James Wan (director)
Warner Brothers Home Ent. (studio)
08 April 2019 (released)
07 April 2019
The force that is Jason Momoa has many battles (both sea and land) to endure in his quest for the Trident of Atlan, a magical artefact which used to belong to the first ruler of Atlantis. Whoever finds it (which isn’t easy) can claim his rightful place as the new King of Atlantis but… there is competition. Obviously!
AQUAMAN puts our hero to the forefront and bang into the centre of action, having previously appeared only as part of an ensemble in Zack Snyder’s JUSTICE LEAGUE. As ‘Aquaman’ actor Jason Momoa, whose mixed ancestry includes Hawaiian, explains: “If you look at the ancient Polynesian people like the Maori or Hawaiians, they all worshipped some sort of water god or deities of the sea”.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that from the outset, director James Wan had the exotic looking Momoa in mind, rather than the blond and blue-eyed Aquaman incarnation known from the DC Comics. The result is a long-haired, impossibly beefed-up comic book hero with countless tribal tattoos and a serious thirst for beer.
But back to the plot, which begins in 1985 on the coast of Maine: lighthouse keeper Thomas Curry (Temuera ‘Once Were Warriors’ Morrison) rescues Atlanna (Nicole Kidman), Queen of the underwater nation of Atlantis, during an almighty storm. Despite him being human and her being a ‘lady of the sea’ the two fall in love, resulting in the birth of little Arthur Curry. This domestic bliss doesn’t last long, however, for Atlanna is commanded back by intruding sea creatures who force her back into the depths of the ocean. A heartbroken Thomas is left to look after the little boy but help is at hand in the shape of Nuidis Vulko (Willem Dafoe), counsellor of Atlantis who becomes mentor to young Arthur, as requested by Atlanna (who is executed for having given birth to a half breed, or so we are made to believe).
As young Arthur Curry grows up and gradually morphs into Jason Momoa (the various younger incarnations are portrayed by different actors) Arthur learns to swim super-fast, manipulate the waves, speak under water, communicate with aquatic life and put his superhuman strength to good use whenever necessary. Despite all his traits he feels neither comfortable as a landlubber nor when in company with fellow Atlanteans. That, however, changes when his scheming half-brother and selft-styled Ocean Master Orm (Patrick Wilson), who is after the golden Trident himself, joins forces with the vicious Black Manta (David Kane), a technology-savvy modern pirate and nemesis of Arthur Curry/Aquaman. Orm is hell-bent on destroying the surface world for having polluted the Oceans (well, he does have a point… a point that unfortunately isn’t explored much further) so it’s down to Arthur to save the land.
If you think that this is the plot in a nutshell you’re in for a surprise, for over the next 143 minutes or so, we encounter the seven kingdoms of the seven seas, with each kingdom inhabited by its own unique life form and creatures (some friendly, others less so), while we delight in the budding relationship between Aquaman and Mera (Amber Heard) – a feisty warrior and daughter of King Nereus (Dolph Lundgren), himself in cahoots with Orm… Oh, it’s all so complex and occasionally confusing.
The special effects are breathtaking, the sea creatures truly innovative (when did you last see a giant octopus working the drum kit like Keith Moon?) and the performances (hammy dialogue aside) worthy of the Kingdom of Atlantis (or any other kingdom for that matter). There’s also plenty of music throughout which can be obtained separately on the Aquaman Soundtrack (who would have thought that Roy Orbison’s evergreen ‘Mystery Girl’ would one day feature in a DC Comic adaptation).
Among the various AQUAMAN releases 4K Ultra HD, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray + Digital Download the following Special Features can be enjoyed:
• Going Deep Into the World of Aquaman
• Becoming Aquaman
• Aqua Tech
• Atlantis Warfare
• The Dark Depths of Black Manta
• Heroines of Atlantis
• Villaneous Training
• Kingdoms of the Seven Seas
• Creating Undersea Creatures
• A Match Made in Atlantis
• Scene Study Breakdowns
• Exclusive Sneak Peek of Shazam!