‘Aquaman’ Review Round-Up: An Undersea Extravaganza With Energy & Charm

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The first reviews for Aquaman are in and it seems the DC Universe is back on track as the Jason Momoa starrer is looking good for its stateside debut.

The first solo outing for the character has already fared better financially in China than that of the DCEU’s previous installment. Justice League and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice were both divisive films amongst fans and critics but they did bring the world Arthur Curry and from the looks of the reviews, barring some minor issues, it seems Aquaman is the win DC has been looking for and will help get this shared universe back on track. You can check out the first reviews for Aquaman below:

The Wrap’s William Bibbiani

“Aquaman” is a sword-and-sorcery sci-fi archaeology horror war superhero epic without shame. But why would it have shame? James Wan dives into the strangest caverns of DC’s vast mythologies and brings it all to the big screen, challenging you to accept just how unusual superhero stories can be.

IGN’s  Jim Vejvoda

The glee that director James Wan clearly has playing in the world of Aquaman is infectious. He’s made a movie for both types of 10-year-olds: literal kids and those who are 10 at heart. Aquaman is one hell of a popcorn movie – a fun time and a big bet for the DC movie universe that pays off in creating an exciting new realm for future installments to hopefully explore further. Wan’s geeky epic is chock-full of ridiculous elements and, on paper, it really shouldn’t work as well as it does, but it’s all so inherently weird and brazenly bonkers that the siren call of this giddy, otherworldly romp is hard to resist.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy

There is scarcely a scene in Aquaman that couldn’t have benefited from the fun sense of wit and surprise that Momoa delivers more or less on his own. Kidman supplies short-lived warmth and gravitas as Aquaman’s mum, while Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has a side role as a vengeance-minded fighter. Technically, the film is everything its fan base wants and expects, and the underwater setting imparts a sometimes enchanted feel that at least distinguishes it from most other superhero epics. Rupert Gregson-Williams efficient score seems to almost never let up.

i09’s Germain Lussier

Despite all the things Aquaman has going for it, there’s no denying the acting in the film is merely adequate. That the dialogue isn’t exactly smart. Some of the characters don’t change all that much. And yes, the film could have been better if those things were all up to the level we know the people involved are capable of achieving. And yet, Aquaman is made with such spirit, with such lofty goals when it comes to world-building, somehow those things get pushed aside, the 12-year-old inside you comes out, and you eat it all up like a kid in a candy store. This is grandiose, big-budget entertainment at its most self-aware, and even when it swings and misses, it’s still a sight to behold.

Indiewire’s Eric Kohn

Despite some visionary images, the latest DC superhero entry careens through several thinly-conceived ideas.

Chicago Tribune’s Michael Philips

Watching this movie is like spending two hours and 27 minutes staring at a gigantic aquarium full of digital sea creatures and actors on wires, pretending to swim.

Variety’s Peter Debruge

The weakest link in the DC Comics Universe is reconceived as a hero every bit Superman’s equal in director James Wan’s water-logged origin story.

HeyUGuys’ Linda Marric

A star turn for Momoa, who leads the ridiculousness of this anarchic, campy superhero outing with serious energy and charm. Another promising move for the DCEU.

Los Angeles Times‘ Kenneth Turan

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.

Here’s the official synopsis:

From Warner Bros. Pictures and director James Wan comes an acition-packed adventure that spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas, “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa in the title role. The film reveals the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime—one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be… a king.

Directed by James Wan, Aquaman stars Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry, Amber Heard as Mera, Willem Dafoe as Vulko, Patrick Wilson as Orm / Ocean Master, Dolph Lundgren as Nereus, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta, Nicole Kidman as Atlanna, Ludi Lin as Captain Murk, and Temuera Morrison as Tom Curry.

Aquaman will be released in theaters on December 21, 2018.