the step-brother" bit in a lot of places (including Thor) and so forth. Even the chase through the Sicilian town reminded me of a James Bond movie, whose name I've forgotten (it had Daniel Craig in it.)

But Momoa was fun, and I loved that they didn't bother even explaining how powerful Mera was --- and that she WAS that powerful. It's like the filmmakers said, "She's badass, kids, deal with it!" Amber Heard sure looked the part, although she was kinda stiff -- which might be from the dialogue she was given, so I can let it go.

I have a question, though. In the movie, Aquaman and Mera meet for the first time. But weren't they on conversational terms in Justice League? And I'm pretty sure they made reference to Justice League, so this happens after. Can anybody shed some light?

Anyway, it was a lot of big, mindless fun with outstanding special effects, and I had a good time.

That should be "more tonal coherence" in my original review-post.

Yeah, those visuals were awesome.

It struck that, at the core, this movie was about family dynamics all around. Aquaman is raised by his dad, and seems to relate more to life on land because of it. Black Manta is out for revenge because of his father's death; and, we get a hint at his motivation as a pirate through his father, who expresses a certain anger that Manta's grandfather was all but forgotten after having served in the Navy with distinction. The sentiment is passed from father to son (this is arguably the case with Orm as well). Even Mera has issues with her father; yet in spite of her rebellion, he does all he can to protect her. Vulco hasn't much of a back story, other than that he has loyaly served the crown for generations; but, his dedication to Queen Atlanna, and by extention Arthur, suggests more than blind loyalty. If that theory holds, this is perhaps the most interesting dynamic, given that he opposes Orm.

I liked Momoa's portrayal here. Yes, he's a badass on land; but, when he comes to the realization that under water he's vulnerable, his reactions are refreshing. Watching him cringe and shriek while Mera is rescuing him gave me a chuckle. The humility he expressed, quite often, seemed a bit forced. Even so, I found it appropriate.

All in all, this was an enjoyable film, not quite as good a Wonder Woman in comparison, but far above Justice League and Batman vs. Superman. DC may actually be learning a thing or two.

This was just big loud fun. I saw it tonight. It was nothing original, but it was just bombastic fun. Some of the acting was cheesy, the music was okay in places and awful in places, but I thought Jason Mamoa was great.

I had to look on IMDB to figure out who the actor playing Orm was, but of course it was Patrick Wilson, who I know best from Fargo Season 2. While I was checking that out, I realized that the tentacle creature guarding the king's trident was voiced by Julie Andrews! Ha!

One of my friends that I was with leaned over to me when Black Manta and his cronies were attacking them in Sicily. He said, "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers." I couldn't un-see it at that point, and it looked pretty darn ridiculous.

Still, it was a fun movie.

Haven't seen it yet. to me, Patrick Wilson will always be Nite Owl II in Watchmen.

Oh, okay. I saw Watchmen when it came out in theaters and haven't thought about it since then. I didn't realize that was him too.

Richard Willis said:

Haven't seen it yet. to me, Patrick Wilson will always be Nite Owl II in Watchmen.

I enjoyed the movie.  This version of Aquaman is a lot of fun.  You do have to forget that Superman exists in this world and would have taken care of the invasion in short order, but it's fun for what it is.

I haven't paid much attention to Aquaman and Namor since the Silver and Bronze Ages, but this movie makes it hard to do a Namor movie without it seeming like a copycat (of course, another problem is who really owns the film rights and/or distribution rights). "Invading the surface world" was more a Namor thing in the SA and BA.  Maybe that's been changed. Without a whole lot of tweaking this could be a Namor movie.  Replace Mera with Lady Dorma, Vulko with Lord Vashti, Orm with Krang, Black Manta with maybe Tiger Shark, and there you go. 

What could Marvel (or Universal) do with a Namor movie that would differentiate it from Aquaman?

....Mort Wesinger and Paul Norris had screen credit. One of my in-sainted-memory:-l all-time most fondly recollected single issues of a funnybook was a Super DC Giant Akky issue, from 1971 (Just post-him losing his book, oddly enough!), which reptinted the first full-length Aquaman story, and a bunch of earlier Ramona Fradon six-pagers. A Ramona story about Arthur's boyhood showed all the creatures of the sea parading in front of him, swearing allegiance - That scene in the aquarium must have been inspired by (and maybe another movie moment) it!

I

inged+.emirh

We saw Aquaman the movie last night.

Aquaman the character has been around since the Golden Age of Comics, but I'm pretty sure I can count all the solo Aquaman comics stories I've ever read on two hands. I'm most familiar with him from the Justice League of America, and from any megacrossover that he's been in. And, of course, those cheesy Filmation cartoons from the '60s.

This version of the character isn't that guy.

It took me a long time to figure out who he was, but watching the movie, I got it: This character is called Aquaman, but he's the personification of Marvel's Hercules! A boisterous, fun-loving brawler. Once I got that, I settled in for some fun.

  • This was my first exposure to Jason Momoa's Aquaman, save for his cameo in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. I did not see Justice League the movie, owing to the bad taste that Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice left in my mouth.
  • I was a bit surprised that the opening sequence -- Aquaman taking down the pirates hijacking the submarine -- was so brutal.
  • I was also surprised to see Michael Beach in that scene. Beach used to be an actor who played good guys (like Doc the EMT on Third Watch) but more and more, he's playing rather nasty guys (like the cheating husband in Soul Food or the football team owner in The Game or the bullying father in Pitch) if not outright villains, like here. 
  • Interesting that Aquaman refuses to help free the trapped Michael Beach. I read Peter David's comments on that -- he weighed in as the long-haired, bearded, macho Aquaman he came up with is a partial template for this movie's version -- and he was kind of disappointed. But it says to me that the people who make DC movies still don't believe in heroes, which is why their movies are lesser than Marvel movies.
  • I was also surprised to see Willem Dafoe here, in a thoroughly supporting role. Didn't he used to be a leading man?
  • I liked hanging the movie on the romance between Tom Curry and Atlanna, a lot. I knew of it, but I hadn't read any story that showed it. But it works, and works well.
  • Likewise the father-son bond with Aquaman and his dad.
  • One dumb question: Aquaman's mother had a trident with five tines. Is that still a "trident"? Shouldn't that be, I don't know, a "quindent"?
  • Is it just me, or did the whole chase and battle through that Italian town look like a video game?

I often think most movies could stand to be about a half-hour shorter. Definitely here, because the chase for the McGuffin -- the trident that only the One, True King can wield -- was far too involved.

First, Aquaman had to beat his brother in ritual combat. Failing that, he and Mera go to the Sahara Desert to find a clue to the trident's whereabouts. Then they had to figure out how to operate the machine that would give them the clue. Then they had to go to Italy and fight off Black Manta and his sidekicks. Then they had to go across the ocean to the trench full of beasties and fight them off. Then they found the underground beach. Then he had to defeat the Kraken to get the trident. 

And only then could Aquaman go back and defeat the combined army and his brother! I would have definitely cut one or more of those steps in the script stage.

Overall -- save for excising some of the excess -- I enjoyed it. Jason Momoa gave Aquaman a winning and lively personality, and I hope future DC movies see that as an asset. 

The five-prong battle fork is, in fact, a quindent -- Latin for "five teeth."

It didn't become really important in Aqua-history until the New 52, although some one-off stories in previous decades had him using or searching for something similar. Neptune's Trident became a serious thing in Sub-Mariner stories in his Tales to Astonish days in the '60s, and is front and canter on the cover of Sub-Mariner #1 in 1968. In his "Savage Sub-Mariner" days, his belt showed the Trident on his belt buckle.

So, as usual, everything that's making Aquaman successful today is swiped from Namor. I'm a little irked by that, because now if there's every a movie Namor everyone will say he's a swipe!

...The director Philip Kaufman once was slated to direct a Sub-Mariner movie, I'll presume in the Eighties, with a complete full script! An interview I read some years back described him going through nonfilmed scripts in his office and mentioned this. It is interesting to think that Subby, IIRC, has never been able to carry a title of his own for a long run .for 45 years! Doctor Strange get and the Silver Surfer have both done better!

Captain,

See my comments above.  It could easily have been a Sub-Mariner movie.  

I think this cartoon sums up why a Silver Age version would not have worked



Captain Comics said:

The five-prong battle fork is, in fact, a quindent -- Latin for "five teeth."

It didn't become really important in Aqua-history until the New 52, although some one-off stories in previous decades had him using or searching for something similar. Neptune's Trident became a serious thing in Sub-Mariner stories in his Tales to Astonish days in the '60s, and is front and canter on the cover of Sub-Mariner #1 in 1968. In his "Savage Sub-Mariner" days, his belt showed the Trident on his belt buckle.

So, as usual, everything that's making Aquaman successful today is swiped from Namor. I'm a little irked by that, because now if there's every a movie Namor everyone will say he's a swipe!

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