Feast for the eyes - pretty harmless fun
I prewatched this before taking my 9 year old daughter, and it was a pleasure to get to see it twice on the big screen!
It did not disappoint in terms of superhero fun and spectacle. I have a few points in the movie to watch out for. Early on, there is a long fighting sequence involving a takeover of a Russian submarine. There is a stabbing of the captain which my daughter found shocking when I did not manage to cover her eyes in time - oops! Once Aquaman arrives, the fighting becomes more cartoonesque. However, towards the end of this battle, the Villians father dies - he is pinned down in a stricken submarine after a fight with Aquaman, leaving him the choice of drowning or suicide by grenade: his son cannot save him, no matter what he tries. This would have been a hard watch for my daughter - suicide in front of your own son seemed a bit too heavy of a concept, so she skipped that bit. You don’t actually see what happens but it is clear which the dying man has chosen.
Then for the most part of the film we bounce from back story flashbacks to action scenes. My daughter found all the underwater stuff thrilling and fantastic. People riding sharks and giant seahorses for goodnesakes - She was beaming! She adored the strong female figures in this movie, even if their costumes were a bit objectifying, but arguably, Aquaman himself is mostly eye candy. Do not go to this film expecting highbrow script and complex plot lines!
There was a long sequence involving “Trench Creatures” (about half way through for those waiting with a sheet to put over their children’s head, when our hero and heroine are out to sea on a fishing boat). They have scary thin human/creature bodies with anglerfish heads and they are a bit overwhelming but no one actually gets hurt.
Then the final enevitable battle involves lots of fighting and good guys and bad guys alike use their “riding sharks” to bite people in half and do all manor of crazy killing. However, it is such a mass battle that it does not dwell on individual gore. I can’t remember much blood but there is a huge leviathon type creature who some children might find too much at first....but will come to love. My daughter found this all fine, but bear in mind, she is a big superhero fan.
As far as Aquaman goes, his heart is in the right place but he is a drinker and he does swear. He could easily rock up as an extra on Sons of Anarchy so I’m not sure he is exactly a role model. I did not find this a problem but maybe some parents might. His smile should win most mums over (!)
By the end, the message of good triumphing over evil was strong. My daughter and I were buzzing from the sheer visual craziness that is Aquaman. It has some really fun and visually exciting/beautiful concepts where the creators have played around with what living underwater would be like and that imaginative side was what my daughter took with her from the movie.