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Stars: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe, Dolph Lundgren, Temuera Morrison, Yahya Abdul-Meteen II, Graham McTavish

Director: James Wan

Aquaman (pronounce it Ark-wa-man), the defender of the deep with his mighty trident, finally gets his own film after peripheral appearances in other DC-comic epics. And the visuals are wondrous, stunningly imaginative stuff, in contrast to the acting, and a pedestrian script that hardly taxes the actors anyway.

Momoa, the Hawaiian hunk who played Conan the Barbarian, can barely act at all, while Heard's cool and faintly unsympathetic personality is unsuited to the flame-haired heroine. Dafoe has almost nothing to do, and other roles are functionally filled.

But the undersea creatures that teem beneath the waves are breathtakingly well created and animated, from a gigantic lobster warrior, to friendly sharks that act as steeds for underwater soldiers.

I loved the huge octopus beating eight war drums, and David Attenborough would have had a field day with the hordes of trench monsters eager to make a meal out of our husky hero.

Story? Well, Arthur alias Aquaman is the offspring of a lighthouse keeper (Morrison) and a beached princess of Atlantis (Kidman, effortless playing 20something) and, as the first-born, is the rightful heir to the legendary sunken kingdom, at least if he can find the Lost Trident of Atlan, and best his beastly brother (Wilson), who is about to start an all-out undersea war complete with hi-tech weaponry.

There's also the merciless black pirate commander (Abdul-Meteen) whom Aquaman sees off in the first sequence. He allies himself with the undersea baddies but seems to be spectacularly dispatched in a Sicilian duel with our hero. How could he survive that? - well, just stay for the inevitable in-credits sequence at the end.

Action is fierce, violent and frequent throughout, and at least Momoa does look the part. Fun to watch, if a quarter of an hour too long.

David Quinlan

USA/New Zealand 2018. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Technicolor.
142 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 11 Dec 2018