Keepin’ It Reel: Aquaman

Cassidy McKnight, Staff Writer

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Most people know Jason Momoa previously from his character in HBO’s hit television series, “Game of Thrones,” but in 2017 he portrayed Aquaman in “Justice League.” Fans enjoyed Momoa’s character and requested for him to have his own standalone movie, like most members of “Justice League.” At the end of 2018, DC answered the fans’ prayers. The standalone backstory, “Aquaman,” ended the year ranking as the #1 movie in America and making over $1 billion at the box office.

The movie opens by providing a backstory about how Aquaman’s mother Atlanna, the queen of the lost underwater city of Atlantis, was seeking refuge from an arranged marriage and ran into a man, Tom, at a lighthouse in Maine. Despite Tom being human, they soon fell in love and had a baby boy named Arthur. After suffering from several attacks by the Atlantean army, Atlanna realizes that in order to protect her child and the love of her life, she must return to Atlantis to marry the king and bear him a son. A few years after his mother left, Arthur hears from another Atlantean that his mother was sacrificed because of her “sins,” including having relations with a human and giving birth to a half human and half Atlantean child. Feeling at fault for his mother’s death, Arthur goes through his childhood despising Atlantis and all its people for what they had done to his mother.

Years later, Arthur is now known across the world as the “Aquaman,” and his heroics do not go unnoticed by Atlantis either. Though the Atlanteans are aware of how much of a hero the heir to their throne is, they shun him for his mixed ethnicity and appoint his younger half-brother, Orm, to the throne. Orm becomes power hungry and plans to conquer the surface world. After Mera, an underwater princess, visits Aquaman and begs for his help to stop his brother, Aquaman realizes that regardless of how much he wants to avoid anything to do with Atlantis and its responsibilities, he must protect his home, the surface world. Mera and Arthur set out on a quest to find the lost Trident of Atlan, the only thing that can stop Orm and help Arthur reclaim his birthright as king of Atlantis.

Momoa is widely known for his roles in a variety of different shows and movies, such as “Braven”, “Conan the Barbarian” and “Game of Thrones.” But, his performance as Aquaman in “Justice League” really brought Momoa to the center of everyone’s attention. Momoa’s adaptation of Aquaman was so good that I do not think anyone else could have played this role better. For most actors, a role is just a job and they are only there for the money, but for Momoa, “Aquaman” became a personal film. Momoa told several newsgroups that playing Arthur was very different for him because in many ways he and Arthur are alike. He admitted that playing such a role gave him the opportunity to play a character that was “really close” to himself. Much like Aquaman, Momoa is from two separate ethnicities. The actor spent his life in Iowa but was born of Hawaiian descent. This movie was a hit for a lot of reasons, but one of the main contributions to that success was Momoa’s fantastic acting.

Overall, this movie blew my expectations out of the water, pun intended. I rate this movie a 9/10 for its incredible actors, mind-blowing graphics and the interesting plotline.  DC truly has outdone itself with this fantastic movie. Walking into the theater, I never expected “Aquaman” to be as fascinating as it was, and I was glued to my seat the entire time, refusing to miss even a minute of it. I, like many other fans of the DC universe, hope we will continue to see more of our resident Atlantean in future films.

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Keepin’ It Reel: Aquaman