So, should I really waste my time on a review of Aquaman, when I already “wasted my time” last night enduring this endless two-hour movie that featured nonstop mayhem inside over-the-top fantastical cgi underwater scenes of buried cities and deep trenches and strange creatures, plus the fetching reluctant hero who acts insouciantly contemporary while jetting about breathing seawater and looking for enemies to vanquish meanwhile swapping insults with his flirting, equally ferocious lady love from watery Atlanta who constantly repeats that he must become king, to replace his half-brother, both from the Atlantean Queen (Nicole Kidman) who had one son with a light house keeper on land and another with the King of Atlanta?
Yes, our dear, slouching, muscled hero is a “half-breed.”
The movie carries a thin veneer of virtue-signalling fury at land-based humans who poison the watery realms with their plastics and chemicals and sewage and features a female fantasy goal of ending war by uniting the land and sea-based humans. Plus, to lend it dramatic heft, bits of sketchy archetypal patterns and, of course, fabled Atlantis.
Gus, Kiera’s boyfriend, who is pursing cgi himself at Worcester Polytechnical Institute (WPI), said it was the most cartoonish action flick he had ever seen. He did not mean this remark as a compliment. Since I’ve never seen another action flick, I will take his word for it.
Throughout the entire two-hour ordeal featuring many possible endings . . . and then, no, NO, there’s more, more! — I felt psychically bombarded and overwhelmed with the destructive fury of whoever it is that enjoys making these 2-D copies of our 3-D reality while noticing: now that Trump is to bring home the troops from Syria, the lefties and others whom I presume must be heavily invested in weapons industries are erupting in fury! How dare he!
Hey wait a minute! I thought liberals were anti-war! What’s going on? Is this “real” world as topsy-turvy as the one Aquaman depicts?
Son Sean, next to whom I was sitting at the movie, claims that I “laughed six times.” Well, I countered, I was looking for something to laugh at, and I admit I did enjoy the cgi octopus arms all drumming, and the swirling sea horses neighing, and especially, the grinning, contorted iphone selfies featuring famous Aquaman in the coffee shop with the grizzled motorcycle guys.
We did laugh a lot, cramped in the car on the short way home, at various aspects of the film’s absurdity.
Otherwise, the entire experience left me feeling that I had just been force-fed a huge, indigestible fast food meal of cgi gunk.
And the experience reminded me of my lamentation at the dinner table earlier, concerning how human imagination and creativity is so extraordinary, and yet, look what humans actually do with this energy! Mostly destructive.
Here we are, at the table, Sean having gone to great lengths to make sure we had a wonderful meal: steak, chicken, sausage and mushrooms, broccoli, cucumber and pepper salad —
And we did. Good, lively conversation, too. Now if we had just stayed home instead of all crawling into one small car to go see that god-awful flick!
Oh, and here, tucked at the end of the table during our dinner, are Drew’s computers and screens, pulled off for this occasion, awaiting his own return to cgi.
Yep. At 7:30 on this morning after Solstice, he was up and at ’em. Showed me another video game he’s playing, this one, the only one, he says, that’s peaceful, constructive. (Plot: he lands in a spaceship onto a completely watery world and has to learn how to create shelter and figure out how to feed himself.) All the other games, he says, feature destruction.