Aquaman

Aquaman

2018, PG-13, 143 min. Directed by James Wan. Starring Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.

REVIEWED By Matthew Monagle, Fri., Dec. 21, 2018

Nobody could’ve expected that Aquaman would emerge as the most successful male character in the DC Cinematic Universe, but here we are, with the ocean-dwelling superhero positioned as the last great superhero movie of 2018. Even if the results aren’t there, Aquaman proves that Warner Bros. has decided to back the right (sea)horse.

After saving the world during the events of Justice League, Arthur (Momoa) reluctantly settles into the superhero business, running rescue missions in international waters and spending as much time as possible with his human father. However, when Atlantean princess Mera (Heard) informs Arthur of his half-brother’s (Wilson) plan to conquer humanity, Arthur finds himself torn between his loyalty to the surface world and the noble birthright he turned his back on. Now he must seek out a legendary trident and use it to unite the ocean’s warring factions or watch as everyone he loves above and below the water are wiped out in a catastrophic war.

Although the Marvel Cinematic Universe is sometimes chided for its rigid house style, the same cannot be said of the fledgling Warner Bros. continuity. Aquaman is a Robert Lyn Nelson painting come to life, making it entirely unlike the Justice League or even Wonder Woman movies that preceded it. Atlanteans in bright armor wage war against the backdrop of neon villages of their civilization, and even at its most soupy  – which sadly includes the film’s climactic final battle  –  Aquaman possesses an eclectic aesthetic that never gets boring. Wan’s action sequences shine particularly bright when they can keep the focus on a few select characters, such as the early standout sequence when Atlanna (Kidman) defends her home from would-be kidnappers.

Aquaman also benefits from a cast that is unafraid to chew a little scenery. Momoa is an established entity at this point in his career; equal parts cartoon character and Eighties action lead, he carries the film through its muddiest moments through sheer charisma. Casting Patrick Wilson and Dolph Lundgren as meta-human warriors in your nine-figure studio tentpole might also be the oddest Hollywood decision you’ll see in years, but both actors understand at a very basic level the kind of movie Aquaman wants to be. Wilson is particularly good as Momoa’s power-hungry half-brother; the actor has a real knack for carving out likable characters in genre vehicles, and King Orm is the campiest supervillain  –  in the best possible way  – that Warner Bros. has yet committed to film. Throw in strong performances from Kidman and Heard and you have a cast willing to give Wan and company the benefit of the doubt.

Of course, all of this makes it hard to know why producers deemed this particular version of Aquaman the finished cut. With countless subplots, endless battle sequences, and plenty of secondary characters vying for screen time, Wan’s film feels less like a movie that overstays its welcome and more like a giant swirl of ideas and locations. It may not be coherent, but as far as messes go, Aquaman is certainly one of Hollywood’s more watchable ones.

Showtimes

Mon., Jan. 21

11:00am, 12:40, 4:20, 7:45, 11:15

Tue., Jan. 22

4:20, 7:45, 11:15
AFA 1:00

Wed., Jan. 23

1:00, 4:20, 7:45, 10:15

Thu., Jan. 24

1:00, 4:20, 7:40, 11:15

Mon., Jan. 21

11:35am, 3:00, 6:30, 9:55

Tue., Jan. 22

2:35, 6:00, 9:30
AFA 11:10am

Wed., Jan. 23

11:50am, 3:15, 6:00, 9:35

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Mon., Jan. 21

11:35am, 3:00, 6:20, 9:45

Tue., Jan. 22

3:25, 6:45, 10:10
AFA 12:00

Wed., Jan. 23

12:00, 3:25, 6:45, 10:10

Mon., Jan. 21

11:25am, 2:50, 6:20, 9:55

Tue., Jan. 22

11:25am, 2:50, 6:15, 9:55

Wed., Jan. 23

11:55am, 3:30, 7:25, 10:45

Alamo Drafthouse Village

2700 W. Anderson #701, 512/861-7030, www.drafthouse.com/austin/theater/village

Tuesday matinee Baby Day shows (first show of the day) are intended for parents and their children younger than 6. Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Mon., Jan. 21

11:55am, 2:30, 6:30, 10:00

Tue., Jan. 22

3:25, 6:30, 10:00
AFA 11:30am

Wed., Jan. 23

12:30, 2:55, 6:00, 9:30

Thu., Jan. 24

11:25am, 3:00

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Mon., Jan. 21

4:20, 7:40
CC/DVS 1:00

Tue., Jan. 22

4:20, 7:40, 10:50
CC/DVS 1:00

Wed., Jan. 23

4:20, 7:40
CC/DVS 1:00

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Mon., Jan. 21

digital 9:50am, 1:20, 3:45, 4:50, 8:20, 10:35

Tue., Jan. 22

digital 11:45am, 1:20, 3:00, 4:50, 6:25, 8:20, 9:40

Wed., Jan. 23

digital 11:45am, 1:20, 3:00, 4:50, 8:20, 9:45

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Mon., Jan. 21

digital 9:10am, 12:30, 3:50, 7:10, 10:25

Tue., Jan. 22

digital 12:20, 3:50, 7:10, 10:25

Wed., Jan. 23

digital 12:20, 3:50, 7:10, 10:25

Mon., Jan. 21

digital 11:25am, 2:55, 6:20, 9:45

Tue., Jan. 22

digital 11:25am, 2:55, 6:20, 9:45

Wed., Jan. 23

digital 11:25am, 2:55, 6:20, 9:45

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Mon., Jan. 21

digital 11:55am, 3:15, 6:45, 10:10

Tue., Jan. 22

digital 11:55am, 3:15, 6:45, 10:10

Wed., Jan. 23

digital 11:55am, 3:15, 6:45, 10:10

Thu., Jan. 24

digital 11:55am, 3:15, 6:45, 10:10

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., Jan. 21

digital 9:55am, 1:05, 4:15, 7:25, 10:35

Tue., Jan. 22

digital 9:55am, 1:05, 4:15, 7:25, 10:35

Wed., Jan. 23

digital 9:55am, 1:05, 4:15, 7:25, 10:35

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Mon., Jan. 21

digital 11:30am, 3:10, 6:30

Tue., Jan. 22

digital 12:00, 3:30, 6:45

Wed., Jan. 23

digital 12:00, 3:30, 6:45

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Mon., Jan. 21

12:45, 4:05, 7:20, 10:35

Tue., Jan. 22

12:45, 4:05, 7:20, 10:35

Wed., Jan. 23

12:45, 4:05, 7:20, 10:35

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Mon., Jan. 21

10:45am, 2:00, 5:15, 8:30

Tue., Jan. 22

10:45am, 2:00, 5:15, 8:30

Wed., Jan. 23

10:45am, 2:00, 5:15, 8:30

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Mon., Jan. 21

CC 12:10, 4:25, 6:30, 10:00

Tue., Jan. 22

CC 1:30, 4:25, 8:30, 10:00

Wed., Jan. 23

CC 1:30, 4:25, 6:30, 10:00

Thu., Jan. 24

CC 1:30, 4:25, 6:30, 10:00

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Mon., Jan. 21

CC 12:15, 3:30, 6:45, 10:00

Tue., Jan. 22

CC 12:15, 3:30, 6:45, 10:00

Wed., Jan. 23

CC 12:15, 3:30, 6:45, 10:00

Thu., Jan. 24

CC 12:15, 3:30, 6:45, 10:00

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., Jan. 21

CC/DVS 12:05, 3:15, 6:35, 9:50

Tue., Jan. 22

CC/DVS 12:05, 3:15, 6:35, 9:50

Wed., Jan. 23

CC/DVS 12:05, 3:15, 6:35, 9:50

Thu., Jan. 24

CC/DVS 12:05, 3:15, 6:35, 9:50

Hometown Cinemas

120 MLK Jr. Industrial Blvd. W, Lockhart, 512/398-4100, www.hometowncinemas.com

Mon., Jan. 21

12:00, 3:15, 6:40

Tue., Jan. 22

12:00, 3:15, 6:40

Wed., Jan. 23

12:00, 3:15, 6:40

Thu., Jan. 24

12:00, 3:15, 6:40

iPic Theaters Austin

3225 Amy Donovan Plaza, 512/568-3400, www.ipic.com

Mon., Jan. 21

11:00am, 2:30, 6:15, 10:15

Tue., Jan. 22

11:00am, 2:30, 6:15, 10:15

Wed., Jan. 23

11:00am, 2:30, 6:15, 10:15

AMC Lakeline 9

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, 512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Mon., Jan. 21

3-D, CC/DVS 1:00, 7:20
CC/DVS 4:10

Tue., Jan. 22

3-D, CC/DVS 1:00, 7:20
CC/DVS 4:10

Wed., Jan. 23

3-D, CC/DVS 1:00, 7:20
CC/DVS 4:10

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., Jan. 21

CC/DVS 12:00, 3:40, 7:15, 10:30

Tue., Jan. 22

CC/DVS 12:00, 3:40, 7:15, 10:30

Wed., Jan. 23

CC/DVS 12:00, 3:40, 7:15, 10:30

Thu., Jan. 24

CC/DVS 12:00, 3:40, 7:15, 10:30

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Mon., Jan. 21

11:00am, 2:25, 6:00, 9:40

Tue., Jan. 22

11:00am, 2:25, 6:00, 9:40

Wed., Jan. 23

11:00am, 2:25, 6:00, 9:40

Thu., Jan. 24

11:00am, 2:25, 6:00, 9:40

Moviehouse & Eatery - Lantana Place

7415 Southwest Parkway, Building 7, 512/572-0770, www.themoviehouse.com/lantana/

Mon., Jan. 21

10:40am, 2:20, 6:00, 9:45

Tue., Jan. 22

10:40am, 2:20, 6:00, 9:45

Wed., Jan. 23

10:40am, 2:20, 6:00, 9:45

Thu., Jan. 24

10:40am, 2:20, 6:00, 9:45

Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, www.schulmantheatres.com

Mon., Jan. 21

11:35am, 3:15, 6:45, 10:10

Tue., Jan. 22

11:35am, 3:15, 6:45, 10:10

Wed., Jan. 23

11:35am, 3:15, 6:45, 10:10

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

Mon., Jan. 21

11:20am, 6:30
3-D 2:30

Tue., Jan. 22

6:30
3-D 2:30

Wed., Jan. 23

6:30
3-D 2:30

Thu., Jan. 24

6:30
3-D 2:30

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Mon., Jan. 21

11:00am, 3:00, 5:15, 7:30

Tue., Jan. 22

12:30, 2:50, 5:15, 7:10

Wed., Jan. 23

12:30, 2:50, 5:15, 7:10

Thu., Jan. 24

12:30, 2:50, 5:15, 7:10

Mon., Jan. 21

12:00, 3:30, 7:15, 9:35

Tue., Jan. 22

3:30, 7:15, 9:35

Wed., Jan. 23

4:30, 7:45, 9:30

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Mon., Jan. 21

12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:15

Tue., Jan. 22

12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:15

Wed., Jan. 23

12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:15

Thu., Jan. 24

12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 10:15

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., Jan. 21

CC/DVS 11:00am, 3:15, 6:20, 9:25

Tue., Jan. 22

CC/DVS 11:45am, 3:05, 6:15, 9:25

Wed., Jan. 23

CC/DVS 11:45am, 3:05, 6:15, 9:25

Thu., Jan. 24

CC/DVS 11:45am, 3:05, 6:15, 9:25

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Aquaman, James Wan, Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

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