Does Aquaman Have the Super Strength to Save the DC Cinematic Universe?

Box office win gives Warner Bros. hope after disappointing "Justice League" and "Suicide Squad."

Jason Momoa in "Aquaman" (Warner Bros.)
Jason Momoa in "Aquaman" (Warner Bros.)

Aquaman may have had his hands full against Ocean Master and Black Manta on the big screen, but his biggest hero’s quest may have been overcoming the malaise that hung over the DC Cinematic Universe.

Warner Bros. has a much needed super-hero hit in Aquaman, which took last weekend’s box office crown, to go along with the Atlantean one, courtesy of a $72 million domestic debut. The film also earned a healthy $410 million internationally through the weekend. More importantly, critics and audiences alike have likened it more to the popular Wonder Woman than the poorly received dreary Justice League and Dawn of Justice, which featured Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill playing dreary, humorless versions of Batman and Superman respectively.

In the ongoing cold war with Marvel, the standard of superhero cinematic superheroes, that reception for Jason Momoa’s goofy, but macho underwater hero is an important step.

“The film’s humorous tone suggests that the DC universe finally took a page from Marvel’s lighthearted approach to masked Avengers’ movies,” writes Variety’s Rebecca Rubin. “If some painfully cheesy jokes are the price moviegoers have to pay for hero with some personality, it’s one well worth paying. It’s also promising when looking at the future of DC.

“Cavill appears to be hanging up his red cape, and it’s unlikely that Affleck will get another call to play the Caped Crusader, but the momentum behind Wonder Woman and Aquaman signals that the Justice League might look a little different in years to come.”

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