“Aquaman” (Warner Bros.)
By Catholic News Service
A sprawling, lush spectacle, this DC Comics adaptation also is overlong, overcomplicated and, at times, just plain dumb.
After washing up on shore wounded, the queen of Atlantis (Nicole Kidman) is nursed back to health by a lighthouse keeper (Temuera Morrison) whom she weds and with whom she has a son before being forced to return underwater to the arranged marriage she was trying to flee in the first place. Once grown (Jason Momoa), the couple’s superhero offspring reluctantly gets mixed up in the politics of his mother’s kingdom where the realm’s vizier (Willem Dafoe) and a spunky princess (Amber Heard) are trying to stop its current sovereign (Patrick Wilson), the protagonist’s half-brother, from launching a war against the entire human race.
While director James Wan’s film showcases long-term marital fidelity and elevates mercy over vengeance while also deploring the ravages of marine pollution, the dialogue in David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beall’s screenplay is sometimes so obvious viewers can finish characters’ sentences for them. Though some unnamed set of gods are fleetingly mentioned, it’s the occasional salty talk that may give the parents of teens pause. Possibly acceptable for older adolescents.
Constant harsh but mostly bloodless violence, compelled bigamy, a couple of mild oaths, about a dozen crude and crass terms. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.