Honest Trailers - Aquaman is the 287th episode of Screen Junkies comedy series Honest Trailers. It was written by Spencer Gilbert, Dan Murrell, Joe Starr, Lon Harris and Danielle Radford. It was narrated by Jon Bailey as Epic Voice Guy. It parodies the 2018 superhero film Aquaman. The video is 5 minutes 28 seconds long. It was published on March 19, 2019, to coincide with the film's digital/Blu-ray release. It has been viewed over 2.2 million times.
"A movie so packed to the gills it couldn't just tell one Aquaman story, it had to tell all of them at once." ~ Honest Trailers - Aquaman
The Joker (Jared Leto): Hunka Hunka!
Now, Warner Bros. and DC are back to just.. completely overwhelm you.
[shows montage of overwhelmingly busy action scenes from Aquaman]
WHAT... IS... HAPPENING?!?!
Remember Aquaman? The nerd that talks to fish?
Aquaman (2002): My ability to talk with fish is of no help, Wonder Woman!
Well, he’s gone from zero to hunky hero! Watch as the pure charisma of Jason Momoa supercharges the character. Transforming him into a sexy undersea Superman who’s super fast, super strong... a lot of the time [clip of Aquaman failing to break out of chains]. And... mostly invulnerable? [Clip shows a knife bouncing off Aquaman's bare chest. Followed by a clip of Black Manta stabbing Arthur]
Okay, so his powers are kind of inconsistent. But, so what? Everyone knows that this Aquaman’s real power is... The Smolder.
[shows clips of Aquaman smoldering accompanied by epic rock music soundtrack]
Aquaman (Jason Momoa): Permission to come aboard?
Permission granted, sailor. Uh, I mean. Is it hot in here? Whooh!
Strap in as Arthur Curry embarks on a reluctant quest to become King Arthur. But, ya know. Like, the cool version.
Mera: I give you, King Arthur!
And he’s not alone, here to help are Princess Mera, and his mother, Queen Atlanna. Two powerful women struggling to overcome terrible wigs. Together, they’ll hunt for a mythical trident that will mark him as the one true king, by giving him... HIS COMIC BOOK. ACCURATE. COSTUME. Holy crap, he actually makes that dumb orange and green suit look cool? Hail to the king, baby.
Did you think there was a lot going on in Avengers: Infinity War? [shows clips of overstuffed action from the movie]. Well, hold this man’s beer, because Thanos may have brought you chaos in the cosmos. But, Aquaman is a whirlwind of so many locations, the movie added titles to keep track. From Amnesty Bay, to the Boston aquarium, over the Sahara, en route to Italy, to... somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, to... somewhere in the Indian Ocean, from Atlantis, to The Hidden Sea, whatever The Kingdom of The Brine is, and... a bunch of other underwater places. All while living through massive undersea battles featuring knights on sea horses fighting mermaids and crab men. In between scenes of overly complicated Game of Thrones politics.
Vulko: "We honor you, King Nereus. by inviting Zeb, to be the first kingdom to join King Norm alliance."
King Nereus: "As if you had a choice Vulko. By law, you need 4 of the 7 kingdoms to send an attack. Once you’ve obtained the pledge of the fo- (cut off)"
While still making time for Indiana Jones adventures, a Little Mermaid love story, a blood feud with high-tech pirates, and that’s before taking a quick lap in the dinosaur filled core of the earth, summoning a kaiju, AND BRINGING PEACE TO THE WORLD! AAHHH!!! (pause) Uh... wait, what happened? I think I blacked out.
So, get ready to jump the shark, all of the sharks, and then shoot at those sharks with water-powered plasma cannons. In a movie so packed to the gills, it couldn’t just tell one Aquaman story, it had to tell all of them at once. Forcing director James Wan to start pumping out Aqua-adjacent spin-offs, to buy some time to figure out how in the heck he’s gonna top this bonkers thing, and if I might make a suggestion? Maybe a prequel about how this octopus learned to play the drums.
(Octopus plays the drums)
Terence Fletcher (from Whiplash): Not quite my tempo.
(Octopus plays the drums again)
Terence: Downbeat on 18.
(Octopus plays the drums again)
Terence: You’re rushing, here we go.
Starring; Jock Cousteau (Jason Momoa as Aquaman), Mer Lady (Amber Heard as Mera), Marine Goblin (Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko), Erik Fishmonger (Patrick Wilson as Ocean Master), Atlanta (Nicole Kidman as Queen Atlanna), Jango Wett (Temuera Morrison as Tom Curry), If He Drowns, He Drowns (Dolph Lundgren as King Nereus), War Merchine (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta), Craaaaab People, Craaaaab People (The Brine), Sea Men, Come on! We had to!, Kaijulie Andrews (Julie Andrews as Karathen), Patrick Wilson Yelling (Shows clips of him yelling), And Explosive Interruptions (Shows four clips of interrupting explosions). Oh, come on. How often do explosions really inter- (fifth explosion) AHHH!!!
Okay, look. I know people think this is similar to another comic book movie, where two ideologically opposed family members clash over kingship of a hidden, high-tech civilization (Black Panther). But, hear me out. This one... is underwater!
- In a deleted joke, the writers called actor Randall Park 'Isea Heights.' The joke is an obscure reference to the Channel 101 show IKEA Heights, which starred Park. Ikea Heights was a soap opera filmed illegally in real IKEA stories around the L.A. area.
- Despite being away on paternity leave, writer Spencer Gilbert submitted a few lines for this Honest Trailer, including comparing the film's aesthetic to a 90's screensaver, and questioning why viewers are expected root for aristocratic characters. Spencer's contribution didn't make it into the final trailer because of pick up deadlines.
- Dan Murrell's partner Mara Knopic came up with the honest title 'The Waterboy.' In the Honest Trailer Commentary, Dan revealed that Mara has legitimately believed Aquaman's comic book costume was yellow and green her entire life, due to color blindness.
- Joe Starr conceived of the Whiplash joke, but credits Dan Murrell and editor Kevin Williamsen for making it work by turning it into a conversation between J.K. Simmons' character and the drum-playing octopus.
- Writer Danielle Radford wrote a tag that joked about Aquaman and Mera kissing while a brutal war rages around them. Though the writers liked the joke, they felt they needed to reference the parallels to Black Panther, lest all comments complain about the omission.
- Screen Junkies have also made Honest Trailers for several other DC superhero films including Shazam, Wonder Woman, Tim Burton's Batman, Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy, Man of Steel, Suicide Squad, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League, and many more. See list of Honest Trailers for more.
Honest Trailers - Aquaman has a 98.2% approval rating from YouTube viewers. Reviews for this Honest Trailer were mixed. MOE Lane wrote Screen Junkies "did remarkably little in the way of analysis of Aquaman. They mostly went with 'Do you see this? Do you SEE this?'" ComicBookMovie argued that Screen Junkies "takes it easy" on Aquaman, and wrote that the Honest Trailer was "not scathing enough." The site wrote that while there were "a few laughs," viewers "might be a little disappointed." The Playlist wrote that the Honest Trailer was full of a lot of "low-hanging fruit" and "obvious jokes." However, the site also appreciated the jokes about Patrick Wilson yelling, and Aquaman's inconsistent powers.
On the positive side, Egostastic said the Honest Trailer "one of their [Screen Junkies] funniest efforts." Chelsea Steiner of The Mary Sue enjoyed the Honest Trailer, writing "the trailer celebrates and pokes fun at the jam-packed film ... The trailer is filled with jokes, making fun of the film’s overabundance of everything, yet its poor use of hair. ... My favorite segment was when the trailer inter-cut that drum-playing octopus with J.K. Simmons abusive professor in Whiplash." The Malay Mail praised Screen Junkies' take, writing "Screen Junkies have once again cast such a different and hilarious light to the movie that we may have missed the first time that a second viewing might be needed now."
Geek Tyrant used their write-up on the Honest Trailer to laud the Honest Trailers series more generally, writing:
And who doesn’t love a good Honest Trailer? No one, I tell you. I love them because they poke fun even at movies that are totally enjoyable. It’s almost like the Weird Al treatment of our time, wherein you love the original, you love the spoof, it’s all just a good time! (Jessica Fisher, March 20, 2019. Geek Tyrant)
Production credits Edit
Voiceover Narration by Jon Bailey
Title Design: Robert Holtby
Edited by Kevin Williamsen
Assistant Editor: Emin Bassavand
- Aquaman Honest Trailer: The Nerd Who Talks to Fish is a Hunk Now - Screen Rant article
- 'Aquaman' Gets an Honest Trailer Treatment - ComicBook.com article
- AQUAMAN Honest Trailer Takes It Easy On James Wan's Undersea Superhero Adventure - ComicBookMovie article
- Aquaman Honest Trailer Declares Arthur a Sexy Underwater Superman - CBR.com article
- The Honest Trailer For Aquaman Calls Out Jason Momoa's Smolder, but We're Not Complaining - PopSugar article
- ‘Aquaman’ Honest Trailer: From Fish-Talking Zero To Hunky Hero - The Playlist article
- An Honest Trailer for Aquaman - Neatorama article
- The Aquaman Honest Trailer. - MOE Lane article
- Aquaman Honest Trailer: Never Make Fun of the Fish Boy - Movieweb article
- Aquaman Honest Trailer: Feel the smolder - Batman News article
- Honest Trailers Takes on the Delightfully Bonkers Aquaman - The Mary Sue article
- AQUAMAN Gets the Honest Trailer Treatment We've Been Waiting For - Geek Tyrant article
- ‘Aquaman’ Honest Trailer Finds Little at Fault in DC’s Highest Grossing Film of All Time (VIDEO) - Egotastic article
- The Honest Trailer for ‘Aquaman’ is All About Jason Momoa’s Smolder - Fan Fest article
- ‘Aquaman’ Honest Trailer: His Real Superpower is That Smolder - SlashFilm article