Warner Bros.’ The plan to restore Aquaman’s image by turning him into Jason Momoa was one of the more curious things about the DC Extended Universe when the franchise was first coming together. The idea of a hulking, drunken prodigal son of Atlantis seemed a little silly at the time, and it was. But it also (unlike the rest) worked surprisingly well in Zack Snyder Justice LeagueAnd while that movie may not have been much to write home about, Aquaman’s presence in it seemed like a hopeful sign that Warner Bros. might still be able to right the ship eventually.
Small breaths of that same hope were present in director James Wan’s uneven debut film aquaman The Solo feature, both its dazzling underwater set pieces and light-hearted tone, made it feel like a much-needed breath of fresh air for the DCEU. given first aquamanAfter its incredible box office success, it came as no surprise when a sequel was announced. At the time, it was easy to imagine that the follow-up film would be a reflection of the lessons Warner Bros. had learned from its difficulties in getting the rest of the DCEU off the ground.
In Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, you can clearly see how much Warner Bros. is paying attention to the public’s reaction to its burgeoning franchise of comic book adaptations, and the direction that its competitors like Disney/Marvel have been taking their projects recently . But the entire DCEU has now been shut down and cast aside in favor of a hard reboot, you can also watch The Lost Kingdom As a monument to everything that was great (which wasn’t much) and terrible about this particular superhero movie experiment.
Rather than wasting time framing itself as part of an extended universe like some of Warner Bros.’s other recent live-action DC films, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Puts all its energy into reintroducing you to half-human/half-Atlantean king Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa). As both a human-born member of the Justice League and the rightful heir to the Atlantean throne, Arthur is known as a unique kind of hero among the many undersea kingdoms secretly thriving within Earth’s oceans.
But a few years into his marriage to Mira (Amber Heard), Arthur has also become a father, and as committed as he is to keeping his kingdom safe, he would prefer to spend most of his free time with his family. Although family and legacy have always been a big part of Aquaman’s lore, The Lost Kingdom It spends so much of its first act banging on the “Aquaman’s a cool dad, now” drum that it feels like the film has pulled the plot from Marvel Studios’ recent playbook.
Whereas Justice League And aquamanWhile Arthur was an irritable, beer-drinking type who tended to butt heads before asking questions, Momoa tried to bring a playful sweetness to the character, meant to convey how fatherhood softens and strengthens him. . Although you would expect the turn to parenthood to focus more on Arthur’s relationship with Mira, The Lost Kingdom There is greater emphasis on how the arrival of the child deepens Arthur’s relationship with his father Tom Curry (Temuera Morrison) and mother Atlanna (Nicole Kidman). Up to a point, that emphasis helps The Lost Kingdom Differentiate yourself from other movies about parenting like superheroes Thor: Love and Thunder And Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, But as the film unfolds, Heard’s notable lack of screen time becomes an increasingly glaring reminder The Lost KingdomProblems behind the scenes.
The Lost Kingdom Just to remind you how much Arthur loved being a family man. But with humanity’s pollution threatening the planet’s oceans, and threats like David Kane/Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) plotting to destroy Atlantis, it’s rare that he’s not far from them. Happening to those he cares about most. If The Lost Kingdom With its focus on Arthur’s struggle torn between his life on land and sea, the film would probably work like a seamless, self-contained sequel on well-established ground.
instead, The Lost Kingdom Features so much world building, and so many set pieces, that it feels less like its own separate story and more like an unwieldy narrative cobbled together from the wreckage of Warner Bros.’ finished off Chasm Spin-off film.
The Lost Kingdom is often a smorgasbord of visual delights as it takes Arthur to the bottom of the sea where Atlantis and other kingdoms are presented as different parts of a beautiful, giant bioluminescent world that puts Wakanda ForeverIt’s a shame Talokan. But as inspired as the film’s visuals are, its plot is as predictable as it is convoluted. And it spends so much time introducing new faces and underwater locations that until the third act no one actually mentions the existence of a kingdom whose being lost might have some significance.
More than anything else, it creates that bloated quality The Lost Kingdom It feels like it’s a product of the DCEU, but it’s far from the worst film in the franchise. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom It’s not a particularly surprising or inspired film, but it’s one that crosses the finish line of a relay race Warner Bros. was never going to win.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom It also stars Patrick Wilson, Randall Park, Dolph Lundgren, Martin Short and Indya Moore.