Mar 212024

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom isn’t a terribly special sequel and the plot is rather weak, yet I still had a fun and entertaining thanks in large part to the dynamic between Jason Momoa and Patrick Wilson.



Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Science Fiction
Warner Bros. | PG13 – 124 min. – $39.98 | March 12, 2024

Date Published: 03/21/2024 | Author: The Movieman

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Directed by: James Wan
Writer(s): Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger (Aquaman created by); James Wan & David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Jason Momoa & Thomas Pa’a Sibbett (story), David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (screenplay)
Cast: Jason Momoa, Patrick Wilson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Randall Park, Temuera Morrison, Dolph Lundgren, Martin Short, Jani Zhao, Pilou Asbæk

Features: Featurettes
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K Ultra HD
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (Dolby Atmos), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 2160p/Widescreen 1.78
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265
Region(s): A, B, C

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 3¼/5

Plot Synopsis: After failing to defeat Aquaman (JASON MOMOA) the first time, Black Manta wields the power of the mythic Black Trident to unleash an ancient and malevolent force. Hoping to end his reign of terror, Aquaman forges an unlikely alliance with his brother, Orm, the former king of Atlantis. Setting aside their differences, they join forces to protect their kingdom and save the world from irreversible destruction.

Review: The first Aquaman film, released way back in 2018, was one of the few massive hits for the (now defunct) DCEU aside from 2017’s Wonder Woman. And not unlike the disappointing Wonder Woman 1984, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom follows suit in that it’s watchable for sure and Jason Momoa is a lot of fun as the titular character, the film as a whole wasn’t great, entertaining moments for sure, but otherwise was on the forgettable side and more of a time waster more than anything.

In terms of the plot, it actually reminded me a bit of David Ayer’s Suicide Squad with some ancient power, whose name I can’t remember, takes possession of a person in order to regain their power, in this case Yahya Abdul-Mateen’s Black Manta character who is hell-bent on revenge on Aquaman for the death of his father. Aiding Manta’s quest is the return of Randall Park, who had a brief appearance in the first film, playing Dr. Stephen Shin, and his quest to find Atlantis. Mateen for his part was fine especially since he really doesn’t have a whole lot of depth, no pun intended, for his character nor a real character arc. I think he’s a fine actor who hopefully will find more projects that can showcase his potential range.

Returning as Orm is Patrick Wilson, an actor who generally is great even in lesser movies (see: The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It or any of the Insidious films). He has the better of the arcs, one of redemption for his attempts at destroying the surface world and here we have both aiding Arthur as well as repairing that brother relationship and their dynamic was one of the highlights and quite a bit of fun to watch.

And then there’s good old, bed-shitter, Amber Heard. I’m still stumped why the studio didn’t just recast the role or even, as they did with Willem Dafoe’s Vulko, kill the character off-screen further hammering being a single father as his human father (Temuera Morrison returning) had done with Arthur. Instead we get some obviously chopped scenes where her on-screen presence was minimalized as much as possible to the point where Heard probably only had a few lines and only gets to do a couple things in the final act.

James Wan returns behind the camera and tries his best to give a pretty standard story with that directorial magic with one-shots and utilizing new rigs which at least gives the film some interesting visuals I suppose. Wan is a terrific filmmaker but with these two Aquaman movies and Furious 7, it seems he’s far more comfortable working on a lower budget horror film, though he does put that horror stamp in Lost Kingdom.

What hampers Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is it suffers from the same problems as the first entry not to mention the Transformers franchise, while the effects are generally excellent, the weight of the fights or action sequences is lacking as I never could buy into what was happening thus lowering the stakes, feeling like one is watching a video game cut scene than a feature film.



This release comes with a matted slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. There are several featurettes taking viewers behind the scenes whether on location in Hawaii or the new effects technology Wan employed. All told, its 65 minutes worth of material.

Finding the Lost Kingdom (21:22), Aquaman: Worlds Above and Below (9:38), Atlantean Blood is Thicker Than Water (4:17), It’s a Manta World (10:08), Necrus: The Lost Black City (5:51), Escape from the Deserter World (8:05), Brawling at Kingfish’s Lair (4:07) and lastly, Oh, Topo! (2:12).



VIDEO – 4¾/5

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom swims onto 4K Ultra HD and is shown with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio which is the “IMAX version”. Detail on this was nice and sharp throughout while colors are generally vibrant though the underwater effects in HD does look off. In any case, it is a clean looking transfer that one would expect from a recent release of a big budget Hollywood feature.

AUDIO – 5/5

The disc comes with a Dolby Atmos track that is extremely strong for the action sequences showcasing the great depth while dialogue comes across the center channel with good clarity throughout. Also on display was Rupert Gregson-Williams score that, while not terribly memorable aside from Manta’s theme, still was strong on its own.


OVERALL — 3½/5

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom isn’t a terribly special sequel and the plot is rather weak, yet I still had a fun and entertaining thanks in large part to the dynamic between Jason Momoa and Patrick Wilson. It’s probably best as a rental as I don’t know how much replay value this has.


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