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Laramie Movie Scope: Aquaman

Big, loud, wet, muscled Atlantean royal dude

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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December 30, 2018 – I got behind on my reviews due to the year-end rush, watching a bunch of movies I hadn't seen earlier, like “Heredity” and “Suspiria,” because some other critics thought they were good enough to go on a top 10 list for the year. If you are going to make a silly movie, it ought to be either fun, or funny, preferably both. Unlike those two silly, serious films I mentioned, “Aquaman” is fun to watch. It isn't one of the year's best films, but it is entertaining.

I watched this movie in 3D at the only local theater that is still showing it in 3D, because I prefer stereo images to monocular images. It looks more real. The Aquaman character, played by Jason Momoa, was introduced in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and appeared again in “Justice League.” This is Aquaman's own origin story. It takes place a year after the events depicted in “Justice League.”

The story starts with a lighthouse keeper, Tom Curry (played by Temuera Morrison of “Green Lantern”) who discovers a wounded woman, Atlanna (Nicole Kidman of “Boy Erased”) a fugitive princess of the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, on the rocky shore near the lighthouse and rescues her. The two fall in love and a son, Arthur (Aquaman) is born to them. They live peacefully until she is discovered by the Atlanteans and is forced to leave.

Arthur grows up with his father at the lighthouse, but is secretly tutored in the ways of Atlantis and trained to fight by Atlanna's friend, royal advisor Nuidis Vulko (Willem Dafoe of “Murder on the Orient Express”). Vulko hopes that Arthur will grow up to be a cultural bridge between Atlantis and those who dwell on land.

Arthur is rejected by the Atlanteans as a half-breed. He lives apart from them, but is drawn back into royal intrigues when his half-brother, Orm (Patrick Wilson of “The Nun”) plots war against the land-dwellers who are destroying life in the oceans on a massive scale. Princess Mera (Amber Heard, reprising her role from “Justice League”) persuades Arthur to go on dangerous quest for an ancient trident which can unite the tribes of Atlantis.

There is plenty of action in this film as Aquaman not only battles Orm, but also a modern day pirate, David Kane, AKA Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II of “The Greatest Showman”) who blames Aquaman for the death of his father. Manta is secretly working with Orm to stage a phony attack on Atlantis in order to justify a war with the land-dwellers. In return, Manta gets high tech Atlantean weapons he plans to use against Aquaman.

As indicated earlier, this action movie has a fair amount of humor in it. Jason Momoa seems to embody the right combination of imposing physique and jovial good nature to pull this off. He looks like one of those ex-pro wrestlers, but he's actually a former male model of Hawaiian descent. He is one of the more likable superheroes in the D.C. Comics-based movies. This is a well-acted movie with plenty of action and impressive visual imagination. This film rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2018 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)

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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]