Aquaman is the most bonkers blockbuster of 2018, maybe of all time
Love it or hate it, it definitely isn't boring.
Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) and his half-brother Orm (Patrick Wilson) are about to fight to the death in a giant gladitorial style arena at the bottom of the ocean, surrounded by tens of thousands of Atlanteans.
The outcome of the fight will decide who will rule over Atlantis, and whether there will be war declared on the "surface dwellers" following decades of pollution and harvesting of their food.
It is all hugely tense, the two warriors decked out in armour and preparing their tridents, Orm delivering some incredible war cries in preparation for the fight, we can hear these deep battle drums banging away in the background... and the camera cuts to the player of the drums...
And it is an octopus.
Bouncing its eight arms heavily against a set of drums, we see an octopus merrily supplying the soundtrack to this incredibly important scene.
That is what you get with Aquaman, a movie that jumps tone (and sometimes entire genre) from scene to scene, or maybe even within one single scene. It is bonkers, completely different from everything that Warner Brothers and DC (or any comic book movie) has attempted to do before, and you will either go along with the wave of madness, or get caught up in trying to understand it and mostly likely drown in the ludicrousness.
The only one who appears to know what kind of film they're in here is Momoa himself, as he can go seamlessly from kicking ass to turning himself into a goofball with little more than a charming flip of his hair.
Everyone else seems to have been told that they're in a different movie entirely, plus director James Wan's borderline schizophrenic approach to the story keeps flitting back and forth between Man Of Steel sincerity and Wonder Woman fun.
He can put together an action set-piece better than most - one particular stand-out is the destruction of Sicily, mostly because it doesn't feel like it was composed almost entirely of CGI - but there are whole segments of the movies that feel like they could've taken place in one of his Conjuring movies such are the level of scares.
But then, there is also a "comedy" (and we use that word questioningly) scene where our heroes arrive at a new location, with a song by Pitbull (?!) blaring over the background.
Having already been introduced in the two previous DCU movies, which this movie smartly doesn't mention much, Aquaman attempts to be an origin story, a world-building story, a connect-the-dots story (how did we get from Justice League to here?), and a sequel bait story all in one.
There was A LOT to do here, probably way too much, with the scope alone of this movie being much bigger than you'd anticipate. A massive tidal wave sequence at the beginning of the movie barely registers as a set-piece, but in any other movie it might have been its centrepiece. Before the film is over we've travelled all around, down, and into the planet, been introduced to a dozen different sea creature races, and barely managed to have a single conversation that wasn't interrupted by something exploding.
Aquaman is a cinematic sensory overload, one that is never boring, but if you're in the right frame of mind, might just hit you in the sweet spot of the pleasure centre of your brain. If not, it will be a case of a tale filled with sound and fury, signifying nothing.
It might all depend on how sober or not you are at the time you're watching it...
Aquaman is released in Irish cinemas from Wednesday, 12 December.