Aquaman fans who have seen the latest DC movie are hitting the internet with their reactions and the word of mouth is very good. Aquaman is the DCEU's sole offering in 2018 and the first since the lukewarm reception of Justice League. As such, there's a lot riding on the movie and its success, especially since Wonder Woman is the only widely praised movie of DC's interconnected cinematic universe.
Initial reactions based on a test screenings of Aquaman suggested the movie was good but not great. There were even comparisons to MCU Phase 1 entries with Aquaman being adequate but unambitious. Those who have seen the completed movie, though, are singing a different and more hopeful tune. Aquaman might very well steal Wonder Woman's crown as the best DCEU movie.
Warner Bros. recently held a screening of Aquaman on the west coast. While there's not a large wave (pun very much intended) of viewers' reactions from the screening, the ones that do exist are largely and overwhelmingly positive. One Reddit user going by the name MaxBorne calls it the best DCEU movie, writing:
The user elaborates that Aquaman is better than Wonder Woman with Atlantis being a much more fleshed out world than Themyscira. In his estimation, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta and Patrick Wilson as Orm are some of the best comic book villains ever and are far better than Wonder Woman's Ares. Orm reportedly gets much more screen time than Black Manta, but Aquaman does portray Manta as a very sympathetic character.
Reddit wasn't the only social media platform to be hit with unofficial Aquaman reviews either. Twitters users Mick Minas, Carl Abellana and KC Walsh also shared their reactions, calling it everything from Star Wars underwater to their personal top DC movie. The only slightly negative review comes from Twitter user baji who still calls Aquaman a solid film. It's just not the complete home run that other fans are describing.
Overall, though, the fan reactions are very good news for the DCEU and Aquaman. The most recent predictions for Aquaman's box office numbers weren't incredibly positive, but good word of mouth could turn that around. Even if Aquaman's box office isn't incredible, DC and Warner Bros. need a character and movie that is widely liked and positively reviewed that's not Wonder Woman. A cinematic universe can't survive with just one popular figure. Though Zack Snyder's Superman movies and Justice League have dedicated fans, the overall perception of them is that they are sloppily made and/or mediocre films. It's almost better for Aquaman to be a critical hit than a commercial one in order to improve DC's brand. After all, Suicide Squad was a great financial success for Warner Bros., but the sequel is still rumored to go in a completely different direction with new writer James Gunn - likely due to Suicide Squad's terrible reviews.
On the other hand, it's important to keep in mind that early reactions aren't always indicative of how the final movie will be received. Justice League had positive reactions coming out of its test screenings, but when it was released, it received a rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes and greatly underperformed at the box office. A similar reaction occurred with The Last Jedi, albeit from an opposite perspective. Critics responded very strongly to the film, but a certain segment of fans have been railing against the movie for months after its release. Still, there are more reasons to be hopeful about Aquaman than concerned.
Source: Various (see above)
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020