Friday, December 22, 2023

Aquaman II

Today I saw Aquaman II.

It's a lot of movie. Or, should I say, a lot of movieS, considering how much of it is set pieces cribbed from other films and property.  Perhaps James Wan was possessed by the ghost of Bob Kane.

Perhaps, like Topo, Wan's main power is mimicry.

The film is visually... overwhelming.  There seems to be even more happening even faster than in the first film and while it is certainly impactful, so is getting hit with a whale

Just ask Namor.

There is no doubt the visuals are beautiful, but honestly I am mostly deducing that, because my brain had insufficient time to PROCESS the images as they were presented and supplanted by the next.

Jason Momoa is, well, Jason Momoa, and always is pretty much playing Jason Momoa not just in this film but in any film, because Americans don't want who actors who play different parts, they want movie stars who play stereotyped versions of themselves.  I don't blame the American film industry for this, but the parasocial obsessions of American movie-goers.

Pictured: range.
Unfortunately, no pictures of his summer stock turn as "Professor" Harold Hill were available.

He also has gotten way too puffy-faced, even though he's not really that old (42).  He does look great -- huge-- in the classic orange scale-mail shirt, but given the lack of any shirtless scenes and his incredibly blousy civilian wear it's clear that he's not in superhero shape and won't be again.  

Say good-bye to that bod, folks. It has sunk beneath the waves of time.

 Before the beard and long-hair were biker-sexy. Now it just says "bear night at the leather bar."

Patrick "Orm" Wilson has extended shirtless scenes in the film. And those scenes say "DILF".
He's five years older than Momoa. 

Speaking of Orm, there are some who are saying that the buddy-comedy part of the film that focuses on the relationship between the half-brothers are the best part of the film.  I am not one of them.  It wasn't completely cringey, but it stank of Thor-Loki.  One's an uptight haughty supervillain; the other's an irreverent bro-dude superhero; together, they fight crime and make wan jibes at each other.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (still) isn't very charismatic or even just very good as Black Manta. But he doesn't really have to be, since all Black Manta. has to be is vengeful.

And he's only a threat because some ancient evil Atlantis-adjacent tyrant is using him as a hand-puppet, because doesn't it ALWAYS come back to some ancient evil Atlantis-tyrant at some point? 

I have front-loaded the downsides of the film, as I usually do in a review of anything. But know that I did still enjoy the film.  I mean, it has the Neal Pozner stealth uniform, Art Junior sending little concentric rings of marine telepathy from his forehead, and TOPO RIDING STORM THE SEA-HORSE.  For that kind of fan-service, I can forgive a lot.  

The costume looks awesome. I think live action has helped people realize how cool Aquaman's costume actually is; it just DRAWS poorly.

Watching the first film, I found enough fun and novelty to distract me from the film's flaws, which I felt only upon reflection.  In the second film, however, I was conscious of the film's flaws AS I was watching it; THAT was distracting.  

P.S. My hot-take?

The film shows us that Arthur Junior has Arthur's aquatic telepathy 

and he is the child of Mera, who has aquakinesis.


There I deduce that the Filmation Aquaman is, in fact, Arthur Curry JUNIOR, not senior.


cybrid said...

One king tells another king that nobility is a weakness. DC tells the world that nobility is a weakness. Hm.

Scipio said...

This is NOT a post about the JLA-Avengers crossover or the one panel is posted about it simply because it was Aquaman hitting someone with a whale.

But the correct interpretation of that panel is: Marvel conceding that Aquaman would kick Namor's ass, but needing some sort of "positive" reason that Namor lost, because All Characters Must Be Given Respect From Both Companies.

Bryan-Mitchell said...

I saw it a couple days ago and it was not great.

Hal Shipman said...

Late to the party - We finally saw it on Max last week and, good Lord, that was awful.

Scipio said...

It was....