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Ranking: Aquaman

My son and I saw Aquaman in the movie theater this past weekend. It was his second time seeing it, and it was entertaining enough for a 13-year old that he eagerly went back with me. The nice thing about going to a movie that’s been out for a while–both our tickets together came to $13.00. Pretty cheap for a movie nowadays!

I’m not sure I liked it as much as my son, but I found it plenty entertaining. Unlike most DC films lately, it didn’t have an especially dark tone. It was fun and fast-paced. Best of all, it didn’t take itself too seriously, just like it’s lead character, Arthur Curry, who was born to an Atlantean mother but raised by his human father in a small town in Maine. Arthur’s main hobbies are drinking and hell-raising, though he sometimes likes to go for long swims to commune with the fish and, um, fight off pirates. When other characters start coming around asking him to come to the ocean to take up the crown of an undersea kingdom called Atlantis, all he knows is how inadequate he would be to the task of kingship.

When a war between Atlantis and other underwater kingdoms comes to the surface, though, he knows he finally has to visit Atlantis and overthrow his half-brother, Orm, a war-mongerer who sits on the throne in his stead. Not surprisingly, Orm doesn’t want to go, and he tosses Arthur and their beautiful and headstrong cousin Mera, who has befriended Arthur, into a deep ocean trench filled with demonic deep-sea creatures. It is there that Arthur and Mera make an important discovery….

Like I said, the film is fast-paced and humorous, and it has plenty of great special effects without overly relying on them. It also has some surprisingly A-list actors: Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe. I don’t know that muscle-bound and heavily-tattooed Jason Momoa is one of history’s great actors, but as Aquaman, he has definitely found a role that suits him. All in all, I rank this movie as Pretty Good, the second-highest rating in my system, putting it just below the first Spider-Man movie from 2002 (yes, I know there was a 1970s made-for-TV Spider-Man movie, but I’m not counting it) and above X-Men 2.

I have previously ranked Avengers: Infinity War, the Avengers movies, the Batman moviesBlack PantherCaptain America: Civil WarDr. StrangeGuardians of the Galaxy 2, LoganMan of Steel, the Man-Thing, the non-Marvel and non-DC comic movies, the other DC movies, the Spider-Man movies, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the summer 2015 comic movies, the Superman moviesThor: RagnarokWonder Woman, and the X-Men movies.

As ever, my ranking system is
Green=excellent  Blue=pretty good  Black=Okay  Red=avoid


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Here’s the master list of all comics movies I’ve rated so far, in order from best to worst:

Crumb
American Splendor
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Iron Man
Heavy Metal (1981)
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Avengers
Superman (1978)
Captain America
Wonder Woman (2017)
Batman Begins (2005)
Captain America: Civil War
Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier
Spider-Man (2002)
Aquaman
X-Men 2: X-Men United
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Superman II
Batman (1989)
Ant-Man
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Dr. Strange
The Dark Knight (2008)
Logan (2017)
Iron Man 3
The Wolverine (2013)
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Sin City (2005)
X-Men: First Class
X-Men (2000)
Black Panther
Man of Steel (2013)
Avengers: Infinity War
Avengers 2: Age of Ultron
Swamp Thing (1982)
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Iron Man 2
Watchmen (2009)
Batman Forever (1995)
Superman Returns (2006)
Thor 2: The Dark World
Incredible Hulk (2008)
Mystery Men (1999)
Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Man-Thing (2005)
Superman III
Supergirl (1984)
Thor
X-Men 3: Last Stand
Hulk (2003)
Fritz the Cat (1972)
Batman and Robin (1997)
Batman Returns (1992)
Superman IV

Amazing Spider-Man (2012) (Haven’t seen)
Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) (Haven’t seen)
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) (Haven’t seen)
Batman (1966) (Haven’t seen)
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (Haven’t seen)
Catwoman (Haven’t seen)
Constantine (Haven’t seen)
Deadpool (Haven’t seen)
Green Lantern (Haven’t seen)
Hellboy (Haven’t seen)
Judge Dredd (Haven’t seen)
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014) (Haven’t seen)
V for Vendetta (Haven’t seen)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Haven’t seen)

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