Friend of the site Ari Strozenberg got see a 4DX presentation of James Wan’s Aquaman shortly before the Christmas Holiday. Due to the wacky nature of people coming and going for the Holidays, I delayed Ari’s report until today.
So, check out what Ari had to say before I delve into the main review coverage of Aquaman.
Ari goes for Aquaman 4D
Aquaman has a major motion picture out in theaters right now. Aquaman…the dude that talks to fish. The “film directed by James Cameron” joke that Entourage made is now a real movie (albeit not directed by JC) and I still cannot believe it. What’s even harder to believe is that it is actually a blast. My earliest memories of Aquaman involve me sitting in a plastic pool in our front yard during summer while playing with his Super Powers action figure. When I picture Aquaman, the first thing that comes to mind is him sitting on a seahorse next to Aqualad on an episode of Super Friends, or at least it was. Now all I can see is Jason Momoa riding a massive sea creature into an underwater battle involving Ivan Drago, blond Nite Owl, and an army of crab people.
Aquaman is the sixth film in the DCEU, and is probably my favorite, surpassing both Man of Steel and Wonder Woman. Maybe it was the amazing 4DX (more on that later) or quite possibly the octopus playing the drums, but Aquaman had me grinning like a drunk Cheshire cat from start to finish. James Wan didn’t just make a fun comic movie, he made a ridiculously goofy globetrotting (both above and below the sea) adventure that contains massive set piece after massive set piece for over two hours. To see a movie embrace its comic book roots so fully that it never once cared how corny or cheesy it sounded absolutely thrilled me. Jason Momoa was a little too “dudebro” for me in Justice League, but once he comes out wearing the classic orange and green suit, I had to hold back the tears of pure joy.
So, let’s get back to the 4DX thing. Aquaman 4D is the first full length feature film I’ve ever seen in 4DX, and I’m not sure any other movie could have been more perfect to pair with this technology. I’ve seen Shrek 4D and Honey I Shrunk the Audience 4D, but this was on a whole other level. I joked that we’d probably be drenched by the time the film ended, but I had no idea I’d actually be getting rained on as soon as the movie started. 4DX entails 3D, moving seats, actual mist and rain (which you can turn off, but I ain’t no quitter), smoke, and light effects. It was like a movie and a rollercoaster made sweet love and this was the result. Every time someone was thrown into a wall or stabbed in the back, the chair actually jabbed me. When the movie would go underwater, a blast of vapor would shoot out at us. And holy hell, the way the seats moved with the camera was just nuts. My only complaint is I was being bounced around so much I kept sliding off the chair, so fabric seats or a seatbelt might not be such a bad idea.
Simply put, if you can see Aquaman in 4DX (and you don’t mind the price- it is not cheap) I cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s a wonderfully fun and silly film, and the 4DX ramps up the entertainment level to 11. I hear about “Comic Book Movie Fatigue” all the time, but it sure hasn’t hit me yet. In fact, after Infinity War and this (I haven’t seen the new Spidey yet), I don’t seem to be losing interest in comic book films anytime soon. So, bring on Shazam, and Endgame, and Spider-Man: Far From Home, and Captain Marvel, and Hellboy (actually no, not you Hellboy), and Joker, and…