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Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom Review – If ‘let’s just get done with this and run away from controversy’ had a face

Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom feels like Warner Bros bosses said we need to justify the investment, but also be safe, but there’s also James Gunn here

Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom Review – If ‘let’s just get done with this and run away from controversy’ had a face
Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom Review

Last Updated: 09.16 AM, Dec 21, 2023


As Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) now sits on the throne of Atlantis and also leads a parallel life on the surface, where he has a son, Arthur Jr., with Mera (Amber Heard), an old enemy knocks on his doors. Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), now more powerful than ever with the help of dark forces, decides to destroy everything Aquaman ever loved. The quest begins to save Atlantis and prevent the lost Kingdom from rising again.

Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom Review:

It is indeed sad that when the credits roll and the lights come back, all you can think of is how difficult it was not to watch this movie while keeping the controversies from behind the scenes outside the cinema hall in mind. The fact that we already knew Ben Affleck shot a cameo which was later chopped off. The realization that this is a pointless film because the DCEU is now scrapped, and Jason Momoa will probably never play Aquaman again beyond this . Every time Amber Heard as Mera came in, you could only think of the trial that led to her being reduced to a mere prop on this set.

A movie so doomed that nothing could revive the trust in its material but the content that could be at par with its predecessor. But does it even come close to it? NO. Aquaman 2 is a victim of a loosely handled plot, butchered on the edit table to fit the new structure, and later killed even more because the studio obviously didn’t want to be targeted on the internet, and hit the final nail by not sticking to the very comic it promised to be an adaptation of.

Based on the source material by Mort Weisinger and Paul Norris, Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom has Jason Momoa, James Wan, Thomas Pa’a Sibbett, and David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick credited for the story with the screenplay from the latter. The team that set out amid the pandemic to make the sequel to the most successful DC movie did set out with a noble intent. To tell a story of brotherhood, family, environmental crisis, and everyone trying to bring their specialty to the table. There is a touch of Wan’s obsession with horror, his inspiration from old movies.

But all they could manage to deliver due to the pressure around is a flat drama which looks like it is being edited while you are watching it. Even when there is drama and conflict of a very severe level, the crescendo in Aquaman 2 never rises to make it an impactful movie . You can feel many pieces of this puzzle missing, some odd misfit ones added, and some very convenient decisions taken. It is almost like some Warner Bros executive said we cannot waste the investment so make a movie out of what you got and release it.


Why does it feel like that you ask? Well, Black Manta is established as a man who has now yielded dark powers. An entire sequence shows he has also acquired a very destructive fuel; he has converted an entire forest into a gigantic dystopia. But a couple of minutes into a fight with Aquaman, he is defeated like he was not even a man with strong bones. The same is for Kordax, who according to the comic is Aquaman’s most terrifying and dangerous ancestor. He is killed even before he could breathe his first breath in the screenplay. Imagine this as a scrapped draft mixed with the eliminated things from Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 3 and Ant-Man And The Wasp Quantumania.

Add to this that the movie chooses some very odd things. You wonder if Black Manta had figured out Aquaman’s surface address, why didn’t he go there and get the baby before? Why does Atlanna have nothing to do this time? Why would a filmmaker not give enough screentime to the bond between his two lead brothers? Many questions, but who will answer now as just like the Lost Kingdom, we are about to lose this timeline too.

James Wan’s direction feels like we are watching random episodes from his screenplay come live with no order or story. The first half is a buildup that leads to a conflict that is resolved in minutes. The worst part on this job is that he doesn’t commit to the one true dark nature of the storyline he chose for the sequel. Not every superhero film needs a merry ending; you aren’t even bound by a studio that is catering to children predominantly (yes, I said it). Then why not be brave and kill some characters?

Jason Momoa is more Jason Momoa than Jason himself. This time around he doesn’t seem like Aquaman but just an onscreen extension to his real self. Amber Heard as Mera gets a couple of minutes and absolutely no lines except ‘They are waiting for you at the meeting’. What fan hate can do to a studio as massive as Warner Bros is saddening. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, an actor who doesn’t have to do much visually to make someone fear him, is so effortlessly wasted that I feel more sad for him than anger. No one as even canceling him to give him such an abrupt arc.

However, Patrick Wilson as Orm stands out as his character comes full circle. His dilemma is brought alive in a couple of scenes and the actor performs well. Randall Park as Dr. Shin stands out in the entire movie and is fun to watch as he as well has a good arc.

The visual effects are great, the music is decent, but what’s the point if the material they are supposed to elevate is in itself flattened by the makers so it could only exist to justify the money invested and nothing more than that because it certainly will have no relevance beyond the release date.

Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom Final Verdict:

If the patchwork is visible, a superhero seems to be used so lightly and a villain even more, how are we supposed to call it a final goodbye? Probably one of the saddest and bothering goodbyes ever.


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