Aquaman Review: Like Black Panther but underwater and terrible

December 20, 2018

How bad is Aquaman?

Good Lord! How much time do you have? Because I HATED this movie so much that the fact that my 7-year-old loved it makes me question his taste.

Am I proud of that fact? Of course not, but it is true and I am nothing if not honest with you, dear reader.

I am not going to pour over the plot in detail. I am not going to go through casting choices one by one, except to say that Dolph Lundgren is in this movie. He plays an merman, and that character’s name is NOT Ivan Dragonfish. I swear to God! If we are not going to even have that tiny amount of fun, I don’t know why anyone even bothered turning this turd of a character into a movie franchise.

Aquaman is played by Jason Mamoa, who I will remind you, looks like The Rock if The Rock were a hobo. He is completely devoid of any charm in this role. Aquaman is an alcoholic that dresses and acts like the lead singer of a late 90s rap metal band.

I mean, he’s already got the dirty long hair and chain wallet. Just slap a No Fear t-shirt and a pair of Oakley Wraps on him and he would be ready to front any band on any tour sponsored by Monster Energy Drink.

Patrick Wilson plays our bad guy. He is Aquaman’s half-brother, who wants to control all of the underwater world and unite these mermonsters in their hatred of the surface. See, Aquaman was born out of a Splash situation. His father was a human. His mother was a mermaid…and also Nicole Kidman because I assume Nicole Kidman is broke.

Nicole Kidfish is the queen of this underwater world. She escaped an arranged marriage and started getting down with a human lighthouse keeper. Meanwhile, other menfolk are searching for her to bring her back to King Triton so she can bear him an heir to the throne…

You know what?

Who cares about any of this garbage?

Director James Wan and Warner Brothers didn’t do anything to deserve me taking this piece of garbage seriously. Want to know what happens in Aquaman? Go watch Black Panther, but pretend it is all underwater and sucks. That’s Aquaman!

It is astounding how terrible this movie is and even more astounding how weirdly rudimentary the special effects are. Every single character that speaks underwater sounds like Omec from Legends of the Hidden Temple. Every giant sea monster or shark or whatever looks like the Shark from Finding Nemo. It is just a hodgepodge of idiocy to fill two and a half hours.

Remember how everyone made fun of Suicide Squad and the ridiculous music cues? Guess what! They’re back for Aquaman. There is a scene where Aquaman and his girlfriend, who may or may not be Ariel from The Little Mermaid, walk out of the ocean in slow motion as some lame 90s rap song plays. It looks like a Puffy video and it makes me want to vomit.

Also, speaking of Aqualady, how is it that the studio that produced Wonder Woman, a movie lauded for the way it treated a female hero, can go right back to producing superhero movies with female characters that are nothing more than talking sex objects? Whatever Aquaman’s girlfriend’s name is spends have the movie with water dripping off her heaving cleavage. I mean, come on guys. At least pretend to be subtle.

Were you one of the people excited to see the villain Black Manta realized on screen? Do you remember the original Power Rangers series from the mid-90s? Okay, then you have seen something on par with Black Manta.

There is only one thing to like about Aquaman, and that is that the movie is so desperate to create the deep (pun intended, because that is the level of creativity that went into the dog turd) and layered world that existed in Black Panther that I get to refer to this as “Under Watakanda.”

Between the cheesy special effects and more than one scene where Aquaman walks through a cloud of steam to the sounds of a wailing guitar solo, this is the worst movie of the year hands down. It doesn’t deserve to be in theaters. It isn’t clever. It isn’t interesting. There is nothing unique about it.

This isn’t direct to DVD quality. It isn’t SyFy original movie quality. Aquaman is at best direct to VHS quality…and I mean in 2018 so no one has to see it.

Demetri Ravanos is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association and has reviewed movies for Raleigh and Company, Military1.com and The Alan Kabel Radio Network.

Update hourly