Preamble: Man, the DCEU movies are fucking bad. (Excepting Wonder Woman, which is good until it’s bad.)
…okay, got that out of the way. Aquaman kinda rocks. Like Wonder Woman, Aquaman cradles its share of flaws and bad creative decisions, most of them involving the totally great Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who deserves to be a big huge movie star and probably will be someday; it’s just that he’s symbolic of Aquaman‘s biggest problem, which is that there’s so much of it. Aquaman is not prestige bait. Aquaman does not need to clock in at nearly 2.5 hours. To clarify, the burden of duration isn’t all on Abdul-Mateen, but his secondary character here is mostly superfluous to accomplishing what the film needs to accomplish. He’s fat. (His character’s fat. I mean, his character is narrative fat. Abdul-Mateen is one fit man.)
But though I had to embark on a rare bathroom break during my screening (it’s long), I still had a blast with this thing, whatever it is; there are lot of references in here, but James Wan holds it down and Jason Momoa pretty much owns the screen (assuming you’re not the kind to just meme his Justice League appearances into the ground). Happy to see him prop up a movie on his own.
You can read my full thoughts on Aquaman over at Men’s Health.