Aquaman 3D

Home is calling.

Jason Momoa is Aquaman in the DC Entertainment character's first feature film. Co-stars Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman and Temuera Morrison and helmed by James Wan (Furious 7).

When Arthur Curry (Momoa) learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, he must step forward to lead his people and to be a hero to the world.

Trailers

Directed by

  • James Wan('The Conjuring', 'Furious 7', 'Saw')

Written by

Studio

DC Entertainment

Action, Adventure, Science Fiction, 3D, Blockbuster

143mins

Rating: M Fantasy violence

USA, Australia

Aquaman is a lot of movie. Nearly every shot is drenched in visual effects, doused with music, dripping with whiz-bang action. It’s a testament to the sure hand of director James Wan that it never gets overwhelming. In fact, it just gets more entertaining.

It’s like several movies stuffed into one—parts involving the villainous Black Manta are as gloriously cheesy as The CW’s DC roster, treasure hunts in the Sahara and Sicily come off like Indiana Jones (ok, maybe National Treasure), and there’s a whole lot of Star Wars/LOTR-type world-building going on under the sea.

Wan holds nothing back: Amber Heard wears a dress made of jellyfish. An octopus plays tribal drums. Dolph f*cking Lundgren shows up with bright red hair. And this is when things are just getting warmed up. It’s completely ludicrous, and all the better for it, Wan festooning his Hero's Journey with as many visual whimsies as he can.

There’s also a small portion of brain-veges to go with all this eye-candy: Patrick Wilson’s King of Atlantis is quite rightly POed about humans trashing the ocean. But then again he’s pretty explicitly Aryan-coded, shrieking about pure bloodlines and whatnot. It’s confusing. Anyway holy shit here comes an army of fish monsters!

Jason Momoa’s screen presence was a concern going in, but you know what? He’s pretty great! Charismatic enough, even if his chemistry with Heard isn’t exactly off the charts. There is one extremely sweet romance in the film, but it isn’t theirs, it’s one that speaks to the film’s larger theme about uniting across racial lines.

DC have doubled down after the muted reaction to Justice League and thrown everything at the wall, and most of it sticks. In my screening the crowd started off pretty muted. When the last shot cut to black a big cheer rang out.

Empire (UK)

press

Welcome to Aquaman, where you won't have a clue what's going on, but you won't be able to look away either.

Variety (USA)

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It doesn't suck, but only if you're willing to sit through two hours of waterlogged world-building before the movie finally takes off.

Los Angeles Times

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Notwithstanding the inevitable formulaic dialogue and a superabundance of boilerplate superhero action sequences, "Aquaman" turns out to be, almost despite itself, an engaging undersea extravaganza.

The Guardian

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This is a let-down: a laborious, slow-moving and dripping wet film, barnacle-encrusted with solemnity and with a ripply-underwater production design that looks like a giant version of the kitschy items that you put in fish-tanks.

Total Film (UK)

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It feels like a step in the right direction for the DCEU. What's more, its hero's former 'joke character' status is kept well at bay.

Vanity Fair

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Wan has taken a seemingly impossible task and imbued it with clarity and personality.

TimeOut (New York)

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Aquaman is more seawater than bongwater, unfortunately, but when it gets trippy, it floats within hailing distance of Doctor Strange.

NZ Herald (Siena Yates)

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It's a big call, but Aquaman - one of the most highly anticipated releases of 2018 - might just be the worst film of the year.

NewsHub (Kate Rodger)

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All of it is wrapped up in that much needed wry and irreverent self-awareness which DC just hadn't managed to crack until now.

Stuff.co.nz (Graeme Tuckett)

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Aquaman does everything we expect a big-budget superhero movie to do, but it also remembers ... to have a heart, and something other than mere bombast to give us for bothering to show up. Bravo.