Monday, January 21, 2019

Aquaman – more fowl than fish – battling baddies on land and sea to find the magic spork

Ahoy! Aquaman is following the pattern of Wonder Woman: better as part of a pack in Justice League than standalone.

We witness the result of a cross-species union between a warm-hearted lighthouse keeper (Temuera Morrison) and an underwater Queen (Nicole Kidman) fleeing an arranged marriage which births the bullet-dodging aquatic titular hero (Jason Momoa) who grows up and makes a mess of nearly every house he enters, particularly when he comes through the roof like a clumsy tattooed Santa Claus.

Director James Wan and his team of writers abandon the rules of storytelling as well as the basics of physics. It’s like an epic Dora the Explorer bedtime story where someone mean has glued all the books together into a seemingly never-ending story that takes two hours twenty-three minutes to find the conclusion. (By a bizarre coincidence, the actor playing Aquaman’s father will appear in a Dora the Explorer movie next year.)

Just as your toddler would be fast asleep before the end of Dora’s mega odyssey, if it wasn’t for the pumping soundtrack with its electric guitar riffs to warn you of impending action, you too might be in the Kingdom of Zeds before Aquaman battles all the baddies on land (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and sea (Dolph Lundgren) and finds the magic spork.

Between Mary Queen of Scots and Aquaman, red hair is featuring heavily on our cinema screens at the moment. Princess Mera (Amber Heard) transports Aquaman out of some tight spots and demonstrates great combat skills, but the script has a tendency to allow her to be rescued at intervals as if to remind her of men’s ultimate superiority. A poor show for a promising character.

A bastard half-blood son is pitched against his duplicitous pure blood half-brother – it would be improved with some hip-hop borrowed from the musical Hamilton – with scenes from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Sand and an underwater Star Wars episode. There’s a lot of threatening parents and action which conveniently occurs within swimming distance of the east coast of the US, specifically the state of Maine.

Ultimately, Aquaman is a triumph of CGI and costumes over plot, which promises more humour at the start than it can consistently deliver throughout the remainder of the film. The ocean throwing up decades of garbage back onto beaches was a nice touch and at least it only costs £3 to watch in the Odyssey Cinema (whose non-VIP tickets are discounted during all of January).

But – shock horror – the credits indicate that there’s a sequel, which was a let down after the lovely song Everything I Need from Skylar Grey.

If you still feel the need to watch Aquaman, then go and see it in a cinema and enjoy the big bassy sounds from a proper sound system that will give you shivers your home cinema setup will never provoke.

Aquaman continues to shown in more cinemas that I can reason why!

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