The APAHM Project Day 14: Aquaman
Director: James Wan
Where to watch it: Available to watch or rent on all major platforms
Why it made the list:
“Aquaman” is the DCEU’s highest grossing film, even surpassing my girl Diana Prince, at $1.1 billion. Directed by Asian Australian James Wan and starring Samoan American Jason Momoa, “Aquaman” is the first superhero movie since the genre’s revival (here I mean 2008’s “Iron Man”) that headlines a hero portrayed by an actor of Asian descent.
I have reservations about the DCEU movies. I find them to be very unnecessarily brooding with humor that doesn’t stick. With the exception of “Wonder Woman” (and I still have some critiques about it, too), I haven’t liked any of them. Does “Shazam” count as a DCEU movie? One movie in particular I didn’t enjoy was “The Justice League;” it was too rushed for the DCEU, having only introduced half of its team in previous movies. However, I did enjoy two characters: Diana, of course, and Aquaman. Although his jokes weren’t particularly funny, Momoa delivered a great performance.
And I think that’s how I feel about the entire movie of “Aquaman.” It’s not particularly funny or gripping. It’s an average kind of origin story, it talks a lot about who you really are on the inside: Arthur was born as a “half-breed” where as his half-brother brother was born into royalty with a pure line. But as Queen Atlanta says, Arthur is greater than any king because he’s a hero for everyone. That’s pretty much the entire theme of the movie. Nevertheless, it’s a fun film to watch. It’s way better than any of the DCEU movies that include Superman or Batman. The visual development is also really great, everything looks futuristic and marine-like and there’s always something to look at to catch your interest.
Does it deserve to stay on this list?
I love a good superhero movie and this one makes the cut for me. I’m glad to see Aquaman get a bit of cool factor, despite how “The Big Bang Theory” paints him to be. I think Jason Momoa was a great choice in casting for Arthur; he has a fun attitude and is exciting to watch in a battle. I also applaud the diverse casting of Momoa, Temuera Morrison as his father, and Ludi Lin as Captain Murk. Given the DCEU track record, I remember being pleasantly surprised by “Aquaman” and deemed it in the same caliber as “Wonder Woman.” Maybe now that we have gotten to know these characters more, we will be more invested when the Justice League reconvenes.