Aquaman: Review (yes, there is an after credits scene)

Aquaman early showing for Amazon Prime members.

We’ll do our best to be spoiler-free, while giving a decent feel for the movie.

Aquaman is arguably an accomplishment. After Wonder Woman was a fairly unanimous hit, Aquaman is likewise posed for box office success. We’re seeing it already. Record international box office numbers.

But why? What changed since Justice League and Batman v Superman?

Like Wonder Woman in some regards, Aquaman tells a good story. It has serious themes, with war between the Atlantean world and surface world threatening to break out, and yet doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Pacing, voice, and tone are all nicely balanced. Characters are given ample room to develop without crowding.

Furthermore, and importantly, it’s unique. And this is what may set it apart from a movie like Wonder Woman. The tone is unlike any DC or MARVEL film to date. Many may inevitably dislike it. But it’s an accomplishment in that while it follows the usual superhero formula with origins, training, and redemption, it also strikes new ground.

It makes Aquaman a compelling superhero, where there was skepticism before. He has strength and speed in a lot of ways like Superman, bravado like Batman, but is also vulnerable and inherently human. His backstory is tragic, but not so brooding. His motivations shift organically with influence from other characters. There’s genuine emotional and physical struggles. Each scene usually progresses well into the next and earns its place in the story, rather than feeling orchestrated or forced to be.

There’s cheesy humor. There are moments where one might question the plausibility of a scene. But when the film’s only real Deus Ex Machina ends up simply helping with progression, and not being the in and of conclusion like (spoilers for Justice League ahead) Superman with Steppenwolf, it’s a good feeling.

I’d recommend Aquaman right alongside Wonder Woman, both for moviegoers that don’t ordinarily enjoy the tone of DC movies and those that do. There’s a good balance, with a fun and fulfilling story.

And yes, there’s an after credits scene. Nothing groundbreaking, but it sets up what may be to come.

Thank you for reading.

If you missed it, a synopsis of the Aquaman After Credits scene (SPOILERS FOLLOW):

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Black Manta is revealed to be alive and saved aboard a ship. Then we shift to a scene indoors. One of his presumed rescuers tinkers with his helmet and accidentally triggers a ray beam that blasts through the ceiling. This person then asks about where the technology is from, to which Black Manta responds that he will answer if he can find out where Aquaman is. Then he throws a dagger at a silhouette of Aquaman on a newspaper clipping.

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——-spoilers end ———

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