The DC Extended Universe’s latest release Aquaman tries to course correct some of the missteps of the franchise, while still bringing a fresh face and exciting world to this pre-existing universe.
The DCEU thus far has almost been written off by fans and critics after the abysmal box office reception of Justice League. The movie, marred in controversy both on and off screen, failed to live up to expectations. So audiences were understandably less than excited for the DCEU’s next release, Aquaman. However, right now the movie is poised to be the DCEU’s biggest hit.
So here are 5 reasons why Aquaman has been so commercially successful.
Jason Momoa as Aquaman
First and foremost, the reason for Aquaman’s insane commercial success has to be the leading man himself, Jason Momoa. Cast as the first live-action Aquaman, Momoa had a blink and miss role in Batman V. Superman, but made an impressive impact in Justice League, while most consider him to be the best part about that movie. Arguably. Momoa represents a version of Aquaman that is slightly different from the comics, while still being true to an incarnation from the books. His natural charm, swagger, and nomadic vibes feel almost meant to be when it comes to representing a character from two different worlds. Momoa’s own physical presence and devil-may-care attitude further add to this portrayal of Aquaman.
Aquaman stays true to the comics, almost to a fault. The storyline, the costumes, character names and other elements of a comic book that might not always transfer to the screen, is done so wonderfully here, and unabashedly.
Director James Wan didn’t change any of the looks of the characters to ‘suit the real world’ as is the case with most comic book adaptations. Aquaman’s infamous orange shirt, as well as Black Manta’s massively impractical helmet, all make Ito the final product, and it’s wonderful to behold. Ocean Master’s bulky face mask is also animated to stay authentic, but not take away from Patrick Wilson’s expressions.
The biggest surprise behind Aquaman has to be the immense world-building featured in the movie. The story features a bit of an adventurous treasure hunt vibe that dictates the main characters journeying to many exotic locales. But the way that the story creates these different locations, both underwater and above ground, with their own history, evolution, and cultures, is uniquely impressive, and a lot to take in.
Heart And Soul
With these dollops of spectacle, Aquaman also features some softer emotional moments. The love story between Aquaman’s parents, the loss of a mother, sibling rivalry, all briefly touch upon significant elements of heart and soul that enhance the outrageous aspects of the story. It better rounds out the movie as a whole and makes the audiences better relate to the characters.
Embracing the Madness
But the biggest reason behind Aquaman’s wild success has to be because everyone involved in the film completely embraces the outrageous madness behind this movie. The powers, the sea monsters, the spectacular underwater fight sequences with armored crabs and seahorses are all done with a straight face, while never taking themselves too seriously. There is no flourishing overture into explaining any of these amazingly fantastical concepts. They are just treated as existing, thereby making it easier for the audience to accept these concepts as well.
The by-product of all these ideas and approaches is how Aquaman ends up being a fun-filled and adventurous movie for the whole family. A movie that can be considered the most fun of the DCEU thus far, and one that definitely seeks to right the sinking ship of this franchise.
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