Let’s not beat around the bush, when it comes to the perfection of the superhero formula, the MCU are leading the way in a contemporary cinematic climate. But how much longer can this dominance go on? After all, signs are that DC is just starting to get it right, and Aquaman, directed by James Wan is reflective of this fact. The film, starring Jason Momoa and Amber Heard is out soon, and to whet your appetite we’re running through five reasons why we can’t wait to see the darn thing.
DC are on the up – After Batman vs Superman, and then the disaster that was Suicide Squad, it’s fair to say that DC felt like something of a poor cousin to Marvel, who just so happened to be taking over the world. Tonally all over the place, it felt like Zack Snyder and co. were struggling to determine whether to have their films in the dark and gritty Chris Nolan-type style of superhero, or to go down the path of the MCU and be more playful and comedically inclined. Instead they fell somewhere in the middle, not excelling in either direction. But then Wonder Woman happened. It has heart, humour, it was compelling, profound and moving. It was a triumph, and with that in mind, it feels like DC are getting back into the groove and establishing their identity, and for that reason alone we’re excited that Aquaman can continue on this trend.
Nicole Kidman kicking ass – Considered by the rather cynical filmgoer amongst us as mere throwaway entertainment, the sheer level of actor that now signs on to comic book movies is a testament to the accomplished storytelling on show, and the quality of the films at hand. I mean, Michael Douglas is in Ant-Man, which tells you everything you need to know. Now, Nicole Kidman is having a major career resurgence and every one of her choices at present feels considered, and subsequently lauded, and this feels like yet another hit. Because if you watch the trailer she can be seen kicking some serious butt. And that, in itself, is reason enough alone to suggest she’s picked another good project.
James Wan & Patrick Wilson – It’s always exciting when new filmmakers try their hand at their first ever superhero flick, and for James Wan it felt like something of an inevitability, and one we’re thrilled has come to fruition. He has more than proven his worth in the horror genre, at the helm of Saw, The Conjuring and Insidious, while he’s shown what he can do with big action set pieces when he directed Furious 7. We’re sure he’ll bring that element of darkness and suspense that he’s so famed for to this picture, while not compromising on his entertainment value. Plus, he has a fantastic working relationship with Patrick Wilson, who quite simply isn’t in enough movies. But thanks to James Wan, he gets regular work, and he can seen here as the film’s primary antagonist ‘Ocean Master’. See, Snyder, you could’ve hired him too, it would’ve made your films better. Making this contest James Wan, Zack Nil. (sorry)
Sicily – Naturally the vast majority of this blockbuster is set under the sea, but there is one quite breathtaking, and lengthy sequence taking place in Sicily. It’s not just the striking set pieces (there’s a rooftop chase sequence that is quite seriously one of the best action scenes of the year), but also the landscape. It’s such a beautiful place, and the film manages to really capture the essence of the location, as it works as a wondrous, peaceful backdrop to the ensuing violence. The only downside is that there’s one moment where an entire wine shop is destroyed, transpiring in a sea of red vino. Never mind the broken roof tiles and smashed up statues, it’s the loss of good wine that will really upset the locals.
The Ocean – The Ocean is a remarkable cinematic setting. It can represent so much; for the sea has a certain calmness and tranquillity about it, it’s beautiful and mesmerising. And yet at the same time it’s a formidable, uncompromising opponent that is one of the silver screen’s most powerful of antagonists. The deafening sound of waves, the unlimited sense of vastness, it’s such a great place for any film to be set, and works as an excellent location here for Aquaman, who spends as much time in the sea as he does above it. Poor Jason Momoa must’ve had wrinkled fingers by the time this film came to an end. On a side note, Aquaman – and not to get too deep or political here – but it studies mankind’s relationship with nature, and in particular the ocean too, enriching the tale with a sense of pertinency, as we realise that even in a world of supernatural threats, sometimes the very greatest threat to the world is ourselves. As you were.