Aquaman: the return of the DC Extended Universe

Elliot Tritto

Staff Writer

2018 proved to be a dynamic year for the Marvel Industry. With energetic releases of Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, PS4’s exclusive video game Spider-Man, and the shocking success of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, you would’ve thought that Marvel remains king of the Superhero Genre. Yet DC’s been waiting to reclaim that throne as they once were. 

With the recent release of the DCEU’s (DC Extended Universe) new movie, Aquaman, it shows that DC is still in it to win it. Over the past few years, the DCEU has endured an emotional roller-coaster of movies that audiences are sick of going through. For instance, we have brilliant storytelling and cinematography in Man of Steel alongside a crappy, rushed theatrical release of Batman V Superman. (Although, the ultimate cut is far better than Captain America: Civil War).

With new DCEU films reaching an all-time high to an all-time low, everyone asks, is Aquaman a great superhero film? Here’s how I think Aquaman is as a film. It’s a better version of Black Panther. I know some of you are thinking how in Wakanda is that possible? Well there’s more similarities than differences when you think about it.

The heroes are destined to become kings of a fictional kingdom, guide their way to becoming a monarch with their love interest and fight for the throne against one of their own family members as well as preventing a Civil War to reach out. See my point?

However, Aquaman for me stands taller than Black Panther by one aspect. Why did Black Panther struggle? Well, when the villain has a better motivation than the hero does, then why should I root for the good guy? Anyway, that’s a different article. Aquaman can easily be said that DC can make a great film without involving its big 3 characters (Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.) The characters, plot and special effects were fun and albeit engaging to watch on the big screen. For us to breakdown the strengths and weaknesses of the film, let’s divulge into the characters first.

To begin with, the only positive in this flick is that the casting was perfect. You could really tell that the actors gave it their all and enjoyed every second of filming especially the beautiful brute, Jason Momoa. There wasn’t any unnecessary overacting and the film respected that it needed its dark and comedic moments. The only negative I have includes a picky viewpoint. I wish we didn’t have just a taste of Black Manta. I felt having him as an integral character or have him debut into the next movie could’ve made us more emotionally invested in the character. Although his suit, armo, and helmet do look sick and can’t wait to see more of it.

To continue, the plot felt very bland. We’ve seen movies like this before *cough* Black Panther *cough*. We’ve seen a chosen one, a war that’s raging on to fight humans, and the fact that the hero/heroine originally doesn’t want to get involved in the main conflict yet when it gets personal, he/she gets involved. 

Thus far, the dialogue was very upbeat and caught my attention. Like I said earlier, there were times that I laughed and felt sentimental. Does the plot feel cliched? Yes, but it does feature refreshing characters and a satisfying understanding of how the audience interprets the characters motivations.

Finally, the special effects were absolutely draw-dropping. The vivacious and illuminating colors constantly bursting into your eyes make you immersed into the action. A side note though, what really grabbed me was that I got a weird vibe of 20,000 leagues under the sea and Indiana Jones hybrid from the sets. It had that 80’s action film look with a classic sci-fi element attached to it.

Overall, this is a superhero movie done right. I pray to God, Stan Lee, that we will have more successful and heartwarming DCEU movies to enlighten us and prove that Marvel has some competition. Don’t get me wrong, I love Marvel as well hitherto I see my nerdy franchises as ice cream; I love Mint Chocolate Chip but sometimes I want strawberry.

To sum it up, Aquaman 8/10.

Photo: Jason Momoa as Aquaman. Courtesy of