Aquaman mirrors standard superhero movies

Jason Mamoa stars in the worldwide hit Aquaman. The film debuted in December of 2018 and has grossed over  a billion dollars worldwide.

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Jason Mamoa stars in the worldwide hit Aquaman. The film debuted in December of 2018 and has grossed over a billion dollars worldwide.

Maggie Herrera, Staff Writer

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Aquaman, by all accounts, was confusing. I truly did want to like the movie, but the negatives outweigh the positives.

A major issue with the film was its lack of plot, both in complexity and completeness. It follows the basic hero’s journey plot line, leaving little left to the imagination. This gets boring after two hours.

Aquaman, played by Jason Momoa, doesn’t want to be the king of Atlantis. As the movie advances, we watch as he finally lives up to his destiny and becomes what he was truly meant to be. However, the audience doesn’t get to see his childhood and teenage years, where he would have dealt with being half human, half Atlantean and what that truly meant. This would have made the character more relatable and engaging. Instead, he came across as invincible and indestructible. None of his human side showed during the fight scenes, making it seem as though he had no weaknesses. The producers, Peter Safran and Rob Cowan, missed a mark that would have completely changed the way we viewed Aquaman for the better.

The primary reason for seeing Aquaman, besides Jason Momoa, is the cinematography. Throughout the movie there were amazing, otherworldly kingdoms under the sea filled with colors and sounds and animals that kept the audience captivated the whole time. The fight scenes were lively and energetic with the camera moving to encompass the entire scene wonderfully. These scenes contrasted with scenes of darkness and suspense so well that you could feel the shift of emotion in the theater. While sometimes what was playing on the screen was a little over the top and excessive, it was obvious that the producers had fun using their creativity to the max. However, this was one of the only standout aspects of this movie.

The acting was adequate enough, but some of the costumes were tacky and out of place, even though the setting wasn’t supposed to be normal. Mera, portrayed by Amber Heard, Aquaman’s love interest and other main character, donned an atrocious wig when not in the water and her costume in the water wasn’t anything to talk about either.

Orm, played by Patrick Wilson, was dressed in a gaudy outfit that didn’t add anything to his character. Even Aquaman’s final costume, a yellow and green ensemble, was incredibly cheesy and out of the place compared to the rest of the cast dressed in shades of blues, greys, and whites. Something noteworthy, however, about the costumes were that all the characters were covered up, which went against the trend of sea-dwelling people portrayed in movies in the past. This warrants credit to be given to head costume designer Kym Barrett.

The movie scored about a six out of ten on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics focusing on the plot and atmosphere of the movie. Peter Travers of the website,, remarks, “Aquaman is a mess of clashing tones and shameless silliness, but a relief after all the franchise’s recent superhero gloom. Any budget-busting epic that finds time to show us an octopus playing bongos gets a pass in our book.” He is right about the change in pace concerning the recent superhero movie releases. Previous DCEU movies have had a dark and serious atmosphere about them. Jason Momoa delivers one-liners that break up the tension surrounding scenes without overdoing it.

Overall, Aquaman is very much like the old traditional superhero movies of the past, so if that piques your interest, I suggest seeing this movie for yourself. It might surprise you.

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