Aquaman Is DC’s Most Profitable Movie Because It’s Their Best Movie

Aquaman’s Exciting Hero’s Journey Origin Story  Is DC’s Best Movie

5 of 5 DangersFive out of Five Dangers

(DM) — Aquaman Is DC’s Most Profitable Movie Because It’s Their Best Movie, not Superman, not Batman, not Wonder Woman, none of DC’s trinity own that title. All of them pale in comparison to Aquaman. Who knew Aquaman would be the best movie in the DC Extended Universe? Long time DC comic book writer Geoff Johns delivered an epic journey.

Aquaman features unique film locations. Black Manta pursues Arthur Curry in Sicily
Aquaman features unique film locations. Black Manta pursues Arthur Curry in Sicily

The biggest reason this is DC’s best movie is DC comic book writer Geoff Johns involvement as writer on the film. In 2011 DC rebooted it’s comic book universe in an effort to make comics more accessible to new readers. Geoff Johns wrote the 2011 New 52 Reboot of Aquaman. The movie follows New 52 as canon while taking liberties which improve on the original story. Characters in the comic version that were not so sympathetic become a better driving force for Arthur Curry in the film.

Jason Mamoa is DC’s Franchise Aquaman

One big reason Aquaman Is DC’s best movie is Jason Mamoa. He’s DC’s answer to Chris Hemsworth. Both play the hunk with a little boyish charm and big dash of karisma. While Hemsworth was necessary in the Thor franchise to carry movies, Mamoa can do this same. Need proof? Think about it, you can put many actors under Batman’s cowl and people will flock to a great Batman story. Jason Mamoa wears no mask. He owns Arthur Curry. He is Aquaman and DC has a franchise actor who they now know can shape future stories.

Aquaman has a multitude of things going for it.

Atlantis Doesn’t Suck!

Who hasn’t thought of not seeing Aquaman because they did not want to watch a film taking place under water. It’s akin to some people hating 3D movies. Director James Wan puts your mind at rest very early.

Ancient Atlantis
Ancient Atlantis

It’s all about suspended disbelief anyway… It’s a comic book movie! What works is that the Atlanteans history is spelled out early along with a well constructed city below.

Ancient Atlantis
Ancient Atlantis

Atlantis isn’t represented by a meager handful of citizens gathered around underwater stones as depicted countless times in the past. In Aquaman it is vast. Complex. Inhabited with  believable underwater population centers.

Modern Atlantis
Modern Atlantis

Aquaman Avoids Cliches

This is hard to explain without spoilers on a number of fronts. Take out word for it that similar to characters in Game of Thrones, you don’t know who is going to die or live in Aquaman. The story that unfolds gains respect and credibility along the way for avoiding other cliches like stopping a war at the last moment or will a villain finally die or come back constantly like the Joker.

An Exciting Hero’s Journey Origin Story

Yes. The plot of supremacy leads to Aquaman becoming an origin story.  And it’s one hell of a fun ride. A great deal takes place in the middle. Aquaman’s parents, childhood, coming of age years, and the hero’s journey.

Working Subplots

Remember Spider-Man 3 (2007) weaving in too many villains and subplots? This pitfall occurs a lot in films. Then other times — it works great. Director James Wan executes four subplots in Aquaman in seamless editing.

Battle for supremacy is the overarching theme from the start. Will Arthur Curry return to his home to claim the crown of a king? It’s canon in the DC comic book universe. The revenge story is established early setting up an arch enemy to Aquaman from the beginning. Again, canon. Let’s just say the name. Black Manta. He’s always been to  Aquaman who the joker is to Batman.

Comic Accurate Costumes

When is the last time a superhero film nailed the look of their comic book counterpart? Let’s start with Black Manta. The version on film is spot on in design from the comic book version. It’s not a loose interpretation but an accurate portrayal. The same can be said of Ocean Master and finally the completed Aquaman as he completes his hero’s journey.

Easing out of the direction of spoilers, you can experience the subplots for yourself. You will find yourself pleased they flow so well. You can attribute this to great editing.

What’s A Good Fight Without An Audience?

Speaking from experience, when a fight takes place, you draw energy from a crowd. You feel it in the build up of fights in Aquaman. It’s not just fights, but action that works in Aquaman.

Aquaman’s pacing blends a multitude of flashbacks and transitions in perfect subtlety. The action scenes are not disposable. That’s been a trend in many recent superhero films. So so so so many other superhero action fight scenes feel like a dance instead of a raw experience.

No this is not to say we get an intense Netflix Daredevil hallway fight. Nor are the fights as good as a Hulk vs Thor throw down. But these work well because of the unusually well constructed world of Atlantis. Characters have good backstory too, incidental fight behaviors play very well.

You often get big epic fight scenes that are blips of action and cutaways that occur in an instant. Director James Wan gets full credit for the final battle scene in which each fight is chained to another fight while all being framed inside the battle. It’s a great immersive movie experience.

A Good Ending Seals the Deal for Aquaman as DC’s Best Movie

How many movies have good endings? In truth, few. A good ending is one thing that may separate a four review from a five. Aquaman has a satisfying ending. One thing that I could have lived without was the mid-credit stinger.

It changed the outcome of what you expected from one character in the movie, but in the grand scheme of more Aquaman films, it does make sense for this cutscene to clear things up.

What you truly appreciate in Aquaman is the fate of his family. You could easily say this ending is what makes Aquaman a superhero movie that is a real family film.

Some Aquaman History

First appearance: Golden Age Comics – 1941 in More Fun Comics #73.

Modern canon of Aquaman is by the hands of Peter David. Peter wrote for DC and delivered The Atlantis Chronicles in 1990. Aquaman now had backstory. In 1993 Peter David gave Aquaman an origin in Aquaman: Time and Tide.

Starring: Aquaman/Jason Momoa Mera/Amber Heard Ocean Master/Patrick Wilson Black Manta/Yahya Abdul-Mateen II King Nereus/Dolf Lundgren Nuidis Vulko/Willem Dafoe
Director: James Wan
Writer: Geoff Johns, James Wan & Will Beall
Runtime: 2:22 (143 minutes)
Rating: PG-13
Release Date: December 21, 2018

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