I didn’t write tonight because we went to see Aquaman.
It was awful. DC just doesn’t get it. Snyder just doesn’t get it.
There are two problems with DC. The first is that their heroes are a little too powerful. It takes a really global level event to challenge them. The second is that they don’t get the personal stories that Marvel has.
Aquaman started really good. I enjoyed the first third or so. When the kids started pushing Arthur in the aquarium and the shark tried to protect him. I was all over that. Cool. I actually know a guy who had a puffer fish in an aquarium and he came home one day pissed off and really upset. He was yelling and his puffer puffed up and was watching him like “I don’t know what’s going on, but I got your back.” I was really pleased about that part.
But once they went to Atlantis, it fell apart for me. I admit that I’m a scientist. Atlantis is so deep that decades of humans laying undersea cables, mapping the terrain with sonar, listening to whales fart from hundreds of miles away with microphones that cost millions of dollars and no one ever noticed giant cities with millions of sentients having massive arena fights and cheering?
It’s also that deep, but there are turtles pulling carts and cetaceans… both of which breathe air. The record holding deep diver is Cuvier’s beaked whale and its known record is two hours and seventeen minutes.
Aquaman seemed to draw a LOT from other movies. Notably Tron Legacy, Black Panther, and How to Train Your Dragon. No one didn’t see Arthur’s mother coming once the shedding of the lobster claw armor started. That was straight out of How to Train Your Dragon.
If you compare Aquaman to Black Panther, the Marvel entry was a much more personal story. They weren’t trying to prevent a war that would “scorch the surface”, but simply to keep their way of life and determine which king would be better. In all honesty, I can see N'Jadaka’s point of view. He wanted to be king and he thought he had a better plan for Wakanda. And T’Challa came around to some of that point of view as well. Not selling weapons, but sharing technology with the wider world.
It was a deeper story.
Maybe if, in Aquaman the vizier (whatever his name was) and Mara had been manuevering politically to stop the brother while Arthur had been looking for the trident of power and fighting Black Manta, that would have at least been less over the top.
The thing that broke me though. The thing that truly made me go “Oh come on” was the kiss. Mara runs up to Arthur, “You have to stop this. People are dying.” and then they kiss for like 4 minutes. Massive explosions going on around them, thousands of sentients and creatures dying while they make out and the camera circles majestically around them.
I think Aquaman could have been so much better than it was. If they had just stepped back a little bit. They didn’t have to try and go over the top of Dawn of Justice (which was truly abysmal) and Wonder Woman (which was pretty good until the ending). Why was Wonder Woman good? Because it was personal and it was close. It wasn’t just watching crab things fight scaly alien-like things fighting sharks from thirty thousand feet.
I was massively disappointed. It was almost a good movie. it could have been a great one. But it was typical DC and failed miserably.