Submerging into the depths of the DCEU, Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom emerges as a sequel that not only splashes but also makes waves. Directed by the versatile James Wan, this sequel to the 2018 hit Aquaman sees Jason Momoa reprising his role as the affable Arthur Curry. While it doesn’t reinvent the superhero genre, it offers a refreshing take, especially as a conclusion to the DCEU. Standing on its own, buoyed by Momoa’s undeniable charm and a supporting cast that adds depth, this film is a dive worth taking.
Momoa’s Arthur Curry is more than just the king of Atlantis; he’s a hero with a human touch. His performance, alongside a strong ensemble cast, elevates the film beyond the standard superhero fare. Momoa infuses the character with a personal touch, making Aquaman more than just a guy who can talk to fish. The plot, a whirlwind of climate change, ancient artefacts, and family drama, sees Arthur juggling his royal duties, fatherhood, and, of course, saving the world. It’s like The Crown meets Indiana Jones, but with more water and less Nazis (well, sort of).
The Strengths of Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom
Jason Momoa’s Charismatic Lead
Jason Momoa’s Aquaman is a delightful blend of strength and humour. He brings a personal touch to the role, making Aquaman relatable and endearing. His charisma is the film’s driving force, making every scene a joy to watch. The supporting cast, including Patrick Wilson and Nicole Kidman, adds layers to the narrative, creating a dynamic viewing experience.
James Wan’s Direction and Creative Flair
James Wan’s expertise in crafting suspenseful scenes shines through in the film’s scarier moments. His direction in the action sequences is spectacular, particularly in the inventive fight scenes that highlight Momoa’s physical prowess. The film’s character designs are visually striking, with a special mention to the desert guards. The subtle references to Star Wars and Lord of the Rings add a layer of geeky delight.
Where Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom Falls Short
Formulaic Plot and Underwhelming Villains
The film’s plot doesn’t venture far from the well-trodden path of superhero narratives. The frequent use of ‘deus ex machina’ undermines the story’s potential for originality and depth. Black Manta, played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, feels underdeveloped, and the secondary villain’s resemblance to Sauron lacks the intrigue and fear factor that could have elevated the film’s antagonist roster.
CGI Overload and Misplaced Humour
The portrayal of Black Manta’s followers and their Nazi-esque attire is perplexing and excessive. Furthermore, the final fight scene’s CGI feels more akin to a video game than the high-quality action expected from a Wan-directed sequence. Randall Park’s character, Dr. Stephen Shin, feels out of place with his sitcom-style humour amidst the unfolding chaos.
Final Thoughts on Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom
Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom navigates the turbulent waters of the superhero genre with a certain flair, primarily buoyed by Jason Momoa’s magnetic performance. It’s a film that, while not charting new territory, manages to deliver a satisfying experience. This sequel, in many ways, outshines its predecessor and stands taller than several of its DCEU counterparts. It’s a testament to the fact that even within the confines of a formulaic genre, charismatic performances and creative action sequences can elevate a movie.
However, the film’s reliance on well-worn tropes and its underwhelming villain roster are like barnacles on the hull of this cinematic ship. The script, at times, seems to be on autopilot, relying on convenient plot devices rather than charting a course through unexplored narrative depths. Despite these shortcomings, Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom is far from a cinematic shipwreck. It’s a reminder that the superhero genre, much like the ocean, is vast and varied, and there’s still room for films that entertain and engage, even if they don’t revolutionize the genre.
Filmed for IMAX as part of the Filmed for IMAX programme, the movie was shot with IMAX-certified digital cameras, including the ARRI Alexa Mini LF. This means the film features IMAX exclusive Expanded Aspect Ratio throughout, providing up to 26% more picture only in IMAX. Exclusively in IMAX cinemas, the film will fill the entire screen as intended by Wan, allowing moviegoers to experience more of the images with unprecedented detail and clarity. Combined with next-generation IMAX precision sound, audiences are in for a truly spectacular and immersive experience.
What do you make of this review? Are you going to be watching the Aquaman sequel in cinemas?
Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom was released in cinemas in the United Kingdom and the United States today.