By Jim Tortolano
Sometimes a comic book movie is the most fun when it’s basically a comic book in a movie.
No one will confuse “Aquaman” with great cinematic art, but if you’re looking for a fun afternoon with lots of battle scenes, eye candy and humor, you could do a lot worse than this one.
The special effects for this story about a half-human, half-Atlantean (that’s the underwater city of Atlantis, not Atlanta) who fights to keep the worlds of land-dwellers and undersea from, well, fighting, has its weaknesses, but the appeals outweigh them.
The backgrounds and much of the CGI-action is gorgeous, and so are Jason Momoa (Arthur Curry/Aquaman) and Amanda Heard (Mera), for those who are interested in beefcake and cheesecake. There is considerable backstory, for comic book literalists, and enough fight scenes to satisfy the action hero fan. Director James Wan handled this well, considering the limitations of the concept.
On the other hand, the plot (the script is credited to seven people) is paper-thin and time-worn. Child of two worlds is called upon to seek his rightful kingship – there’s even a magic sword to seek – and defeat the bad guy(s).
The main departure from the norm is that the female lead (Mera) is not just a scream queen begging for rescue. She is a keister-kicking warrior who just might give Wonder Woman a run for her money.
The rest of the cast – including Nicole Kidman as Aquaman’s mom and Willem Dafoe as a kind of Merlin character – recite their stilted lines with some verve, but can only do so much.
However, if you’ve got two hours-plus to watch a fun make-believe story of the kind that once – a long time ago – sold for a dime, this might be your best holiday confection.
“Aquaman” is rated PG for superhero violence, some language, some drinking and some sensuality.
Categories: Arts & Leisure