“Aquaman” is cliche, yet captivating

“Aquaman” presents engaging action sequences and characters, but has a predictable plot at times.


Rain Richards

Aquaman (Jason Momoa) wields the trident of Atlan.

While Warner Bros Pictures’s “Aquaman” was too similar to other films such as “Black Panther” and “Thor”, it was a refreshing take on the long fabled story of Atlantis and for the most part had well developed character growth. Although the predictability of the film caused me to guess some of the more climactic moments, there were still times where I was impressed. While many action adventure films are created for even younger children to understand, I think that adults would still find the movie entertaining.

The theme of the movie was set early on when the queen of Atlantis washes up on shore and is rescued by a human lighthouse keeper. From there they fall in love and have a son together  named Aquaman. When the son is born, the queen had to go back to Atlantis and leave behind her family in order to protect them which screamed predictability to me. Eventually, the son found a mentor called Vulko who helped teach him his powers. This is pretty normal for just about any superhero origin movie. Then the movie proceeds to his adulthood where he protects the sea from pirates,but simultaneously remains in touch with his earthly beginnings by never meddling with Atlantis. This, of course, must change for the movie to go anywhere whatsoever.

While the basic plot is easy to follow,  the movie does have elements that keep the viewers interested. This includes engaging underwater scenes and editing along with (you guessed it) a love interest. While Aquaman tries to keep his land and sea world separate, it is inevitable that the two will collide. This is  seen both in his relationship with Mera and with the impending war between Atlanteans and the people on land. The movie brings forth two antagonists, Aquaman’s half brother Orm and the pirate Black Manta. Antagonists are always important for a good film, but I felt like two antagonists was really a bit of an overkill. Frankly, they could have decided to not include Manta at all and the film would have still made sense with no need for adding too many extra scenes that did not entirely add to the plot.

Despite the rudimentary plot, the movie did incorporate characters and action scenes which made it worth the ticket price. There were multiple action sequences sprinkled about that managed to keep viewers interested. One that I really enjoyed was when Aquaman was in Italy and was chased across the rooftops. The scene incorporated wonderful camera angles and some elements of comic relief in order to make a tense scene more enjoyable for viewers. I won’t go into great detail about this scene in order to avoid spoilers, but it made the movie worth the watch.

As for the characters included, I don’t have too many complaints other than Black Manta’s part to play. Aquaman himself was one good reason to watch the movie. While his character growth followed a far from original storyline it was still an interesting watch. As expected, at the beginning he does not want to merge his two worlds together. But, of course, he is forced to by the end causing the audience to be satisfied with the character growth displayed in this plot development. Along with Aquaman individually, we see change in character with his relationship with Mera, the Atlantean. Mera on her own is interesting enough as she is one of the few that believes the impending war is wrong and should be stopped. She takes matters into her own hands by seeking out Aquaman for help and all in all is a really fascinating character that could have totally gotten more screen time. Her budding relationship with Aquaman gives the romantics in the audience something to look forward to while also creating an important link between Aquaman’s life on land and in the ocean.

Although “Aquaman” follows a basic plotline which would usually cause an action movie to be predictable and boring, the characters and action scenes make up for it. Despite finding myself guessing most climactic moments before they occurred, I was pleasantly surprised by the growth shown in the main character’s relationships and by the gripping fight scenes throughout the film.