Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Review

Happy new year, everyone! I wish you all a very happy 2024. I mentioned earlier that I wanted to be more frequent on my blog, and something I like doing is going to the movies. So I thought, why not share my opinions on the films I see?

Going to the movies regularly actually started with Aquaman on my 2018 Christmas holiday. I hadn't seen any superhero movies before and thought it would be an interesting genre to try. I had a blast with this movie and it lead to me going to the movies more often. The idea of Arthur becoming King of Atlantis not because he wanted to or was even worthy of it, but because he had to, was just so good. I loved watching Arthur transform into this unstoppable hero with the entire orchestra backing him up.

I was eagerly awaiting its sequel and re-watched this movie at least twice more. The sequel was released a few weeks ago and I finally got to see it today.

The Plot

Black Manta wants revenge on Arthur for killing his father in the first movie. He teams up with scientist Stephen Shin to locate Atlantis. Searching in the arctic, Stephen and Black Manta find the black trident, an artifact of a previous fallen Atlantian kingdom. Wielding the trident, Black Manta speaks to the spirit possessing the trident which promises him immense power for doing his bidding.

Black Manta ends up gaining knowledge of this old Atlantean technology called Orichalcum. It fell out of favour because even though it was an energy rich material, it released greenhouse gasses at an alarming rate causing climate change. So now, Arthur has to team up with his brother Orm to stop Black Manta from destroying the environment and bringing back this ancient force which is possessing the black trident.


Unfortunately, I didn't like Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and it was a massive disappointment. I thought the movie was boring and unfortunately rather unfun.

You could argue the theme of this movie is restoring the relationship between Arthur and his brother Orm, but I feel this theme isn't as strong as the theme from the first movie. Arthur undergoes virtually no character development while Orm gets the most. By the end of the movie, he no longer hates humanity. However, I don't think he earned this redemption.

While he worked with Arthur for about half the movie, here's the thing: after the events of the first film, he gets locked away underground in the desert with these skeleton creatures acting as his jailers. They torment him and torture him, only offering a few drops of water to keep him alive. Then, as soon as Arthur realizes he actually needs his brother's help, he decides to show up and says, "You look worse for wear. Grab Wilson and let's go." Cue laugh track.

The action scenes weren't particularly well done and didn't hold my attention. This is more of a common issue for me with action movies these days, but I didn't like how overpowered Black Manta was with his laser eyes. The laser eye thing felt overused, but I think that's the only way the writers could think of for him to subdue the main characters without outright killing them. He is such a one-dimensional villain driven by revenge that he would otherwise kill everyone he gets an edge over. Whenever he used his laser eyes, the fight would be over.

There was also a weapon the bad guys had which emitted sound waves that instantly knocked out any of the Atlantians they were struggling against. Of course by the last act, the good guys had a way to counteract it, but this was such a lame plot device. It really made combat against the villains pointless because they always had an easy escape. There's just no stakes, and the visual effects didn't have enough of a wow-factor to keep my interest in those scenes.

Again, I was looking forward to this movie and I wanted to like it. I guess it just wasn't the film for me. I wouldn't suggest seeing it, but do go see the Wonka movie. It was such a great feel-good movie that really hit the spot.