Having said this, it is also obvious to me why somebody may not enjoy the film. Sometimes the acting can become quite cartoonish and unrealistic. Some of the costumes, especially Black Manta, look like they’re lifted right out of the 1970’s Super-friends cartoon. And as far as “Realism” goes, Aquaman plays more like a fantasy than any of the modern superhero movies coming out today that have branded themselves as gritty, dark retellings of our favourite characters stories. But to the people who make these complaints, I say “Do you not know how to have fun?”. Because while aqua man may be silly at times, it is still a wickedly good time at the movies. Sit back, relax, allow yourself to disconnect from reality and enjoy the ride. That would be my only advice.
My favourite thing about Aquaman is the way it tells its story. It’s not quite an origin story, but it has bit’s sprinkled in. It’s not ONLY an action adventure, but it also has plenty to satisfy all types of moviegoers. And it all harkens back to that good old fashioned kind of filmmaking that Marvel doesn’t seem to want to keep around. So what a refresher for DC that this film plays more like the original Star Wars than Black Panther or Captain America. The story is told in broad strokes, and I believe this is done to evoke certain archetypes of what Joseph Campbell referred to as “The Hero's Journey” or what the Tarot refers to as “The Fools Journey”. The basic idea is that there is a cycle of personal growth that all of us are on at one point or another in our lives. On this journey of personal growth, we are flung into unfamiliar territory and forced to tackle the challenges it throws at us. Ultimately this painful process rewards us with a great personal transformation or realisation of who we truly are, and this is exactly the kind of story that Aquaman is trying to tell.
Throughout 2018’s Aquaman there are moments where the film feels somewhat transcendent. Where the frames blend together and the characters pop off the screen in such a manner that you forget you’re watching a movie at all. This is a quality attributed to many of the films James Wan has directed over his long career. Although Wan has had many of his own successes, we are yet to see whether or not his ambitious dive into the world of superheroes will pay off for DC and for comic book fans yet, but early predictions and box office numbers are already looking promising.
By Stan Gogan