The Aquaman movie reactions are now online from critics who had a chance to see the film early; here's what they're saying about James Wan's DC film. Jason Momoa first debuted as Arthur Curry aka. Aquaman in Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, though it was merely as a cameo. Then, the superhero returned and joined the titular team of heroes in Justice League. However, while fans may have enjoyed seeing Aquaman share the screen with other major DC Comics heroes in both Batman V Superman and Justice League, he'll next lead his own movie. Wan's Aquaman hits theaters next month and will showcase the aquatic hero in a standalone adventure.
Aquaman will see Momoa's character grow from the child of human Thomas Curry (Temuera Morrison) and Atlantean Queen Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) into a king himself. Arthur will need to fight his brother Orm (Patrick Wilson) for the throne of Atlantis and, along the way, acquire the superhero's trident and comics costume. Aquaman will also need to use his crown to prevent the underwater kingdoms from waging world on the land dwellers. Altogether, the premise and trailers for Aquaman tease an epic underwater adventure. Early test screening reactions to Aquaman have been mostly positive, and now the first critic reactions are in.
Related: Aquaman Final Trailer Breakdown
Earlier this month, Wan's final cut of Aquaman screened for members of the press. While full reviews of the movie are still under embargo, many took to Twitter to offer their initial reactions to the latest DC film. Take a look at a selection of those reactions below, including Screen Rant's own Andrew Dyce.
Aquaman is a breathtakingly beautiful, weird, badass, FUN idea of a modern superhero fantasy (anime) and makes zero apologies. Second half's one cheer/laugh after another.— Andrew Dyce (@andrewbdyce) November 26, 2018
Imagine '80s Schwarzenegger starring in "Hideo Kojima's AVATAR" and you're most of the way there. #Aquaman pic.twitter.com/nmZYjcUm5q
#Aquaman is a buckwild movie which is honestly both good and bad in (almost) equal measure. If nothing else, it looks great and it's completely unafraid to just go for it, which I appreciate in it.— Meg Downey (@rustypolished) November 26, 2018
#Aquaman is great. James Wan made a really unique super hero origin film, often crossing into fantasy-epic territory, but grounded in family and discovery.— Brandon Davis (@BrandonDavisBD) November 26, 2018
The world is visually incredible. Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry is a total bad-ass. @yahya and @patrickwilson73 stand out! pic.twitter.com/2IvDCEq7VU
#AQUAMAN is an absolute blast! James Wan creates a thrilling story & makes a worthy entry in the DCEU— ComicBook Debate (@ComicBookDebate) November 26, 2018
Full of spectacle & highlighted by creatures of the abyss, Wan creates an engaging adventure. The heart/emotion of the film resonated most, amplified by strong cast performances pic.twitter.com/GVj7tnO51o
Short & sweet reaction to #Aquaman is that I loved it. It’s a comic book movie through & through with great action, iconic moments & visual spectacle to spare. Momoa makes the character his own & Wan honors the traditional aspects, but elevates it to the modern era. It’s a blast.— Paul Shirey (@arcticninjapaul) November 26, 2018
#Aquaman is the most ambitious DC movie to date -- a big, sprawling visual spectacle that is gorgeous, crazy, stuffed with terrific action, and a lot of fun to watch. James Wan, in my opinion, is the true star - he elevates the material, makes it entertaining and conquers it. pic.twitter.com/gDFjiAWICA— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) November 26, 2018
🔱 #Aquaman is better than expected. Feels like a Marvel phase one movie, in a good way. It’s at its best when it’s having fun and not taking itself too seriously. Black Manta is great villain that comic book fans will love. Some truly spectacular one shots and good action. pic.twitter.com/aTnc1QWk66— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) November 26, 2018
#Aquaman is over the top fun! A perfect balance of cheesy humor & action. James Wan shows his skill as a director & puts his mark on DC in a big way. Momoa is perfectly charming & brings Aquaman out of the shadows to stand alongside the greats like #WonderWoman @aquamanmovie pic.twitter.com/ySM7Tn8nkl— Ashley Menzel (@AshleyGMenzel) November 26, 2018
Aquaman is a big, fun, wild ride. It’s unabashedly melodramatic and over the top with the largest, most ambitious sense of scale imaginable. Parts of it are kind of bad but they are not the majority and, oddly, still fit in with the cartoony tone. 2nd best DCU movie. YEEEAAHH! pic.twitter.com/3GLlK3uQJ3— Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) November 26, 2018
#Aquaman is like an 80s cartoon, with all of the fun and the problems that come with that. A good adventure movie that acknowledges exactly what it is from the start, which is a meal made almost entirely of ham.— Spencer Perry (@TheSpencerPerry) November 26, 2018
#Aquaman is pretty wild. It leans hard into its '80s fantasy/adventure movie vibe far more than superhero elements, and it works. It's another step in the right direction for the DCEU and shows how different/distinct the tones of these movies can be while still existing together.— Mike Cecchini (@wayoutstuff) November 26, 2018
So I really enjoyed #Aquaman! James Wan has made an unapologetically bold superhero flick, mixing adventure and fantasy elements with stunning visual effects, a terrific lead in Jason Momoa (who's clearly having the time of his life), and a great heroine in Amber Heard's Mera. pic.twitter.com/V8bnw6mnCX— Carly Lane (@carlylane) November 26, 2018
These early reactions from the press reflect the response from the most recent test screenings, and seem to be more positive than the reactions out of early test screenings for Aquaman. That is to say, Warner Bros. and DC Films might have another hit on par with Wonder Woman on their hands. Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot's origin movie for Diana Prince is arguably the most successful DC film from Warner Bros' latest franchise since Wonder Woman was a hit with critics and casual moviegoers alike. Plus, Wonder Woman earned more than $800 million at the global box office, making it a financial success as well. Early projections for Aquaman's box office weren't stellar. However, movie tickets went on sale last week and broke records. This may indicate Aquaman could have a higher opening weekend and better legs at the box office than previously believed.
Of course, that's not to say Aquaman will definitely be a success. These early reactions to the movie are mostly positive, but they aren't necessarily a definitive indication of whether a film will connect with audiences. Considering the comparisons to a Phase 1 Marvel movie and words like "cheesy" and "melodramatic" being used to describe Aquaman (albeit in a positive manner), it's possible Wan's DC movie will have its detractors. It could also potentially get a little lost amid the ultra-competitive late-December release window. Still, that seems like a small possibility.
Thankfully, Aquaman hits theaters in just a few weeks and fans will get their chance to see Momoa's starring turn in a DC movie for themselves. For now, they can take heart in the fact that early reactions for Aquaman are largely positive.
Sources: 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