Aquaman movie poster

Last year’s King Arthur movie may have flopped, but director James Wan — whose horror beginnings (Saw, Insidious, The Conjuring) show up in ways both annoying (frequent use of explosion-as-jump-scare) and delightful (there’s a reason H.P. Lovecraft’s novel The Dunwich Horror makes a foreground appearance early on) — seems to have chalked it up to the film’s straight-ahead story and setting. Better, perhaps — certainly more bankable — to follow Logan (Western) and Black Panther (Bond movie) and stick its hero in the superverse. And also dunk him underwater — sort of. Sometimes, Aquaman (Jason Momoa, competent) moves through liquid the way Superman moves through air. Other times, he and his fellow denizens of the deep seem to swim a bit. It’s complicated. Along the way, there are family and political squabbles, cultural explorations, a treasure hunt, a totally superfluous fan-service sub-villain, a stultifying love story laden with leaden banter — the dialogue and acting throughout are distractingly bad — and lots and lots of action sequences. It’s overstuffed. But oh, those action sequences: this is what the Tron sequel should have looked and sounded like. A fascinating physics-lite atmosphere of limitless scope (water subbing in for cyberspace), alternately mesmerizing and urgent synths on the soundtrack, ships and critters that seem half-made of light, and hyperkinetic camera motion that should be dizzying but isn’t. If only everything else were that good. With Willem Dafoe, Nicole Kidman, Patrick Wilson, and Amber Heard. 2018.

Matthew Lickona

Showtimes

AMC Fashion Valley

7037 Friars Road, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Tuesday, February 19

12:15pm

Wednesday, February 20

12:15pm

AMC Mission Valley

1640 Camino del Rio North, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Monday, February 18

10:15pm

Tuesday, February 19

1:00pm, 4:00pm, 7:05pm, 10:30pm

Wednesday, February 20

12:15pm, 2:40pm, 6:05pm, 9:25pm

AMC Plaza Bonita

3050 Plaza Bonita Road, National City, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Monday, February 18

8:45pm

Edwards Mira Mesa

10733 Westview Parkway, San Diego, 858-635-7716 | Directions

Monday, February 18

9:00pm

Tuesday, February 19

9:00pm

Regal Carlsbad 12

2501 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, 844-462-7342 | Directions

Monday, February 18

9:10pm

Tuesday, February 19

8:55pm

Wednesday, February 20

8:55pm

Thursday, February 21

10:15pm

Regal Escondido

350 West Valley Parkway, Escondido, 760-291-0119 | Directions

Monday, February 18

10:00pm

Tuesday, February 19

12:15pm, 3:40pm, 6:00pm, 10:00pm

Wednesday, February 20

11:40am, 3:10pm, 7:20pm

Regal Oceanside

401 Mission Avenue, Oceanside, 760-439-1327 | Directions

Tuesday, February 19

1:10pm, 4:30pm, 7:45pm

Wednesday, February 20

1:10pm, 4:30pm

Thursday, February 21

1:10pm, 4:30pm, 7:45pm

Regal Parkway Plaza

405 Parkway Plaza, El Cajon, 619-401-3456 | Directions

Monday, February 18

9:10pm

Tuesday, February 19

11:40am, 2:40pm, 6:10pm, 9:10pm

Wednesday, February 20

11:40am, 2:40pm, 6:10pm, 9:10pm

Thursday, February 21

11:40am, 2:40pm, 6:10pm, 9:10pm

Regal Rancho del Rey

1025 Tierra del Rey, Chula Vista, 619-216-4707 | Directions

Tuesday, February 19

12:25pm, 6:30pm

Wednesday, February 20

12:25pm, 6:30pm

Thursday, February 21

12:25pm

Comments

jigsawpro Dec. 21, 2018 @ 5:20 p.m.

Why a nobody has so much influence with critics?

these incompetent pseudo-intellectuals (like you) think they're the great thing, but they're really nothing, people do not know them, and they do not have any credibility.

Your review is garbage, and I will make sure that people do not trust you anymore.

1

danxrv Dec. 21, 2018 @ 7:26 p.m.

It is ridiculous that someone with reviews like yours is considered a '' top critic '' in rotten tomatoes your review about this movie is dumb, you only mention partial aspects about it and to give your conclusion about the film you need to constantly compare it with other films, I'm impressed that you know something about H.P. Lovecraft, I really hope that people do not get influenced by your bad opinion

1

bpopbpo Dec. 26, 2018 @ 4:08 a.m.

Wow this is a generic as description of what happened in the movie with a little bullshit gripe that you would have realized makes perfect sense in universe like do you honestly think you're clever "hur durr he can fly through water why does he look like he makes swimming motions sometimes lel I'm such a genius get rekt movie writers" well why does superman make walking motions on the ground when he could just stand perfectly straight and just slide everywhere obviously there's no need to it's easier and more natural to simply move your legs than fight the ground same thing in the water except even more so because it's pretty well implied that they move by controlling the water so those movements would still be him pushing against the water opposite the direction he wants to go for stability control and everything else yes he may be able to stand straight as a board and move wherever he wants but he gains nothing for the extra effort when swimming a little for control and everything is the obvious choice with the beginning being just you showing off how smart you think you are listing a bunch of movies and claiming that they have something to do with this one which they may but have no impact on the quality of the movie or anything really other than the masturbatory glee you feel when you feel superior only other thing you actually dissed is the acting which is completely objective and you didn't even attempt to justify it just dismissing it as "bad" and with only those two things you took a generic description of the movie into a negative review and probably got paid out the ass for it because you are a "top reviewer" when I could easily turn your whole review into a positive one by changing the word bad to good and taking out the stupid flying thing it is infuriating to me people like you make money by convincing a mass of ignorance you are smart and just saying as someone who actually knows some physics this movie was actually better than most superhero movies in that regard dont get me wrong there where plenty of materials with properties of which that no real world equivalent exists and yes they can do things with technology that we currently dont have any knowledge of being possible but with no real explanation of the underlying mechanisms for the things like water control and giving the ability to breathe underwater so you simply have to suspend disbelief but unlike most superhero movies there wasn't any really distracting purely physics mistakes

0

Matthew Lickona Dec. 27, 2018 @ 7:49 a.m.

Mic drop [Except mic doesn't drop, but instead sort of floats off sideways..]

0

Joaquin_de_la_Mesa Dec. 28, 2018 @ 3:26 p.m.

This comment thread is the funniest thing I've read in a while. Did someone named bpodopdopod really write 35 lines expounding on the comparative motive powers of superheroes? Grow up, folks. Well, done, Mr. Lickona.

0

SalULloyd Dec. 31, 2018 @ 7:48 p.m.

hey Lick, maybe the above post is from Beth Acamondo. She's a DC and Marvel fangirl.

0

Sign in to comment

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader

Close