After Justice League underwhelmed at the box office last year, fans are taking it as a sad reflection of the troubled state of the DCEU that everyone’s turning to Aquaman to save this burgeoning cinematic universe now that Batman and Superman have apparently lost a bit of their spark with moviegoers. But the funny thing is, Arthur Curry’s standalone outing may actually be up to the task.
For the first time since Wonder Woman, a DC film’s been receiving nothing but excitement and hype from fans, instead of the usual leaks, rumors and critical derision that we’ve sadly become used to. And that continues today now that the social media embargo has lifted, allowing critics to give us brief reviews on the movie before their full thoughts arrive next month. And let’s just say it looks like we’re in for one heck of a good time.
As you’ll see down below, everyone seems to be thoroughly impressed with Aquaman, with one person even calling it the best DC film since The Dark Knight. That’s high praise indeed, but if what folks are saying here is true, then that may very well be the case.
— Umberto Gonzalez (@elmayimbe) November 26, 2018
I can finally share some brief thoughts on #Aquaman. Can't mention plot or technical stuff, so I'll just say that Jason Mamoa is charismatic as hell in the lead and the film gives off a fun fantasy vibe 👌 Doubt anyone will mock Aquaman for talking to fish after this comes out. pic.twitter.com/EFpPJ3enmq
— Nick Kazden (@ricknazden) 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
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I’ll take some heat for this, but #Aquaman is the best Marvel movie that DC has made. That doesn’t mean it’s exactly like that formula, but it feels like a film that knows what it is, what it’s selling and who it’s selling to. There’s no identity crisis here.
— Paul Shirey (@arcticninjapaul) November 26, 2018
There were moments where I felt #Aquaman might be running a little long but it has SO much to unpack in building its own isolated world.
Huge, epic, unique, and stylish action-sequences balance the heavy exposition.
Movie isn't out yet but I want more from Wan, Momoa, & co.
— Brandon Davis (@BrandonDavisBD) November 26, 2018
#Aquaman was an absolute blast, from the charm of Momoa's Arthur Curry, to the spectacular visuals to the fun that it was clear that everyone was having. It was exactly what I was hoping for and I can't wait to see it again! I'll give you more details when I'm allowed! pic.twitter.com/FyeczAJJIJ
— Jenna Busch (@JennaBusch) November 26, 2018
#Aquaman is an epic fantasy adventure on the high seas! It’s packed with thrilling action in a dazzling underwater world like nothing I’ve ever seen in superhero movies, or anywhere else. I had a total blast watching this movie & so will you. See it on the biggest screen you can! pic.twitter.com/uRWXDTE48K
— Sean Gerber (@MrSeanGerber) November 26, 2018
WB should be handing the DCEU reins to James Wan, he's proven he can, ahem, right the ship. pic.twitter.com/4hjxdmNLDf
— Tom Jorgensen (@Tom_Jorgensen) November 26, 2018
Third act battle that doesn’t devolve into the typical comic book movie blah trap, and is surprisingly ambitious. A lot of the aspects I didn’t like can probably be traced back to decisions Snyder made that were inherited by Wan (casting, chemistry between Heard/Mamoa…etc).
— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) 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 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
Excited yet? We sure are, and as we mentioned above, this isn’t the only good omen that Aquaman has received in these last couple of weeks. Earlier this month, for instance, some other screening reactions gave us plenty of reasons to be optimistic, with several social media users calling the film the DCEU’s best entry to date. So despite the less-than-dazzling opening weekend previously predicted for Arthur Curry’s solo flick, Momoa and Wan may be able to follow through with those sequel plans after all.
Then again, early critic reactions aren’t always indicative of what the general public will think, but we’ll see for ourselves if the DCEU’s Atlantis warrants any return visits when Aquaman hits North American theaters on December 21st.