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New reviewer, "On the Reel" makes waves for AQUAMAN!

hi Talkbackers! I want to share a review of AQUAMAN from a new AICN reviewer called "On the Reel," who takes no prisoners in her latest review of AQUAMAN! Take it away, OTR: 

Atlanteans riding Sharks.

 On the Reel here,

Are you interested in an action packed movie for teenage boys, and a gorgeous man you can watch fly through water and fight with the fury of a WWE star? Then this is your movie. Yes, there is a musical Octopus, Black Manta, and Superfriends style Aquaman, and animal banter, with so much more that there may be too much going on. Once again, it’s Superhero origin movie time, but it's DC so you now, here’s hoping. 

There’s a fabulous new DC open of faceless heroes but, with further casting to rebuild franchises from ruin, I’m sure that will change. So, hopes be damned, because the darkness has risen to reveal a great CW… I mean WB movie to enjoy, laugh with or at, and have some quiet holiday time with family.  


This is a long 2 hours and 22 minutes of a superhero origin movie by Warner Brothers standards, so it’s not bad, but OK. The story of little King Arthur growing up to be the Ocean Master will take you back to the feeling of the 1980’s action movies, with the classic one-liners of a Shane Black film, but the filling is quite vapid and going all over the place. Basically, James Wan knew what to do with action, but watched all the Marvel movies for in between stuff. Imagine Water Thor going to Water Wakanda with his lady friend who loves Party City wigs. Water Thor meets his brother, Killmonger, and they fight first in the Ragnarok arena, and then again for realsies. 

"This map says there's a Party City around here somewhere."

You can definitely feel the Geoff Johns comic book rebirth origin formula in the story, such as 30 minutes of voice over storytelling in the open, and then the classic ending with that voiceover splash page of a frozen Superhero pose at the end. The script writers had a lot of material, and they used it, but some things just kind of happen to Fish “man” and the world around him. Mera just pops up and says hello from Atlantis, with no introduction. Apparently Arthur believes in Atlantis because he has secret water battle training through his life. Be sure to pay attention, because you can easily listen for the foreshadowing in this story, ripped from the comic book by scriptwriters who took that same writing class I did when I first moved to LA.

A still from Aquaman

Let’s not forget about the directing of James Wan. Now I know why I have never seen Fast and The Furious… The camera only really moves during a fight. This is action, and Aquaman is a man’s man, so that works. He fights like Serena Williams joined the WWE with grunting and childlike enthusiasm and confidence in “a good ol’ ass whooping.” The camera will give you the side view, top view, bottom view, spin, pan and zoom like you just got off of the Spiderman ride at Universal Florida. The wide shots of Atlantis are beautiful  - the camera movement and actions are somewhat off-putting, but he tackled it.  Imagine beloved scenes re-enacted to kill time, from such great movies like Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park to Jurassic World, How to Train Your Dragon 2, The Fifth Element, Finding Nemo, Ponyo, Waterworld, The Hunt for Red October, etc. 

Brotastic Momoa in AQUAMAN

In review: Aquaman has gone from sweet and distinguished confirmed bachelor of the sea, to Ocean Ogre from Revenge Of The Nerds, with a bigger vocabulary and the same love of action and drinking beer in his jeans and handy wallet chain (usually sans shirt). It is not as awful as Venom, but if you want to save some holiday cash, waiting for Netflix or DVD won’t kill you. We can all look forward to seeing Glass, Shazam and Captain Marvel in the new year.

And that's - 


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