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Aquaman: Light Tone, Loveable Characters, and Epic Crab King Death Scenes


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Aquaman

I watched Aquaman last Sunday and I really enjoyed it. I loved all the characters and James Wan has done a great job directing some great performances from the entire cast. The best way I can summarise Aquaman is: big, fun, and explosive. It definitely doesn't pull any punches. There are huge, screen-filling, epic war scenes between armies that are impressively helmed and remind me the original Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

The film starts off really strongly by making you care about Arthur Curry and his family. I actually really loved this, because it sets up Arthur's conflict while also providing some occasional laughs. I didn't expect to see Temuera Morrison (Jango Fett from the Star Wars prequel films) but he plays his role well.

While we're talking about casting, Jason Momoa is perfect in his role as Aquaman. We enjoyed seeing him in Justice League, but this film developed him into a likeable and funny character. This is EXACTLY what the DCEU needs in its characters, and the gradual buildup of these individual character films is going to pay off further down the line, I promise you that.

Yes, I did love the film, but I also thought the structure wobbled a bit towards the end, nearly imploding under the weight of its enormous fight scenes that often confused me—the film sometimes feels like a chain of mad dashes to one important object or event after another. That's why in my video review I decided to give the film a grade of 'B'. It confirms a great new direction for the DCEU, and I'm absolutely fascinated to see how the franchise of stories develops.

The light tone of Aquaman draws clear parallels with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as likeable characters get explored and developed into a growing franchise. They're following what has clearly worked with the blockbuster success of new successful superhero films, according with the timeless hero archetypes that resonate with us so strongly.

You should definitely go and see Aquaman, it's a complete blast and you'll love all the characters. One tip for when you're in the cinema: There is one mid-credits scene. Obviously I'm not going to spoil anything, but it's just so you know when you're okay to leave the cinema without missing anything.

Tip of the Day: Without spoiling anything in the film, there is a wonderful early scene I loved where Arthur and his dad enjoy a few pints of beer. It's simple but I found it really touching. Really sets us up to care about these characters. Scenes like this are more powerful than you might think. We talk a lot about tightening down our stories and getting rid of scenes that don't directly serve the plot, but scenes like this, no matter how small they seem, let the audience make an emotional connection with the characters. Creating such connections are the height of storytelling.

This post is from a past email from my storytelling newsletter. If you'd like to receive these as soon as they're written, sign up to my email list here.

Here's also a video review I uploaded to my YouTube channel. Enjoy!


Posted on: 22nd December, 2018


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