When they first announced Jason Momoa as Arthur “Aquaman” Curry it was obvious he was going to turn in a testosterone-driven, manly performance. The guy would have been perfect for a larger-than-life, big-screen rendition of Lobo, but Aquaman has always been in need of a strong, narrative-driven story to help make him seem cool again. Well, with James Wan at the director’s helm and Momoa portraying the fish-talking Atlantean prince, it was pretty obvious that the DC Universe’s depiction of the live-action Aquaman was going to be an ambitious, action-packed romp and the trailer certainly didn’t disappoint.
DC dropped two big bombshells at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. The first being the very respectable trailer for Shazam!, and the second being the first motion picture trailer for the upcoming Aquaman, the latter of which is due out in theaters on December 21st, just ahead of Christmas.
If the movie is good, it’ll be a great lead-in to some big box office returns throughout Christmas. If it’s bad… well, then we’re looking at another Justice League situation. On the up and up, the first trailer for the film is definitely big and bombastic, which you can check out below.
It starts with a brief recap of how the queen of Atlantis hooked up with a fisherman of the sea. The two popped out a kid who could talk to fish. No joke.
The trailer gets a bit cringeworthy when we see Arthur as a kid getting bullied and then he uses his powers to make the shark crack the tank, forcing everybody to back up.
Something tragic happens between his youth and him becoming a young man, and he forfeits any desire to want to return to the sea and take his rightful place as the king of Atlantis.
Wan goes big for the visuals in Aquaman, depicting Atlantis as this massive underwater civilization with crazy aquatic creatures and a variety of species depicted both in practical costumes and makeup and with the help of some CGI.
It’s most certainly an ambitious take on the comic book character’s home world. Some of the commenters in the YouTube video were noting that it seemed similar to how Marvel depicted Wakanda in the live-action version of Black Panther.
However, there is a bit of worry with the film, and it’s that it seems a bit all over the place based on the trailer.
For instance, the trailer doesn’t really explain why Arthur doesn’t see himself as being worthy of ruling.
We do see him wrecking people and nautical vessels that are apparently disrupting the ocean’s ecosystem; so he’s certainly already being a bleeding heart environmentalist, yet something prevents him from wanting to do more.
Amber Heard takes on the role as Mera, there to tempt Arthur into returning to the sea despite his very obvious reluctance. Heard vacuously seems to suck a lot of the charm out of the screen as Mera. She was definitely hired for looks.
However, this is where the film starts getting a bit unwieldy; we see Mera and Arthur in a desert location, and I don’t know why. It’s also in the desert that we get to see Black Manta in action.
Black Manta’s scenes definitely look really cool here, but I have no idea where this fits with the rest of the film.
The overall tale seems to be about Aquaman’s brother wanting to wage war on the surface, but there seems to be several other sub-plots taking place as well.
I really hope that James Wan has managed to wrangle all of this together to make it make sense, because I think Jason Momoa has an opportunity to knock the role of Aquaman out of the park and make him one of the most badass depictions since Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox.
We’ll see how well the Furious 7 director will be able to merge all of these plot points together and keep the film cohesive and entertaining. Hopefully this will be DC’s Black Panther but without the social justice pandering.