Let’s be honest—it’s not exactly easy to make underwater fighting look interesting.
Harry Potter only barely managed it, and that involved magic wands and a guy who turned into a shark.
The problem with going underwater, is all that water (obviously). Punches look slow, take more work, and have less impact. Nothing can catch fire or explode with any degree of success. Bubbles are lame.
Plus, when you go deep enough under sea, everything’s really, really dark. That’s no fun.
Sure, things work for Finding Nemo, but we can’t rely on CGI fish to make every action setpiece in Aquaman look interesting.
So who do you go to when you need Jason Momoa look his best while grappling in a greenscreened swimming pool with Patrick Wilson?
What stunt company can be relied to make the ocean look exciting?
How about the team who has perfected desert stunts? You know, the guys whose experience falls solely in organizing stunts in the complete opposite environment?
Yeah, they’ll do.
With Aquaman shooting in Australia, DC have hired the guys who made Mad Max: Fury Road look awesome to come throw themselves off things in the new underwater movie.
According to stunt director Keir Beck, their preparation for this job involves “General stunt skills, fighting, if there is water sequences obviously being capable and competent in water”.
That’s good news. The stunt team who are going to work on Aquaman are currently practicing their swimming, to make sure they don’t actually drown while filming.
That’s a bare minimum for this kind of project, but probably the best you can hope for from guys who are more used to the Australian outback than trying to swim laps while wearing a giant fish costume.
Presumably, one of these stuntmen got dehydrated while filming Fury Road, and wished that his next movie would involve never being too far away from a large water source. Now he’s cursing the irony of this situation as he finds himself holding his breath at the bottom of a lake.
Of course, this is only part of the preparation for Aquaman. After all, even with a well trained stunt team, fights still look stupid underwater.
Not to worry, though, because screenwriter Will Beall has revealed that, in order to combat this, some of the more impressive action setpieces take place on land.
This, of course, means that Aquaman’s special abilities are going to be pretty much wasted in his own movie. Until Jason Momoa grows literal gills, though, you can’t really blame DC for taking the easy way out.