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FILM REVIEW: AQUAMAN (12A) Rating: 2.5/5

So this was meant to save the DC Universe?

Well to me it was pretty much a washout.

There was meant to be early buzz about this latest DC Comics’ movie – particularly after its massive box-office opening in China last weekend – but it was actually just more of the same.

In fact, it’s not even as good as Justice League or Man of Steel – and not in the league of Wonder Woman – and ends up only a bit better than Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. And that’s only due to intermittent entertainment wielded by Jason Momoa’s title character.

Momoa’s Arthur Curry/Aquaman simply deserved better than this mish-mash of a superhero movie – that doesn’t seem to have picked up anything from the solid foundations laid by Marvel. Don’t DC watch their movies?

The first half an hour builds up nicely – showing some early promise – but then it descends into a top-heavy computer-generated mess with stereotypical movie tropes that have been done to death (and better) hundreds of times before.

Momoa’s Curry learns he’s the half-human, half-Atlantean heir to the underwater world of Atlantis – son to Nicole Kidman’s powerful Queen Atlanna and Temeura Morrison’s human lighthouse keeper Tom – when he realises he has powers far beyond any mortal.

When firstly Willem Dafoe’s right-hand man Vulko, then Amber Heard’s beautiful Princess Mera try to entice him to take up his rightful position on the throne, his head is finally turned when his half-brother – aspiring Ocean Master, Orm – wreaks tidal waves of destruction on the world’s coastal areas.

This then leads Curry and Mera to go on a voyage to find the fabled Trident hidden by the first King of Atlantis – that will give Aquaman the power to stop Orm from destroying the world.

And as a little side dish, Aquaman has to tackle Yayha Abdul-Mateen II’s vengeful Ant-Man lookalike Black Manta in the process. Which has a comical Power Rangers vibe to it.

What transpires is a disappointingly predictable adventure with a script that could have been written by anyone. At any age.

How the likes of Kidman and Dafoe could have degraded themselves so much is beyond me – as at times it gets borderline embarrassing.

In the end Aquaman tries swimming too fast in a paddling pool before getting to grips with the open sea first – and despite pockets of fun this probably won’t keep the DC Universe adrift with its lack of ingenuity.

But it does seem to be riding a tidal wave of goodwill by being tagged as good ‘old-fashioned’ fun – so if it makes a bucket load of cash it may still have the power to save it yet.

For me, it should have been so much more…

Rating: 2.5/5

Gavin Miller

Cast: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Yahya Abdul-Mateen Ii, Dolph Lundgren, Nicole Kidman, Temuera Morrison, Randall Park, Graham Mctavish, Ludi Lin & Michael Beach

Running Time: 2 Hrs23 Mins

Director: James Wan

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