20.12.2023 PG-12 2 h 4 min
In the headlines because of the controversy surrounding Amber Heard as Mera, endless release date delays, re-editing – that made you fear the worst. However, I can assure fans of the first Aquaman movie: those fears are completely unfounded.
Firstly, the sequel to the story of DC superhero Jason Momoa – er, Aquaman – maintains the quality of the first cinematic adventure Aquaman (2018). Visually stunning entertainment, a pleasure to watch from start to finish, I wasn’t bored for a second.
Secondly, the story has absolute relevance in reality, unfortunately – a fact you cannot miss and which hit me painfully despite the fantasy dressing. The story: The mysterious Black Trident gives Black Manta new power; driven by the need to avenge his father’s death, he will stop at nothing to take Aquaman down, even if it means to destroys the whole globe, too. Aquaman, a new father, seeks support from his family, even from his brother Orm. But first they have to settle their differences.
Thirdly, if the media fuzz beforehand had not happened, you’d never notice that Mera’s role was basically reduced to the bare essentials, supposedly just enough to avoid plot holes. For me, it was just right and should not have been anything more than that version.
And of course, the soul and driving force of the movie is Jason Momoa – a force of nature, his personality, the big, soft heart underneath all those muscles, the big tongue-in-cheek smile (just like in real life), that alone makes “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” an absolute pleasure. As if he secretly WAS the king of Atlantis for real … His interaction with the co-stars – above all Patrick Wilson (King Orm / Ocean Master) – easily lifts the whole thing above the level of an average comic book adaptation. For me the central themes are touching, as unfortunately also rooted in reality: blind vengeance that mercilessly destroys everything and everyone around, brothers killing each other – hopefully the “path to reconciliation despite all obstacles” will soon have a parallels in reality, too.
My only point of criticism – the CGI CEOs or the designers have either watched too much or too little of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. I don’t know if it’s because of staying true to some historic templates in Aquaman comic books, but sorry, still they could have come up with something else. Nevertheless, in my opinion, that’s not enough to give this movie a “Star Wars fandom” full-body slam (you know, those people you can’t satisfy with anything) – I’ll only cut half a point because of that.
Summing up, go and watch it, have fun. It’s also supposedly the last (15th) movie from the DC Extended Universe …
Directed by James Wan
Writing Credits: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, James Wan, David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, Jason Momoa, Thomas Pa’a Sibbett
Aquaman created by Mort Weisinger, Paul Norris
Jason Momoa … Arthur Curry / Aquaman
Patrick Wilson … King Orm / Ocean Master
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II … David Kane / Black Manta
Dolph Lundgren … King Nereus
Temuera Morrison … Tom Curry
Nicole Kidman … Atlanna
Jani Zhao … Stingray
Amber Heard … Mera