- AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM
- Starring: Jason Momoa, Patrick Wilson
- Directed by: James Wan
- Rating: PG-13
- Running Time: 2 hrs 4 mins
- Warner Bros. Pictures
After lots of lows and some highs, the DC extended universe of films is ending with its 15th and final installment in the form of “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.” Currently in theaters, “Lost Kingdom” ends the franchise on a solid note with two hours of pure popcorn fun. While Jason Momoa is no Laurence Olivier or Sidney Poitier, he does not pretend to be and instead infuses a genuine enthusiasm into a performance which does not require a lot of range. Bolstered by some enjoyable supporting performances, fun action, and few laughs, “Lost Kingdom” is an improvement over the first “Aquaman”.
Voiceover narrations are often so dullish that they impair a film’s progression, which is the case in the beginning with “Lost Kingdom.” Momoa provides a reflection of where his character of Arthur Curry/Aquaman has been over the past few years, and it comes across as stilted. Regardless, we learn that Aquaman has married Mera (Amber Heard) and had a son while at the same time trying to lead a double life as a reluctant king of Atlantis.
Concurrently, we see that David Kane/Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) is still hell bent on avenging the death of his father no matter what the cost. Amid his quest, Black Manta, with the assistance of a marine biologist, stumbles across an ancient Atlantean artifact in the form of a black trident. Like something out of a D&D game, the trident possesses Black Manta and its trapped creator, who resembles the King of the Dead from “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King,” offers Black Manta glorious purpose if he frees him.
Black Manta’s subsequent actions with other forms of ancient technology threaten to destroy the Earth’s environment. To prevent it, a war with the surface world, and save his family, Aquaman must turn to his imprisoned, disgruntled brother, Orm (Patrick Wilson) for help.
For someone who has been a fan of at least some of the DC movies, or the Zack Snyder universe, it is a bit sad to see the unfinished storylines come to an end. It is at least going out on a decent note as “Lost Kingdom” provides a fun way to spend just over two hours at the movie theater. There are several laughs to be had throughout its running time with plenty of action, albeit nothing we have not seen before, and decent enough special effects. The thing about “Lost Kingdom” is that it does not take itself too seriously, which would have caused it to be a complete dud if it had.
Abdul-Mateen II stands out once again as a man so blinded by rage and revenge that he become something less than human. Wilson is also fantastic with some great comic relief with good timing in support of Momoa. Overall, “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” is a nice swan song to a franchise that had its fair share of severe ups and downs.
“Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” receives ★★½ stars out of five.