Aquaman (2018)

Director: James Wan

Writer: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, Will Beall (Screenplay) Geoff John, James Wan, Will Beall, Mort Weisinger, Paul Norris (Story/Characters)

Starring: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

 

Plot: Arthur Curry learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and must step forward to lead his people and be a hero to the world.


Tagline – He’s not from around here.

Runtime: 2 Hours 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Blast

 

Story: Aquaman starts as we learn about Arthur’s (Momoa) parents, mother the Queen of Atlantis Atlanna (Kidman) and father a mortal lighthouse keeper Tom (Morrison), Atlanna had to leave Arthur on land after her failed attempt to escape the rulers of Atlantis. We see how Arthur is being pressured into going to Atlantis and claiming his throne by Mera (Heard) to stop his half-brother King Orm (Wilson) who wants a war with the land by uniting the armies underwater.

Arthur must go on the quest to unlock his own position in Atlantis to prevent a war which will have mass causalities, along the way he will learn the truth about the ways of the Atlanteans if he is going to take the throne.

 

Thoughts on Aquaman

 

Characters – Arthur is the Aquaman, not wanting to be a hero on either land or in the ocean, he has always been against Atlantis because of what they did to his mother, he does protect the water from the helpless, while not being as friendly as the other heroes in this universe. He must go on a quest to take on his half-brother and become the true king of Atlantis. He does try to give us plenty of one liners through all the film. Mera is the princess and daughter to King Nereus, she knows that Arthur is the right person for the throne, though she is arranged to marry King Orm, she does come off as the smarter of the two while on the quest. Vulko has trained both to be prepared for fights, he is the advisor to King Orm, even if he believes that Arthur is the rightful king. King Orm wants to go to war with the land, he believes and is tired of how the oceans are treated, he wants to unite the different factions even if it means by going with force. He will use both sides to his advantage to put himself in the position of power. Atlanna is the mother of both Arthur and Orm, killed for her actions, one of the few people that commanded respect from all kingdoms. We do have the kings from each kingdom being pushed into following King Orm and Manta who wants revenge for Arthur’s action, he is human and a pirate, even if he ends up looking like a Power Rangers villain.

PerformancesJason Momoa is great in the leading role, he looks like he is having fun at times, which feels important, while he can get serious when needed, he also looks the part too. Amber Heard is good in her role where she gets to fill in the gaps for the audience. Willem Dafoe, Nicole Kidman and Dolph Lundgren are good in the supporting roles which you could watch them play for days. Patrick Wilson deserves praise too because he is one of the best villains in the DC universe.

StoryThe story gives Aquaman his first solo adventure after his appearance in Justice League, where he must learn about Atlantis and take on his half-brother before a war between the land and the ocean starts. This is kind of an origin story, which seems to be the way DC are doing them, lets us meet them in a team up movie before moving into their own story, this is that movie. The idea that two half-brothers are fighting to power does seem to borrow from the Thor first movie, which does have a different game as Arthur is the one that doesn’t want to be king. The idea that one man must learn his place and stand up and be counted is a great hero story which is needed for Arthur.

Action/Adventure/Fantasy/Sci-FiThe action in this film is good with the battle in Sicily being the highlight for me, we get a unique use of camerawork too for shooting the action. The adventure does take Arthur around the world in search for answers above or below the ocean. The fantasy world plays into the idea that Atlantis has been living under the ocean to make their own technology which again plays into the sci-fi elements being used in the film.

SettingsThe film does use the settings well, with Sicily being a new fight location, though the underwater sequences look fantastic to be absorb within.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are fantastic for the ambitious scale of the world needed to be created, there are a couple of shots which do look weaker than the rest though.


Scene of the Movie –
Sicily fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The story does feel safe for an origin story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a blast for an origin film, we can have a lot of fun with everything happening in the film and we now have a character in the DC universe to make us excited that we don’t only have Wonder Woman.

 

Overall: Great fun to enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Venom (2018)

Director: Ruben Fleisher

Writer: Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinkner, Kelly Marcel, Will Beall (Screenplay) Todd McFarlane, David Michelinie (Comic)

Starring: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate, Marcella Bradio

 

Plot: When Eddie Brock acquires the powers of a symbiote, he will have to release his alter-ego “Venom” to save his life.


Tagline – The world has enough Superheroes.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Starts Way Too Slow

 

Story: Venom starts we hotshot San Francisco reporter Eddie Brock (Hardy) goes to far trying to hatch a story about ultra-rich scientist and visionary Carton Drake (Ahmed), this leaves him fired, his fiancée Anne (Williams) fired and him dumped.

6-months later, Eddie is still feeling the effectives with his career down the toilet, he drinks his life away until one of the scientists working for Drake offers him a scope to the new symbiote research, to which Eddie gets too close to and becomes Venom. The two must learn together to work as one to achieve their own goals in survival with Drake wanting his property back.

 

Thoughts on Venom

 

Characters – Eddie Brock is an unlikable reporter rushing in head first for stories, which he believes he is helping people, he never worries about the consequences of his reporting. His latest attempt to get a story leaves him with nothing and his last attempt to redeem himself leads him to attack the person who killed his career, only he must learn to work with Venom a symbiote that fuses with him. Eddie becomes the good and calm side while Venom is out for destruction willing to kill anyone that gets in his way or just bite their heads off. The two have back and fourth conversations which are more comical than anything showing the balance between good and evil I guess. Anne is the fiancée that loses her job because of Eddie’s action and moves on with her life, though she will always be there to support him once he comes looking for help, most just the love interest she doesn’t really do much in the film. Dr Carlton Drake is a genius who can see the problems in the world being over-population, he has been searching for solutions and believes with the symbiotes he has one, he will give up human lives to make this happen, while keeping a positive face to the public, most a powerful businessman villain.

PerformancesTom Hardy, well this is one of his weaker outings, he struggles to make us care about Eddie, we don’t quite get convinced with his Venom side either, the accent doesn’t help either. Michelle Williams is wasted in this role, sure she will have got paid well which gives her more time to do Oscar bait movies, but this should have been more for her to work with. Riz Ahmed is hot stuff in Hollywood right now, his performance however isn’t great, it feels generic, he doesn’t give us anything we haven’t seen from a villain before either.

StoryThe story is the origin of Venom, it follows the mad scientist idea who is popular to the public but behind closed doors he conducts experiments ethnically wrong. Nosey reporter gets infected and it is a race to stop him becoming too powerful and save the world. this is simple origin storytelling for a Spiderman villain, well this is confusing, wait no, this is an origin for a villain who will not have a hero to face, but he might be good, well Deadpool good. The pacing of this story is all over the place, we spend so much time going through the introduction and we only have three characters, its not like an X-Men film, that we start to lose interest before any of the fun stuff happens. The problem is nothing surprising happens in this story and we are left by the ending thinking about the next comic book movie over the next Venom movie.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action when it happens is a complete mixed bag, the car chase is great fun as we can do things you simply can’t do with humans chasing, the weakness comes from the messy final fight which just becomes confusing in a Transformers way. The film could have a wonderful horror element, it wants to and you can see this, but it just doesn’t follow through. The sci-fi side of things well the ideas are all there to make this stand out more, the problems come by not making too much of the chances given to them.

SettingsWe are set in San Francisco, which is the same location we just saw in Antman and the Wasp, we need more cities in America to set superhero movies if we are having this many a year.

Special EffectsThe effects are yet another mixed bag here, we do have some wonderful uses of the effects, then like with the action the final battles is too messy to be enjoyed.


Scene of the Movie –
Car Chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Just why would a secret meeting in the streets lead to sneaking on the base if you were worried about your family? Sure Drake has camera that would show him around his own techno base.

Final ThoughtsThis is a weak comic book movie, giving us an origin for a villain that will never have a hero to face (Due to who owns Spiderman) it is so by the book it feels like the 90’s called and want their movie back.

 

Overall: Forgettable by all accounts.

Rating