In an attempt to milk this franchise dry before the Great Mouse takes control of everything, Deadpool must kidnap Fred Savage in order to give him a PG-13 cut of Deadpool 2 that maybe will prove how lovable and family friendly the Merc with the Mouth could be.
written by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Ryan Reynolds
based on the comics by Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza
Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson / Deadpool / Baby Legs
I would like to throw some love at Short Term 12. A touching, funny, sad, horrifying, wonderful movie staring Brie Larson. If you liked her in Room you'll probably like this film. It also features great performances from the entire cast and introduced Lakeith Stanfield to the world. Depending on your country, it might be on netflix.
In the climax, he even manages to do Zack Snyder’s bombastic, grimacing slow-mo style better than Snyder did in his own DC superhero movies Man Of Steel, Batman V Superman, and Justice League. The problem is that, for all of their cycloid-scale costumes, nacreous architecture, and giant cargo turtles, the Atlanteans aren’t any fun. Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), a high-tech pirate with a grudge against Aquaman and a bug-eyed helmet that shoots plasma beams, makes the bigger impression as an underutilized secondary villain. (He’s Aquaman’s best-known nemesis in the comics.) Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, the most successful of the DC films, had its own problems with dull baddies and stiff, contraction-less exposition delivered by actors in armor. Aquaman needs its smirking, beer-loving, roadie-looking, Chippendale-chested hero—not to save the day, but to remind us that this is stuff is about as goofy as it gets.
Gripes, specific: 1) Klutzy screenwriting. David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beall stumble all over the place trying to set up simple origin-story exposition. It’s not rocket science. It’s a story of how Arthur Curry, the lighthouse keeper’s son, was born to Queen Atlanna of Atlantis, and how he must prevent an apocalyptic surface war waged by Orm and associates, while aquamanning-up to claim a leadership role down where the fishies go. 2_ Good director, wrong strategy. Director Wan loads up “Aquaman” with bombastic, horror-inspired jump scares. Why? Elsewhere, the protracted, numbing brutality betrays the hand of executive producer Zack Snyder, who directed both “Justice League” and “Batman v Superman.” And no more need be said about that. 3)The designs. Over in the Marvel Studios realm, “Black Panther” proved a triumph of production, costume, digital and practical design collaboration. Wakanda became a place you wanted to explore. In “Aquaman” the underwater kingdoms look like “Avatar” threw up all over “The Incredible Mister Limpet.”
Momoa takes every inch of space the film gives him and runs a mile on sheer roguish charm, and Wan is a sufficiently gifted action director not just to keep you watching but to regularly dazzle you. But it’s all just so much. You sense that they didn’t trust this hero to hold our attention, and they really should have done. He’s more fun than any octopoid percussionist.
But Wan, a director who’s proven himself to be a can’t-miss ace regardless of genre (from the horror formulas of The Conjuring and Insidious to the big-budget tentpole mayhem of Furious 7) seems to finally be out of his depth. He’s conjured an intriguing world, but populated that world with dramatic cotton candy and silly characters, including a hero who’s unsure if he wants to make us laugh or feel — and winds up doing neither. Pass the Dramamine.
After appearances in two earlier films, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, Aquaman now gets his own origin-story showcase in the DC Extended Universe, a story of his infancy and childhood that kicks off like a laugh-free version of Ron Howard’s Splash. Despite some engagingly surreal moments, heartfelt environmentalist gestures, big-name supporting roles and occasional flourishes of marine camp, this is a let-down: a laborious, slow-moving and dripping wet film, barnacle-encrusted with solemnity and with a ripply-underwater production design that looks like a giant version of the kitschy items that you put in fish-tanks.
If you want a real movie with real characters using something beyond a third-grade vocabulary and doing things other than getting preposterously physical in, on or near water, Aquaman will be a very trying two and a half hours (actually less if you don't stay for what seems like 15 minutes of very slowly crawling end credits — why can't these be sped up as on TV?). The laws of physics are meant to be broken, characters make easy-to-understand statements rather than have conversations, and the resemblance to a video game is more pronounced than is any kinship with real movies made before this century. However, Aquaman is so elemental in its tall-tale telling and its concentration on royalty and the overriding significance of battle that it feels closer in nature to myth than do most comics-derived epics.
Aquaman’s greatest superpower isn’t controlling the seas or communicating with fish – it’s the ability to embrace and absorb his own inherent cheesiness and use it to make himself more entertaining to watch. His first solo movie is often corny, but it owns all that with the audacity and fearlessness to just go for it. This James Wan-directed DC film declares to the world that this is a giant B-movie where krakens are voiced by screen legends and characters ride seahorses into battle, and it’s not going to pause to let you dwell on any of that. It’s precisely because it’s so damn zany, unafraid to embrace its comic bookiness, and is just plain out there that Aquaman is a blast.
The “Thor” movies eventually understood the opportunity to have fun with this kind of virile caricature, but Momoa never becomes much more than a muscular placeholder, and a distorted guitar riff that underscores closeups of his serious stare doesn’t do him any favors. At times, “Aquaman” contains the hints of a visionary blockbuster: From giant sea creatures swirling through open blue vistas to Dafoe riding a giant hammerhead shark, the film doesn’t lack for ways of transforming the ocean into a delectable universe. But its default mode is paint-by-the-numbers action: By the time King Orm chases Aquaman and Mera out of Atlantis in a giant undersea vehicle, it feels like we’ve been there a dozen times before.
It’s not just the great sense of underwater spectacle this team creates, complete with immense ancient statues and sea horses that really live up to the name, it’s that the effects make you believe the characters are actually living and breathing under the sea — even though filming on sound stages with wires and rigs was the order of the day. When it comes to the actual plot all these people are swimming in, it is mostly acceptable if not particularly original — familiar elements like a treasure map to be followed and an Arthurian sword-in-the-stone motif find their place.
Still, I also had a fair amount of admiration for what Wan achieved. He managed to make a gigantic, $200 million Aquaman movie that fully embraces the character’s roots in all of their goofy, pop Shakespearean glory. As he proved in Furious 7, Wan has exactly the right touch for over-the-top Hollywood action. He knows how to have fun with absurd material without making fun of it. There are some legitimate criticisms you can level against Aquaman. You could never say, however, that this movie doesn’t go for it. It goes for everything — maybe too much, when all is said and done. Just because you can turn wine into flying wine knives doesn’t mean you can make actual miracles happen.
But either way, you’re in for a spectacle. “Aquaman” has been designed with the IMAX aspect ratio in mind, and Wan knows how to fill that frame. The fantastical set designs are brimming with detail, and the scenes where Arthur and Mera are frantically swimming away from a horde of killer ichthyoid monstrosities play with negative space, creating a sense of overwhelming, beautiful hopelessness. It’s a world where anything can happen, and it always looks amazing when it does. “Aquaman” is a sword-and-sorcery sci-fi archaeology horror war superhero epic without shame.
At the end of the day (or, anytime of the day, really) I think I admire Aquamanmore than I like it. It’s certainly ambitious. Remember earlier when I used the cliché about this movie “swinging for the fences.” I do think Wan and company pulled off what they wanted to accomplish. But it’s basically a “swing for the fence” where the ball donks off someone’s head and then goes over the fence, leaving us all standing here not knowing quite what to make of what we just saw. Should I cheer? Should I laugh? Is everyone okay? Aquaman is one strange movie, but certainly a fun one.
Still: that the movie is fun at all is something of an achievement for DC, which had one engaging success in 2017’s Wonder Woman amidst an otherwise lifeless cacophony of world-building. From that turgid sea emerged Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, hooting and growling his way through Justice League as a shirtless renegade with a devil-may-care appetite for mayhem. In his stand-alone film, he’s tempered and tamed by duty, handed a story of legacy and civic obligation that breaks no molds but at least gives some mythic context to one of the goofier major superheroes in the canon.
The script is anything but elegant, full of eye-rolling lines that make the dialogue contained in your average comic book speech balloon sound almost Shakespearean by comparison (e.g., “Where I come from, the sea carries our tears away”), although “Aquaman” plainly has a sense of humor about itself. The biggest surprise here is that, after the running time of a standard-length film has elapsed, “Aquaman” kicks the movie up a level for the finale. At just the moment this critic’s eyes tend to glaze over in superhero movies — typically, as the villain goes nuclear and a portal to another dimension opens, threatening to destroy the planet — Wan unleashes a massive deep-sea battle on par with “The Lord of the Rings.” It’s confusing but not quite incoherent as opposing sides exchange underwater laser fire and creatures the likes of which we’ve not yet seen make their first appearance.
There are two kinds of people: those who involuntarily break out into a stupid grin upon hearing the words “Ocean Master,” and those whose hearts are made of stone. I suppose this is a roundabout way of saying that Aquaman is a work of camp — which it is — but I think it’s sneakily hard to pull off this kind of camp when working in such a bloated, global-concern milieu as a tentpole superhero movie. Little things threaten that crystal bubble of camp — particularly Momoa’s “regular dude” one-liners, clearly meant to appease the 8-year-old boys and 8-year-old boys-at-heart in the audience, and the film’s numerous, excessively bone-crunching fight scenes. None of the action is particularly memorable in James Wan’s film, perhaps because the air of unreality permeates the very air/water the characters breathe; the star instead is the fantastical designs and world-building.