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02/01/19

AQUAMAN (Movie Review)


Those of us who don't live close to the ocean might consider Aquaman's powers to be a little … impractical.

Hey, it's great to swim fast and all, but that's not very helpful in Arizona. Talking with sea creatures can certainly be helpful on the high seas, but it's of dubious benefit on dry land (where, it must be said, most crime takes place). And let's face it: Chatting up the doomed lobsters in your average seafood restaurant would only make you sad.

So go ahead, you landlubbers. Demean Arthur Curry's superpowers. Let Batman and Wonder Woman steal the terrestrial headlines. Just remember that water takes up two-thirds of the planet's surface, which gives Aquaman a nice, big playground. He doesn't need fame or accolades: He likes to keep a low profile as low a profile as a shirtless, tattooed, towering, bearded Greek sculpture of a man with superhuman powers can reasonably keep, that is.

Arthur can rescue ships, lock down pirates, swim home for supper and still make time for a trip to the pub with his pops. He's making a difference and preserving his quality of life. Now that's superheroing done right.

Frankly, the last thing that Aquaman wants is more responsibility. Like ugh being king of Atlantis.

Oh, he could be a pretty big deal in those briny depths if he wanted, maybe. His mom, Atlanna, was queen of the underwater kingdom, which gives him a better claim to the throne than his younger half-brother, Orm. And lately an underwater princess, Mera, has been pestering him to return. He's told her time and again that he doesn't want to go back. I mean, who wants to sit on a waterlogged throne when you can sit on a beer-stained barstool?

Plus, Arthur's not a pure Atlantean: His dad is a surface dweller a lighthouse keeper named Tom—and Arthur was told that his mother was executed for her terrestrial affair. Given that history, it doesn't seem like Arthur or Atlantis should have much to say to one another.

But Orm isn't that happy with being king of Atlantis, either or, should we say, just being king. Arthur's baby brother wants to reunite the sea's seven kingdoms, claim the title of Ocean Master and wage war on the surface world.

Would these sea-based civilizations win such a war? They've certainly got some impressive, high-tech firepower at their disposal. But a full-scale invasion of the landlubbers might be impractical given, y'know, the attackers' need for gills and all.

But Arthur knows one thing: If Orm and his supporters declare war on humanity, it'll mean the death of billions, both on land and in water.

Maybe the kingdom of Atlantis could use a new king after all.

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