Welcome to “Highs and Lows”! In this article we breakdown certain movies that we have recently seen. In this version of Highs and Lows we will be diving into “The Highs and Lows of Aquaman“. Aquaman stars Jason Mamoa, Amber Heard, William Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Nicole Kidman and many others. As always, this is a SPOILER FILLED article and if you proceed there will be things that may ruin the movie if you haven’t seen it. Here at Apocaflix! Movies, we all definitely enjoyed the movie and for that we will give 3 positives and 2 negatives.
Aquaman revolves around the story of Arthur Curry played by Jason Mamoa, who has just helped fight with the Justice League and is learning how to go about life being recognized as the “Aquaman”. He soon learns that he is the son of Queen Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) and the rightful heir and to the underwater throne that is Atlantis. But while he has no interest in taking the throne, he soon learns from Mera (Amber Heard) that his corrupt half brother King Orm (Patrick Wilson) has decided that he wants to mass an army to attack the surface world over years of destruction they have caused to the oceans. In order to save the kingdom and prove himself worthy of the throne of Atlantis, he must find the lost trident of King Atlan and stop his brother from attacking. So now that you have a little backstory and refresher, let’d dive into the High’s and Lows of Aquaman.
High: History & Mythology
Definitely one of the coolest parts of Aquaman was all the history and mythology that came from the movie. A lot of characters had their own history and back story as well as the story of Atlantis. A stand out part was the back story that we got for Atlantis. We found out that Atlantis was a civilization way ahead of its time compared to everyone else in the world and at one point they pushed the boundaries of technology a little to far and it caused the city to sink into the Atlantic Ocean. Because of this it caused the people of Atlantis to break off into 7 Kingdoms. Atlantis, Xebel, the Kingdom of the Fisherman, the Kingdom of the Trench, the Kingdom of the Brine and the Kingdom of the Deserters. We only see 6 of the 7 Kingdoms but some believe that The Hidden Sea may be the final kingdom. If it isn’t the final kingdom though, who is the 7th and maybe it can be apart of the sequel.
Another cool mythology that was presented in the movie was the history of Aquaman’s future trident. The history of the trident is it was once wielded by the most powerful kings, King Atlan. King Atlan was the one true ruler and king but when Atlantis sunk into the ocean he exiled himself, taking his powerful trident with him which bestows the power to to control and command the ocean. Nobody has seen the trident since and it is guarded by the mythical Karathen. The only person who is able to recover the trident would not only be the one true king, but the commander of the Oceans. All the mythology was a really cool aspect of the movie that we hadn’t really seen before in DC movies, except for a little bit in Wonder Woman.
One of the worst parts of the movie and quite possibly one of the biggest complaints being talked about with the movie is the music in the movie. It is very rare that you see a Comic Book movie use music with specific artists in it. There have been exceptions in movies like The Avengers where Iron Man comes in playing “Shoot To Thrill” by AC/DC, where it serves a purpose because he is playing it over the helicopter speakers. In Aquaman there was the scene where Aquaman and Mera are in the desert and all of sudden we are getting a Pitbull remix to Africa. I get that they were in the Sahara Desert which is in Africa, but it just did not flow with the movie what so ever and almost felt like it was a quick promotion for the song. How many times is Pitbull used for a movie soundtrack? Probably more than you can count on one hand. It just felt very awkward and unneeded.
High: Three Main Leads (Aquaman, Mera & Ocean Master)
The cast for Aquaman was filled to the brim with big names in the film. You have big names like Nicole Kidman, Dolph Lundgren, William Dafoe and Julie Andrews all playing roles in the movie, and they were just the supporting cast! The three main leads of the Aquaman Jason Mamoa, Amber Heard and Patrick Wilson all played amazing roles throughout the movie. Whoever came up with the idea that Jason Mamoa should play Aquaman deserves an award. He was the perfect casting choice for the role. With his type of personality you can get the serious badass that you need to take a character like this seriously, while at the same time bringing humor to the role and making the things that seem ridiculous (talking to fish) and make them seem normal. Amber Heard playing Mera was another great casting choice. She looked phenomenal in her costume and her hair didn’t look ridiculous with that color red. Her controlling the water with her powers was so cool to see on the big screen and not once did she come off as a weak princess but instead she was a badass that could easily stand her own against anyone.
Personally my favorite part of the movie was Patrick Wilson’s portrayal of King Orm or Ocean Master. Patrick Wilson is such an underrated actor and how he went about playing this power hungry, war driven, angry king was awesome. He was maniacal in manipulating others into joining him sometimes even by just outright killing them. He used Black Manta for his own game while basically helping create the Black Manta by giving him Atlantean technology. The best part was when he became Ocean Master and had his whole purple and silver costume on and the trademark mask. It literally looked like it was ripped out of the pages of a comic book and it was awesome!
Low: Black Manta
One thing that keeps being said by a lot of people was the use of Black Manta in the movie. He started out as a pirate with his father as they boarded a submarine, killing a lot of the crew and taking the submarine as their own. While his backstory of becoming Black Manta was really cool, the death of his father at the hands of Aquaman to which that fuels his hatred towards Aquaman, some of the other stuff wasn’t so cool. The use his grandfathers knife (which was made of Atlantean steel) that had a carving of a Manta on it and then painting his new suit black while combining the two to make his name was just kind of meh. It felt like it was almost to easy.
While the actor playing Black Manta, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, was really good in the role, especially in the beginning of the movie, his character just wasn’t up to par with the rest of the movie. One of the weirdest parts was during the fight scene between him and Aquaman in Sicily and he seems to be on a one way trip to death, we learn he somehow survives. The way he almost dies should have killed any normal person but apparently they chose to spare the character as Black Manta is one of Aquaman’s biggest enemies.
High: Action Sequences
Through out the movie one thing definitely stood out and that was the action in the movie. From the beginning of the movie in the submarine to the final battle at the end of the movie, one thing this movie did not lack is action. Not only were the scenes choreographed very well, the camera work that came with them was equally as great. The scene where we see Aquaman taking on King Orm in the Ring of Fire gave us spinning camera shots whenever someone would get struck by a trident or kicked. It really made the underwater fights the much cooler.
Going back to the end of the movie when King Orm attacks the Kingdom of the Brine, he see an all out battle with giant great white sharks, building high crabs, and even the mythical Karathen fighting in the battle. The scale of the fight was also amazing to see. It definitely left me wanting to see the famous battle from the DC Comics between the Amazons and Atlanteans. Overall you were never left feeling like there wasn’t going to be any action. Sure there were slow talking parts in the movie, but those didn’t seem to last very long because something was always just about to happen.
While the movie isn’t perfect it is definitely a good time and a good movie. The positives definitely outweigh the negatives for Aquaman. Jason Mamoa plays a fantastic Arthur Curry and will definitely cement himself as Aquaman in the DC Universe and the fact that both villains made it out of the movie alive leaves the possibility of future movies very interesting. The movie is definitely going to make a lot of money and and it should. Who knows where the future is going to take the Aquaman franchise, but one thing is for certain, he is going to be one of the favorites moving forward is the DC Universe.
So what do you think movie lovers? What did you think about Aquaman? Did you enjoy it or did you hate it? Do you agree with our highs and lows, or did we leave something out? Let us know what you think in the comments below!