How fun, to kick off a new year with the new movie, Aquaman. Films have impacted my life in huge ways. Many a story, played out on the big screen, has enchanted me and revealed deep truths about who I am.
In particular, hero or superhero movies occupy an important place in my heart. I grew up as one of those nerdy kids who bought a new DC or Marvel comic book every Saturday. The tales of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman inspired me as a wee girl.
Because of that long, and dearly held connection, as an adult I see every superhero film that releases at the theater. Aquaman is part of the DC Universe, and a member of the Justice League. His comrades include Superman, Batman, The Flash, Wonder Woman and Cyborg. Aquaman, also known as Arthur Curry, appeared in the 2017 movie Justice League. This is his feature film, that fleshes out his story.
This fantasy adventure film stars Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman, Temuera Morrison and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
Directed by James Wan, Aquaman carries a PG-13 rating, for intense action sequences and mild language, and has a run time of 2 hours and 23 minutes.
Aquaman (Momoa) begins life as Arthur Curry, the son of lighthouse keeper Tom Curry (Morrison) and Atlanna (Kidman), queen of the underwater kingdom of Atlanta. Fleeing an arranged marriage, Atlanna chooses a life on the surface with the human, Tom. They are happy together, raising their young son, until the past catches up with Atlanna. To protect Tom and Arthur, she agrees to return to the sea.
Arthur grows up with an awareness that he is different. He has unique gifts, including the ability to communicate with marine animals and adaptability that allows him to breathe and speak underwater, and he possesses superhuman strength. Arthur misses his mother, as he matures, however Vulko (Dafoe), an Atlantean, secretly teaches the young man how to develop his abilities.
Arthur hesitantly steps into the role of hero, rescuing those in peril as they travel the seas. Freeing a submarine from pirates, Aquaman angers one of the attackers, who vows revenge. This pirate morphs into Manta (Abdul-Mateen II).
Return to Atlanta
Life develops a rhythm, until Mera (Heard) emerges from the sea, looking for Arthur. Atlanta needs a king. Arthur’s half brother, Orm (Wilson) threatens to wage war with the surface, uniting all the kingdoms beneath the sea against the earth dwellers.
Arthur is a reluctant hero. He’s adamant about not being a king. He dwells in both worlds, feeling inadequate to rule in either.
Aquaman’s challenge is to discover who he is, and his place in both worlds. As he journeys, beneath the sea and on land, he gathers around him a group of people who see his potential. And he alarms those who seek power for themselves.
Arthur: I’m no leader. I’m not a king.
Mera: Atlantis has always had a king. Now it needs something more.
Arthur: Well, what could be greater than a king?
Mera: A hero.
This is my favorite quote from the film. My whispered answer, to what could be greater than a king, was a queen! I’ll accept hero, however.
My Thoughts About Aquaman
I enjoyed this action packed movie. Jason Momoa caught my attention as Aquaman in The Justice League. He did not disappoint as the star and focus of this feature film.
In fact, I can’t imagine anyone else playing this superhero. The Hawaiian born actor has a larger than life personality, perfect for portraying a big screen hero, even a reluctant one.
I appreciated the cinematography, the flow of the story and the development of the characters. Most of all, I loved watching Arthur become Aquaman. I loved how he accepted himself as the man who inhabits both worlds. His gifts make him the right person to bring those two worlds together. His wisdom and perspective make him Aquaman. I can’t wait to see what he does next.
“My father was a lighthouse keeper. My mother was a queen. They were never meant to meet. But their love saved the world. They made me what I am: a son of the land, a king of the seas. I am the protector of the deep. I am… Aquaman.”