Written by on February 28, 2024

Years ago Marvel made the comic book movie the premiere attraction at the theaters. Their main competition at DC comics thought they need to jump on board as well. Since Marvel was a few years into their storylines featuring characters and then putting them all in one big movie DC made a critical error. They thought they should go straight to the team-up movies before introducing the individual characters in their own features. While it was backwards and fans felt no connection to the characters they moved forward with several stumbles. DC then went back to do separate movies and found success with Wonder Woman and then Aquaman starring Jason Mamoa. They both had good stories, great special effects, and the acting was at a high level. Maybe DC was finally turning things around and could start to catch up to Marvel. Then they got in their own way again. More on that in a bit. Aquaman: The Lost Kingdom was set to be another hit after the first film’s success and the previews seemed good. However, it became a box office failure and it had people asking why.

The Lost Kingdom continues the story of Aquaman now married with a newborn son and ruling Atlantis as their king. Amber Heard plays Mera, his wife and queen in a minor supporting role. Aquaman is having trouble balancing his life both on land and in the sea. Meanwhile, his biggest enemy, Black Manta played by Yayah Abdul-Mateen II is looking for a way to repair his power suit in order to kill Aquaman. He needs to find Atlantean tech in order to do that and is searching the globe for it. What he finds is a kingdom that has been trapped in ice under the ocean that is pure evil. Manta become influenced by the evil in the city and gains power from it and a magic trident he finds. Aquaman must team up with his other most formidable enemy to fight Manta. He gets his brother Orm, played by Patrick Wilson out of prison to help him stop Manta from destroying the world. It’s the old “can they put their differences aside to win” storyline that comic books sometimes rely on.

Sequels always have a bit of a struggle trying to match or beat their predecessor at the box office. All of the reviews seemed to put the film down for a weak storyline and special effects that were not as smooth as the first film. I can agree on both. The enemy of my enemy is my friend plot has been used too many times. And the underwater effects that seemed flawless in the first film made actor’s faces look out of place and made Nicole Kidman, playing Aquaman’s mother not even look like herself at times. Viewers did not share critics thoughts as they gave it a high percentage of love at 81% per Rotten Tomato. There wasn’t as many big moments with the special effects, and the scenes that had some felt very detached. The acting was pretty good and there was a good use of humor throughout the film. Most of the fight scenes were well directed and not too dizzying. Here’s where other outside issues became a distraction. Amber Heard’s off film perception caught up with the film. Her very public trial against her estranged husband Johnny Depp that brought out many disturbing actions by the actress didn’t help and you could tell the director tried to keep her off the screen as much as possible. It made scenes feel choppy and like she was a just a background player. DC was just as distracting off screen as well. They did good press for the movie, but other decisions may have caused issues for the movie’s overall performance. These comic book movies rely on a continuation of their storylines and how they can crossover with the other superhero films in their library. DC has basically decided to strip everything down they had barely built in the last few years. They let go almost every actor that they had built their franchises around to basically reboot storylines. Fans became uninvested because they felt that there is no payoff for the next film. Instead of another Justice League movie to look forward to teaming up Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman with Aquaman there is nothing. At least not with these actors. So, DC basically undercut their own movie by telling the world that the next movie with a cast of their major superhero stars will be made of different actors and have no connection to the recent string of movies. Even the most ardent comic book nerd will balk at that. Aquaman: The Lost Kingdom is worth watching streaming on HBO MAX, but that may be it for Mamoa as the King of Atlantis and the storyline they built. Watch and enjoy, but be ready to feel like there won’t be any more movies in this vein.

Reader's opinions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Current track