Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom 2024 Movie Review
Aquaman and The Lost of Kingdom suffers THE SAME problem with the first installment; it DOES NOT have a distinct identity. We were shocked to see that the major problem they had in Aquaman 1 was again manifested in this sequel. If you watch a film, you know the kind of tone and feel that a movie is giving you. But this movie feels like a jumbled medley of imitations from different kinds of films, almost like a parody. There’s a 10-minute scene where you felt like this is from an Indiana Jones world, and then the next thing you know, you’re stuck in the realm of Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. We can name a lot of different movies that this film takes its tone and design and pastes it into the movie. War of the Worlds, The Matrix Revolutions, Ridley Scott’s Aliens and… okay, we’ll stop now. The result is an endless patchwork of downgraded recreations from various movies. It felt like Aquaman had a day at Disneyland going into different kind of movie-themed rides (minus the ‘fun’).
Adding to that, the first act felt like it was venturing into a documentary style format mixed with Ridley Scott’s Alien style of exposition. Alien was a masterpiece but like we said, this is a dumpster reiteration, it was slow, it had little to no suspense, it tried to build momentum but it didn’t work. They could have cut 10 minutes but they didn’t. It was unnecessarily drawn out as they spent time showing the entirety of their journey into the deep unknown like this is some kind of art house film.
Now, a lot are asking, is Amber Heard in it? Well, yes. Did she have many scenes? Her presence was only about 15% of the whole film. Her character, Mera did play a pivotal role for the story but James Wan, the director knew when to show her on screen. The question, ‘Is her presence important on screen?’ seems like what James Wan would ask himself before making the decision to put her in. She only had few dialogues but her performance was still flat.
We also have a problem with how much they made use of ‘space’. Especially in the first act, we saw they’re a lot of wide shots used but the issue here is the space that filled in those shots; the surroundings, locations or/and environments were only there because… they were made to be there. It barely did anything to the story. But when it comes to scenes that were crowded or had various props or extras, the cameras ddin’t give audience the time to breathe and process the visuals. A lot of mid to fast cuts, there wasn’t much of a sense of appreciation to enjoy the visuals they have built. In the end, we felt discontented.
First Aquaman at least had villains that were enjoyable to watch. This time, the villain or again, villains were just forgettable. The motivations were weak. The main villain didn’t really drive the story forward. It had a backstory and conflict that were created merely for the purpose of this movie’s existence. We couldn’t care less because it’s nowhere interesting, let alone enjoyable.
And talking about that final battle… oh man. It was unbearable to the point that it turned laughable. Was it because of the reshoots that they suffered here? The whole movie, led to the final battle, it was a journey between Aquaman and his brother, only for us to find out that the villain was feeble and it gave the benefit of the plot armor for Aquaman and his weapon. It’s just bad storytelling on top of bad execution overall.
And the movie draggggggsssssss so much, we even questioned, ‘What happened to James Wan?’ From the beginning up until the climax, we were just waiting for something cool or unique to happen, but it didn’t. It drags until the final battle where it should be longer but then that’s when they decided to just cut things off and ended it abruptly the moment the exciting thing was about to pop up. We’re confused.
Amidst these flaws, one thing that truly stood out is its message on brotherhood. A beautiful message combo with good pairing, Jason Momoa and Patrick Wilson have commendable chemistry, we can see it from the way they talk to each other. There’s certainly some dedication they put into establishing their relationship. It’s nothing that you can remember for years but it’s enough to at least carry this movie despite the many bad outcomes this movie turned out to be.
Ultimately, Aquaman 2 seems tailored for a younger audience who just want to enjoy monsters and sea creatures fighting against literally anything or anyone, rather than catering to teenagers or adults seeking a compelling narrative.
Verdict: Similar to its predecessor, this sequel fails to find its identity, drowning in an ocean of borrowed tones and styles from previous movies. With a shallow story, forgettable villains and inconsistent pacing, this film struggles to stay afloat. While it’s a tidal wave of disappointing results, the portrayal of brotherhood between the two leads stands out as a beacon, carrying the entire movie. Overall, this final chapter from the DCEU serves as a testament we’re in dire need for a total reboot of these superheroes.