The Adventures of Aqua Shark Man and Lava Hair Girl (Movie Review)

Aquaman Movie ReviewIt was only a matter of time I suppose, but here we are winding down on 2018 and low and behold we unbelievably, finally have an Aquaman movie.  The masterful James Wan pulled off the what was almost deemed the impossible.  He defied the odds and marvelously brought to the big screen an absurd superhero project, which has been in development hell since 2004.  That’s right we finally get the Aquaman!  Now I have never been that big on the character like most hardcore DC Comics fans, but Wan has my full attention now.  The character of Aquaman for me amounted to very little in both Batman v. Superman and Justice League.  However, here he finally has a spotlight shining brightly upon him and actor Jason Momoa and his larger-than-life charisma seized the opportunity.  As a result I was made not only a fan of Aquaman, but ultimately a believer in this property.


If you’re keeping count as I always like to say, you already know then that Aquaman is the sixth installment in the DCEU movie universe, but the third film the title character has appeared in.  James Wan directs from a screenplay written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beall, from a story by Geoff Johns, Wan and Beall.  In addition to our titular hero Aquaman stars  title character, with Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Nicole Kidman in supporting roles.  In Aquaman, Arthur Curry (Momoa) must reluctantly fulfill his destiny by leading the people of Atlantis against the tyranny that threatens to invade the surface world.  It may or may not involve thwarting off evil pirates, but also a tyrannical brother too.  For continuity sake our adventure here takes place after the events in Justice League.  There’s a lot more to this, but I want to err on the side of caution to avoid spoiler territories, which it certainly can lead to.


Here’s all I have to say simply on the subject of the hour here and I’ll obviously expand upon it more.  There were many doubters out there including myself that thought this superhero film couldn’t be pulled off successfully, but mark my words James Wan delivers here!  It’s reminiscent of a big budget, summer action movie I grew up on as a kid.  Picture the serial adventures of an old school Indiana Jones flick by land, air and now by sea!  Sure it’s goofy, dumbed down and predictable, but the fun, production value and spectacle of it all outweigh all the cons you can possibly point out here.  It’s really a technical “marvel.”  I’m not always one for overblown war sequences, but there’s something really “marvelous” about seeing thousands and thousands of shark back riding underwater warriors attacking each other.  The CG will blow your mind!  Then there’s the soundtrack and score…


Let me just say this with all sincerity and get it off my chest.  You can pretty much drop Toto’s “Africa” into anything and I’ll be an instant fan of it.  Rupert Gregson-Williams’ score is fun, upbeat and almost Oblivion-like at times, but its Pitbull’s rap remake of “Africa,” titled “Ocean to Ocean” here, that literally sealed the deal for me.  Aquaman may have started off a tad slow and cliche, but once we cross this globe trotting threshold of traveling to the Sahara Desert it was all highs from there on out.  And it all started with you guessed it this song.  This version features original verses by Pitbull alongside Rhea covering the original’s iconic “I bless the rains” lyrics.  It just has to top the radio charts!


Now we already covered some of the brilliant VFX and insane action sequences on display throughout, but let’s be honest with ourselves.  Aquaman would not exist without the wild charisma, long locks and chiseled body of Jason Momoa.  He brings the cringe worthy comic book hero to life and suddenly makes being a fan of Aquaman a cool thing instead of traditionally taboo (please keep your comments to yourself, Aaron).  He even rocks that iconic orange and green suit.  Now early reports of this initially made me nervous, but fret not folks.  Jason was born to wear this orange/green armor and to quote the Aquaman himself he looks “Bad@$$”!  So for those of you who were not completely sold on his green suit from the previous two films he appeared in you now have a reason to rejoice.  It’s both iconic looking and boss worthy!  In other words he’s now the worthy heir to the Atlantean throne.  Amber Heard’s wild red haired Mera ain’t too shabby either.  Let’s be honest too.  Amber’s great in everything she does, albeit with the exception being her personal choices in men.


At the end of the day Aquaman was a fun romp for me.  However, that’s not to say it’s flawless.  It’s far from it.  There are initial pacing and narrative issues to contend with, but like I said up above once Pitbull’s song plays on the plane it’s all soaring from there.  Wan’s use of CGI throughout is near masterful and I never said that before in regards to VFX.  Usually practical is always better, but when you have subject matter as lunatic as this there’s no other way to achieve these spectacles.  This Aquaman could not have been made in 2004.  It would have looked deplorable.  2018’s VFX is a game changer.  Wan has proved himself more than capable in the world of horror and now with two HUGE action films under his belt is there any stopping this guy?  There’s no doubt about it he deserves a much needed break after this one, but you can tell the guy put every drop of sweat and energy into making Aquaman not only a labor of love, but a bonafide fun hit within the DCEU franchise of flicks.  It’s BIG, WET and DELICIOUS.  Best of all it looks like we have a sequel incoming.  Hell yeah!



Disclaimer: Review title credit goes to Brandon Peters.  Thanks B!




Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

5 Responses to “The Adventures of Aqua Shark Man and Lava Hair Girl (Movie Review)”

  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    Have I been making fun of Aquaman? I don’t recall this. If anything, I thought you were the one apprehensive to Momoa’s take on the character before this…

  2. Gerard Iribe

    I thought it was fantastic!

  3. Brian White

    I just put that in there to see if you were reading.
    You were!

  4. Aaron Neuwirth

    I read everything Brian. 🙂

  5. Brian White

    That is an awesome trait of you, Aaron!