The DCEU (DC Extended Universe) has slowed down on the rate they are cranking out their movies but this December they’re bringing out a new installment in their franchise in Aquaman and that can be a good thing or a terrible thing. The only entry in the superhero franchise that was accepted with immense praise was Wonder Woman but the rest of the DCEU’s movies have been met with less-than-friendly recognition. Can Aquaman become only the second film in this franchise to change the negative narrative surrounding these superhero movies or will it lurk among the fishes like most of its other predecessors? And what changes will it need to become a film worthy of great reviews and tons of praise? That’s what I’m here to talk about and I hope you enjoy. 🙂
1. A Compelling Villain
While Marvel is one of the greatest franchises to ever be part of the cinematic world its biggest problem for nearly a decade was its villain conundrum. For the longest time the only compelling villain in the MCU was Loki and that was mainly because he wasn’t killed off in his first movie appearance. In the last couple of years the narrative around MCU villains has gradually begun to change and now with Thanos arriving in Infinity War the MCU villains have really become characters to fear and respect. This, however, wasn’t supposed to be a problem with the DCEU.
Throughout the comics these powerful superheroes in Wonder Woman, Superman, etc. have had to face adversaries that were just as impressively powerful in not only might but wit as well. This, however, hasn’t been translated into the movies very well. Man of Steel brought General Zod into the fold but instead of keeping the iconic Superman villain alive to pester Superman for years to come they killed him off, turning him into a worthless MCU-style villain who just so happened to be powerful enough to fight the Kryptonian hero.
Batman vs. Superman introduced Lex Luther and Doomsday to the DCEU, both of which didn’t make the movie any more compelling or epic. Wonder Woman had the Amazonian warrior face off against the Greek God, Ares, which sounds amazing but wasn’t as incredible a showdown as it could’ve been. And Justice League‘s villain, Steppenwolf, was a CGI disaster with a Thor: The Dark World level evil, world dominating plan that didn’t make any sense and that I honestly didn’t care about (because I knew the heroes were going to win anyway.)
If Aquaman is going to be a success it’s going to have to have an awesome villain that’s worth watching.
2. The CGI Needs To Be Great
The whole concept of Aquaman is going to require CGI because if we’re going to see his underwater world of Atlantis that’s definitely not something that can be filmed in a real location so the CGI must be superb. Justice League was a giant CGI nightmare, from beginning to end, and if Aquaman is going to be a well-received film it definitely has to look aesthetically pleasing.
3. A Powerful Heroine That Isn’t at All a Damsel in Distress
Amber Heard’s Mera is going to return in Aquaman as the leading lady of the film and that’s exciting indeed. She made a brief appearance in Justice League and she was rather cool. I don’t remember who her character was supposed to be but I do remember that she was a warrior which is definitely a good thing. The best film in the DCEU is the one that involved a heroine at its helm and that was Wonder Woman while Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman‘s leading lady was Lois Lane, a bona fide damsel in distress, and that didn’t make those movies any better. If Aquaman has an off-the-chain heroine in Mera by his side throughout the majority of the film that’ll be very awesome.
4. Aquaman Needs To Be Cooler
Aquaman is suffering from Captain America syndrome right now which means he’s kind of lame but he has the potential to be really cool. They’ve cast the right actor to play the underwater god of sorts but he just needs to be woven into the story of the franchise better. I want them to keep that casual ease about him because I like that but they need to make him a little more likable as well or the movie is going to ultimately fail.
5. And finally, Aquaman Needs To Have An Awesome Storyline
The main topic that has plagued these DCEU films has been the lackluster storytelling. Man of Steel was critiqued because it was kind of boring, Batman vs. Superman was met with backlash because the story was not cohesive and way too busy, and Justice League was just too simple. Wonder Woman was the only film that took a basic origin story, incorporated enough likable elements into the movie to make it enjoyable, and focused solely on Wonder Woman and her personal story without trying to provide hints for a sequel and that’s why it shined. If the writers behind Aquaman can recreate that same formula that did so well for Wonder Woman and make a story that’s both compelling and fun to watch that will be a major step in the right direction for the franchise.
Hopefully in at least a couple of months the teaser trailer for the film will arrive and then I’ll be able to see if the movie hits all of these bars.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a wonderful day.