“You are not the intended demographic for a comic book movie. Why the hell did you go?”
Any questions? By the way, the audience was at least 50% women my age. What can I tell you? Some of us like to window shop.
Seriously, I wouldn’t have gone but Jason Momoa in “Justice League” was the most fun thing in it (and I went because I love Henry Cavill. And whoever fired him as Superman screwed up). He’s not my movie hunk type; this is:
However, Jason Momoa is not only easy on the eyes, he seems to be a pretty decent human being. Fer chrissakes, he grew up in Iowa. Repnasty Steve King aside, Iowans are decent, grounded folk. Well, for the time being:
Anyway, in interviews, when he’s being Jason Momoa, he comes across as a mensch with intelligence and some humor. What can I say? I like a man with a brain. Things that can get caught in zippers aren’t good for decision-making.
This was not a good movie.
It hit the superhero cliches: the backstory is either one of not having/knowing one has powers (Harry Potter/Luke Skywalker) or manboys avoiding their destiny (Ironman. Yes, there’s a whole other argument in there). In the present case, we have Arthur Curry as a big lug, not the sharpest knife in the drawer, rejecting his heritage. Cliche Number 1, check.
(Momoa is the sexiest Arthur you’ll ever see. And, later in the movie, we get a fairly “duh” parallel to another Arthur. There is foreshadowing. So much foreshadowing. Dear God, the only one who does heavier handed foreshadowing is Dan Brown, who all but stands there with a bullhorn in “DaVinci Code” and his other books saying, “Hey! You’re going to see this again later on! Pay attention!” Dan: You write good stories, but..)
It’s not a super hero movie without villains.
Black Manta, who looks like he came from a 1950s B movie (Yes, Fanboys, I know this get-up is from the comic book. Don’t get your tighty whiteys in a bunch). He gets the back story. And it involves Aquaman hitting his pirate dad in the face with a torpedo.
In the face. With a torpedo.
Because getting a fist in the face from a guy who just lifted a submarine out of the water isn’t hard enough, gotta use torpedoes (and not according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Neither Raytheon nor General Dynamics recommend using their products for hand-to-hand combat).
It’s inappropriate for Black Manta to get a sympathetic (“You killed my dad!”) story because WE ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO SYMPATHIZE WITH HIM! Hellloooo! This is the bad guy! Of a superhero movie, not Tolstoy. Minimal motiviation works best. “I am evil. I want to steal stuff. Your brother is paying me to help him.” ‘Nuff said. Tarantino made the same mistake in “KIll Bill Vol. ” with Lucy Liu’s character. Don’t divide loyalties (unless you’re planning to spin off the bad guy into a franchise. They’re bad, they’re about to get defeated by our hero, we don’t want to feel sorry for them for the ass-kicking we’ve paid to see).
And, once he looks like this, about 5 minutes of screen time before he’s out of the movie altogether. It’s a shame because in the inappropriate-for-the-bad-guy “getting ready” montage (complete with a comedic “oops, I don’t know my own strength” flourish), he put a shit ton of work into looking like something Raid makes a spray or motel for.
Here’s the REAL bad guy:
Aquaman’s half-brother, Orm.
“Aquaman” should come with a subtitle: “Mom Always Liked You Best!”
Mom was played by Nicole Kidman. Before getting dragged back to Atlantis to be married to Orm’s daddy and stay with him, she fell in love with Aquaman’s dad on the land. And loved him, not Orm’s father, for which there was much resentment. Of course, this gives rise to “You’re not really one of us” and cries of “bastard.” (Which is more appropriate for Orm. He’s a big, soggy dick). This is not a feminist movie.
If you saw “The Incredibles,” you’ll remember Frozone and Mr. Incredible reminiscing about their superhero days and Frozone talking about Baron von Ruthless monologuing. BvR has nothing on these two. We are talking speech patterns bordering on Victorian for Orm. Loong speeches. He could have been throat-punched repeatedly, or given an atomic wedgie (since Arthur was still in big frat boy mode at that point). Perhaps fatally. I was hoping.
I was also so uninterested in what he was saying, I was more focused on figuring out what perfume the woman sitting next to me was wearing (No. It wasn’t obnoxious, and neither was she. However, I got a few whiffs and spent time trying to match a name to the scent. Much more engaging than the movie at that point). (Somewhere around Orm’s third speech, I realized it was “Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds.” It’s a lovely scent, but only certain people can wear it successfully. Before you buy it for yourself or someone else, take it on a test run)
I like Patrick Wilson as an actor, despite my introduction to him being “The Watchmen.” (I have no idea what I was thinking going to that movie) As you can see, he was made up to look like the lost Malfoy. And when he was talking about kicking Momoa’s half-human ass, I was thinking, “Oh, Honey. It looks like he’s got at least 9 inches on you and about 50 lbs more of pure muscle. And he’s playing the title character. Give up.”
Undulation is the word for this movie. Hair. Seaweed. Capes. Many, many capes. Edna Mode would have killed herself.
(“Seriously? Why did you go?”)
There was a underwater rumble. Several of them, in fact, but the first one had guys on seahorses facing off against guys on sharks. My thought: this is not exactly West Side Story. You know, Jets v Sharks? Huh? Huh? “When you’re a Seahorse, you’re a Seahorse all the way…” Nah. The sharks DID have laser beams, so if Dr. Evil from “Austin Powers” was in the audience, he probably wept.
Heroes go on quests. To find themselves, mentors, or stuff. In this case, stuff, so in addition to two bad guys out to get him, we have a Heroic Scavenger Hunt!
Goody! Go to Point A to find Clue 1, nearly get killed, then go to Point B, which is where Clue 1 sent you, nearly get killed again, until Clue 2 sends you to the object’s resting place (Threes. Pay attention, Kids: attempts, clues, etc. come in threes. If it’s only the second attempt or the second strike, our hero will not succeed).
On the way, we meet weirdo sea creatures. There was a trailer for “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” before the movie and I wondered if we had a crossover going. There were also extinct ones and I checked my ticket to make sure I wasn’t in “Jurassic World.”
At this point, the Heroic Scavenger Hunt is successful and we see Arthur Curry finally in the yellow and green Aquaman outfit. He looked like a cross between a metallic evening clutch and a 57 Cadillac (Costume tailfins. So many tailfins)
See what I mean?
Jason Momoa was in “Game of Thrones” as Khol Drogo. We got to see his butt. It’s an asset. (See what I did there?)
In “Aquaman,” we get one shot of covered butt. Speaking for the rest of the audience that matched my demographic (and we were numerous), there should have been more.
DC, maybe have me write a movie for you. Rehire Cavill, let me put him in a buddy movie with Momoa, maybe scamming an intergalactic villain played by Josh Brolin by faking horse races and …no. That’s “The Sting.” Newman and Redford. It doesn’t get much better. Damn good movie, by the way.
However, we did get wet Jason Momoa. And that’s a good thing. Lots of wet Jason Momoa. He undulated at times. Everyone did cuz, you know, they were underwater, and the movie makers wanted us to be sure we knew they were underwater. And when he wasn’t underwater, he was mostly wet. Hmm. Wet Jason Momoa…
Maybe DC was writing for middle-aged women after all.