All washed up: Review of Aquaman by Rashid Irani
It was inevitable. After brief appearances in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017), DC Comics’ amphibious superhero finally gets his own film.
Sadly, it’s a crazy amalgam of subpar storytelling, non-stop action and constantly swirling camera work. Motion sickness ahoy!
First we meet Aquaman’s parents — a lighthouse keeper and the queen of Atlantis. The hokey plot then hops from Maine to Sicily to the Sahara and of course through undersea kingdoms awash with mythical fish-folk. All the while, the long-haired, beer-swilling Arthur Curry aka Aquaman (Jason Momoa) is being drawn, against his will, into battle with his warmongering half-brother (Patrick Wilson).
The clumsily rendered CGI is irksome throughout, as are the feeble attempts at humour — at one point an octopus tries to play a set of bongos. A subplot involving an affair with an aquatic princess (Amber Heard) goes nowhere.
A host of A-list stars, including Nicole Kidman as Aquman’s mother and Willem Dafoe as his mentor, are wasted in supporting roles. As the villainous North Sea mercenary, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II fails to muster any sense of menace.
The fluorescent production design at least ensures that Aquaman makes it to sea-grade.