Aquaman Continues DCEU Universe-Building

Isaiah Smith, Staff

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Aquaman is the sixth film in the DC Extended Universe. Since the beginning, DC Comic’s cinematic universe has been a very mixed bag. The whole series has received fairly poor reviews from fans and critics alike, and many have even called the DCEU an utter failure. This has not stopped the DCEU from putting out at least one movie universally enjoyed. Wonder Woman, released in 2017, received great reviews, with The New York Times going as far to call Wonder Woman “a blockbuster that lets itself have fun.” So should Aquaman be considered another DC success story, or is it just another over-hyped flop. 

All in all, Aquaman is a great movie. The action is on point, the dialogue clever, the characters appealing, and the visuals beautiful. Aquaman is so different from past DCEU movies that it almost feels like a soft reboot of sorts. James Wan beautifully crafted such an interesting and alluring world with this film, it makes you excited to see what comes next in the franchise, something that can’t be said for many other DCEU movies. 

 Jason Momoa is so entertaining in the role of Aquaman/Arthur Curry, and his on-screen chemistry with Amber Heard’s Mera is amazing. In fact, the whole cast is on point in this movie. Amber Heard is fantastic in the role of Mera, Patrick Wilson plays an intriguing and menacing Ocean Master, and Willem Dafoe gives an amazing performance as Atlantis’ counselor and Arthur’s Nuidis Vulko. Even characters who are only on screen for a few moments leave such an big impact on the film, like John Rhys-Davies who lends his astoundingly booming voice to the Brine King.  

The writing of this film is great; for example, the dialogue between characters tackling the subject of nature over nurture as Arthur struggles to decide if he’s even worthy of ruling Atlantis is very well done. The underwater visuals are astonishing to look at, especially the final battle scene against the Kingdom of the Brine. That alone is such an awesome spectacle, you have to see to believe. 

Now what’s not so great about the movie?After first viewing, there aren’t many bad things to say about the film except for the occasional nitpick. For example, it was kind of weird how totally unprepared Aquaman and Mera were during the scene where they were walking through the desert. They apparently found time between scenes to change clothes but also find a pilot to drop them off, and yet they didn’t think to bring any food or water. Just seemed a bit odd, and poor story telling. This movie also feels very similar to Black Panther which released early 2018. The visuals can also be pretty overwhelming at times, but besides that very little to say. 

With all that being said, Aquaman is defininitely not over-hyped and is truly a great movie that even rivals Wonder Woman for best DCEU movie, and it is just what this universe needs to keep people invested for the future to come.