Starring: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman, Dolph Lundgren, Randall Park, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Djimon Hounsou
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Superhero fantasy action adventure based on the DC Comics character of the same name directed by James Wan. Aquaman follows half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa), aka Aquaman, the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, who must step forward to lead his people and to be a hero to the world just as his brother, Orm (Patrick Wilson), seeks to unite the seven kingdoms against the surface world.
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Arthur: Jules Verne once wrote, “Put two ships in the open sea without wind or tide, it will come together.” That’s how my parents met. Like two ships destined for each other.
Tom Curry: So, who are you?
Atlanna: Atlanna, Queen of Atlantis.
Tom Curry: Wow. I’m Tom, Keeper of Lighthouse.
Arthur: [referring to Atlanna] She had fled an arranged marriage, left her whole world behind. But in my father’s lighthouse, she found something unexpected. And my father found the love of his life.
Atlanna: [referring to Arthur] He’s living proof our people can co-exist. He could unite our worlds one day.
Atlanna: [to young Arthur] And the Trident could only be wielded by the strongest Atlantean. And it gave the king master of the Seven Seas. It made him so powerful that the ocean became so jealous and sent a terrible earthquake to destroy Atlantis. Down it fell to the bottom of the ocean. But legend has it that one day a new king will come who will use the power of the Trident to put Atlantis back together again.
Arthur: [referring to Atlanna and Tom] Their two worlds were never meant to meet, and I was a product of a love that never should have been.
Atlanna: [as she’s about to leave] They will always find me. Next time they will send an army. I have to go back. It’s the only way to save him. To save you.
Atlanna: [kisses young Arthur, and touches the tears on her face] Where I come from, the sea carries our tears away.
Tom Curry: Not here. You feel them.
Atlanna: I will return to you when it’s safe. One day, right here, at sunrise, we’ll be together again.
Atlanna: [to young Arthur] You stay strong, my little prince. I’ll always be with you.
Atlanna: [to Tom] Don’t let him forget me.
Mike: Check it out. Arthur is talking to the fish.
Matt: You’re such a freak, Arthur.
Young Arthur: [he’s pused against the aquarium glass] Stop! Stop!
Young Arthur: Stop it! Let me go!
[the shark in the aquarium taps hard on the glass with its nose freaking everyone out]
Arthur: [as he breaks into a submarine] Permission to come aboard.
Arthur: Am I supposed to know who you are?
Manta: I scavenge the high seas. You’re the Aquaman. We were bound to meet at some point.
Arthur: Let’s not make it a habit.
Manta: [as his father, Jesse, is trapped under a missile] Wait! Help me, he’s trapped! You can’t leave him like this! Please!
Arthur: You killed innocent people! You ask the sea for mercy.
Jesse: [as Manta’s trying to help Jesse] Get out of here!
Manta: I’ll never leave you.
Jesse: You need to live so that you can kill that son of a b**ch!
Tom Curry: I knew you couldn’t stand on the sidelines forever. Your mother always knew you were special.
Arthur: Don’t even start.
Tom Curry: She believed you’d be the one to unite our two worlds.
Arthur: Please, stop.
Tom Curry: Whatever Atlantis’s problem are, you’re bigger than them.
Arthur: Atlantis murdered my mother.
Tom Curry: You don’t know that for sure.
Arthur: Yes, I do. They killed her, for loving you and having me, and you know it.
Tom Curry: Son, one day you’re going to have to stop blaming yourself.
Biker #1: Hey, buddy, are you that fish boy from the TV?
Tom Curry: Oh, great.
Arthur: It’s fish man. What do you want?
Biker #1: I’ll tell you what I want.
Biker #1: [takes out his phone] Could we get a picture with you?
Biker #2: You’re like our local hero, man.
Biker #1: It would mean a lot. A quick…
Biker #1: Alright. Let’s do this
Arthur: [as the biker goes to put his arm around him] Don’t touch me.
Biker #1: Right, that’s exactly where I’d want to go down here. Here we go. Everybody, smile.
[proceeds to take selfies with Arthur and his gang]
'Sometimes, you have to do what's right, even if your heart aches against it.' - Mera (Aquaman) Click To Tweet
King Nereus: Violence has always plagued the surface. They will destroy themselves.
King Orm: Not before destroying us first. We have been hiding long enough. The time has come for Atlantis to rise again.
Mera: Your half brother, King Orm, is about to declare war upon the surface world. Billions will die. Your people and mine. We must stop him.
Arthur: And how do you propose we do that?
Mera: You are the first born son of Queen Atlanna. The throne is yours by birthright. The only way to stop this war and save both worlds is for you to take your rightful place as King.
Arthur: [laughs] You think if I just show up, Orm will give up the throne? I’m the b****rd son of a queen your people executed. Trust me, I’m no king.
Mera: I agree.
Arthur: That’s awesome.
Mera: But, Vulko seems to believe in you for some reason, and that’s why I’m here. Vulko has learned of the location of the lost trident of Atlantis.
Arthur: Fairy tales. It’s a myth.
Mera: It’s not a myth. With the sacred trident, people will listen to you. You can then claim your birthright and dethrone Orm.
Arthur: My birthright? It died with my mother. But I’ll promise you this, if Orm attacks, I’ll treat him the same way your people treated her, with no mercy.
Arthur: [after Mera saves Tom’s life] You know, I don’t even know your name.
Mera: It’s Princess Y’Mera Xebella Challa. You may call me Mera.
Mera: [referring to the tidal wave that leveled the coast] This was Orm’s doing. The worst is yet to come.
Mera: What is it?
Arthur: This is the exact spot that Vulko gave me my first swimming lesson.
Vulko: [flashback of Vulko teaching young Arthur] You have to forget all the teachings of the surface world. Go deeper to uncover your Atlantean instincts.
Young Arthur: But I already know how to swim.
Vulko: Not even close.
Arthur: So, we’re clear, I’ll help you stop this war, then I’m done.
Mera: Maybe that’s for the best.
Vulko: [flashback of Vulko teaching young Arthur to swim under water] The ocean is more than our life soul. It’s who we are.
Young Arthur: Wait. You can talk underwater? Hey, I can talk underwater too! This is awesome!
Vulko: No. We can do more than just talk.
Vulko: Being an Atlantean means being more than just being able to breathe in water. Your body is equipped to survive the extreme cold, and pressure, and your eyes adjust to see in the dark.
Vulko: If we’re going to prevent this war, you must dethrone him now.
Arthur: How many times do I have to tell you, I don’t want to be king.
Mera: You don’t understand, once he is named Ocean Master, it’ll be too late. The power at his disposal will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
Arthur: I’m from the surface. No one’s going to take me seriously. Heck, I’d don’t even know where to begin.
Vulko: By winning the hearts and minds of the people. By proving to them that you’re worthy, and retrieving this.
Arthur: [opens out a map showing a trident] I already got one of those.
Vulko: Not like this one you don’t. This is the lost Trident of Atlantis.
Arthur: Oh, I know the story.
Vulko: It’s more than a story. It’s real.
'You do your best thinking when you’re not thinking at all.' - Mera (Aquaman) Click To Tweet
Vulko: [referring to the lost Trident of Atlantis] It was forged by the greatest weapon masters in history. Crafted from Poseidon’s steel for King Atlan, the first ruler of Atlantis. Legend says, the Trident was build with the power to command the sea.
Arthur: So what happened to it?
Vulko: To know that, is to go back to the time before the Great Fall, when King Atlan ruled over all that was, the Kingdoms of Atlantis were one. It was a time of great prosperity and technological advancement. We had unlocked the secret to unlimited energy at a time when the rest of the world still thought the earth was flat. But we became too ambitious, too hungry for power. The ocean swallowed us and Atlantis sank. But the very power that collapsed our civilisation also paved the way to our future. It gave us ability to breathe underwater. And so, we evolved. Others regressed, became savage. And the king lived out the remainder of his days in self imposed exile. Neither he, nor the Trident were ever seen again. One of our archeological teams uncovered this a few months ago. It’s an ancient recording dating back to the first dynasty. I believe it contains Atlan’s final message to his people and the whereabouts of the sacred Trident.
Arthur: So what does it say?
Mera: We don’t know. The technology’s too old.
Vulko: The cylinder bears the marking of the Deserter Kingdom. You must take it there and retrieve the message. The clue to Atlan’s final resting place is inside this.
King Orm: Are you invoking the combat of the Kings?
Arthur: Call it whatever you want. I call it an a**-whooping.
King Orm: Well then perhaps that’s how we’ll proceed.
Vulko: How could you be so foolish as to let Orm bait you into a fight?
Arthur: It seems to me that’ll solve all our problems. I beat him in battle, the war’s over. I’m getting home.
Vulko: You’re a formidable fighter on land, but here you’re out of your element literally. Orm has spent his entire life underwater, training to be a warrior, training to be the best.
Arthur: You taught me how to fight.
Vulko: Let’s see if you remember anything.
Young Arthur: [referring to Atlanna] Why did she never come to see me, huh?
Vulko: I told you, when you’re ready.
Young Arthur: Stop lying to me! I’ve done everything you’ve asked, and every time I pass a test, you make up another one! When am I going to be good enough? Did she not love me?
Vulko: Your mother loved you more than anything in the world, but she had to return to Atlantis to keep you safe. Her marriage to King Orvax was arranged a long time ago so she had to marry him and bear him a son, Prince Orm. But Orvax eventually found out about you, he became overwhelmed with jealousy and sacrificed her to the creatures of the Trench.
Young Arthur: Are you saying they executed her because she had me?
King Orm: Down here we have a legend called the Karathen. An ancient sea monster so powerful that even King Atlan himself feared it. So he imprisoned it, in the depths of the ocean. And it that abyss, the creature bides its time waiting to rise again. Atlantis has been lying in wait. And now the beast has awakened.
Arthur: You know, there was a time when I wanted to meet you more than anything, get to know my little brother, let him know that he wasn’t alone. Then we ran in together. If only I’d known what a d**k you would turn out to be.
King Orm: You were the reason our mother was executed, and I’ve hated you for it ever since. But I do not want to kill you, Arthur. I’m going to give you one chance. Go home. Do not ever come back to Atlantis. You are not going to win this. A war is coming to the surface, whether you like or not. And I am bringing the wrath of the Seven Seas with me.
Arthur: You know I can’t let that happen.
King Orm: I know.
King Orm: [to Arthur] You have my mother’s Trident. Powerful, but flawed like her. I wield my father’s, and it has never known defeat!
[they begin fighting]
King Orm: [as Orm defeats Arthur] I am the one true king!
Arthur: Heads up, we got a bogey on our six!
Mera: What does that even mean?
Arthur: Bad guys behind us.
Mera: Why didn’t you just say that?
Arthur: Bad guys behind us!
Mera: What are you doing?
Arthur: Something that worked for Pinnochio.
Arthur: Never mind. Get in. Get in. Come on!
Mera: [they enter inside a whale’s mouth] Great. So we’re getting eaten.
Arthur: [as they are the cargo plane] Are you okay?
Mera: I’ve never been so high up. We’re so far from home.
Arthur: At least you have a home.
Mera: Not anymore. I can never go back. I betrayed everything when I saved you from the Coliseum.