By Chris Brown
(AllHipHop Features) Aquaman is an action packed adventure film that is seriously epic in scope and scale. The opus is a self-contained movie in the DCEU (DC Extended Universe) with a simple and effective three-act story structure, but was a really good origin story for Arthur Curry, the aquatic hero's real name. Jason Momoa is excellent as the wild, half Hawaiian, beer guzzling Aquaman and all of the supporting cast nail their roles as well. As villains, Orm Marius aka The Ocean Master (Patrick Wilson) and Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) have understandable motivation for why they do what they do but are still savages.
Director James Wan brings his A-Game here: From his storytelling, to the kinetic action sequences, even down to his horror sensibilities being on full display. Wan's action set pieces are extremely creative and, for most of them, he uses long, one take, tracking shots that are all stylish and fluid. The direction, cinematography and fight choreography are all on point - really smooth work here. From a technical aspect, the CGI, VFX, colors and underwater sequences are all amazing and beautiful to experience. It's truly a visual spectacle!
Critically, the biggest issue I had is that in the 2nd act, the tone momentarily shifts to a comedic/campy vibe where some of the dialogue and jokes are hit and miss. But fortunately, this is brief and the tone quickly shifts back into action/adventure mode which is where the movie shines best. There were also some musical choices in that same 2nd act I could have done without as I would have preferred the actual score be used throughout. Lastly, I wanted more Black Manta in the movie, because he was extremely dope. He'll definitely be back.
This film is a comic book sci-fi/fantasy/adventure movie in the vein of the Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Indiana Jones films and it really works! At nearly 2.5 hours, it’s a massive film that has action, humor, thrills, and fun. It also has some of the best visual effects of the year, in my humble opinion. Comic book fans can love and appreciate it, but it's also a film that can be enjoyed as as a family.
Highly Recommended - Go see it!