AQUAMAN Spoiler-Free Review; "An Absolute Triumph For DC And Warner Bros."

AQUAMAN <font color=red>Spoiler-Free</font> Review; "An Absolute Triumph For DC And Warner Bros."

Aquaman surfaces in theaters next week but is it worth taking the time to watch in a December crammed with big new releases? Most definitely and you can find our spoiler-free verdict on DC's latest here...

Who could have guessed that this late in the year, we would have two incredible movies like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and now Aquaman in theaters? While fans weren't convinced back in July when that Comic-Con teaser debuted, James Wan has delivered not only one of the best DC Comics adaptations of all-time but a movie which can sit proudly alongside Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War as a highlight of 2018. It's no secret that the DC Extended Universe has struggled up until now but if Aquaman is any sort of indication about what we're getting moving forward, then things are definitely looking up for Marvel's Distinguished Competition. 

Since 2015, December has become the stomping ground for Star Wars and with Solo released back in May, Aquaman is left to fill the void. Well, it almost effortlessly manages to do so and the best possible comparison I can make here is that this actually feels like a Star Wars movie, albeit underwater rather than in outer space. At its core, it's a fun, action-packed adventure movie with likeable leads, hateful (yet still layered) villains, and an epic final battle which will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. 

Jason Momoa is finally given the chance to shine and he's fantastic from start to finish. Fans had their doubts when he was cast in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice but there's not a chance you're walking away from this movie without feeling that he is now the definitive live-action Aquaman. At first, Amber Heard comes across as a little wooden and stiff but as the story progresses, both she and Mera loosen up and start having fun and the movie is all the better for it. Patrick Wilson, meanwhile, is excellent as Orm and far more interesting to watch than most superhero movie villains. The entire ensemble is excellent but there's one person, in particular, who deserves to be singled out and that's Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. As Black Manta, he is amazing, and I cannot wait to see more of him in this world regardless of whether that's in Aquaman 2 or the Suicide Squad sequel. While he occasionally falls into some familiar trappings as a villain, Manta is definitely a character with potential and Abdul-Mateen II being given a larger share of the spotlight will be hugely beneficial to any future movie he appears in. 

"Fun" has become something of an overused term in recent years but that's exactly what Aquaman is. It's a good job too as that manages to mostly overshadow the odd example of terrible acting (see: the teenage Arthur Curry) and a plot that's not overly strong. However, this troubled shared universe needed a simple, crowd-pleasing affair after Zack Snyder's complicated movies and it feels like the point of this one was to send people home happy so those flaws are easy enough to forgive providing you don't go in expecting the layered storytelling we see in the MCU.

Visually, this is a gorgeous movie and the special effects, while not quite flawless, are all very good. Don't fret: this is no Green Lantern! The battles which take place both on land and in the sea are fast-paced, exciting, and demand repeat viewings and director James Wan has really excelled here. His love of Aquaman is clear to see and he has a superb grasp on both the big moments and the small ones. There's a lot of humour (most of which lands) and tonally, things are very consistent. It's a movie full of scenes which will make you want to stand up out of your seat and punch the air and what more could a comic book fan really want? 

An absolute triumph for DC and Warner Bros., Aquaman is a blast to watch start to finish and one of this year's best superhero movies. Bring on the sequel because another Jason Momoa/James Wan team-up is an even more exciting prospect than the Justice League re-assembling! 

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