Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom in IMAX 3D – The DVDfever Cinema Review – Jason Momoa

Aquaman And The Lost KingdomAquaman And The Lost Kingdom Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom

Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom comes a whole five years after the first movie, released also around Christmas, in 2018.

I haven’t seen that film, but in filling a gap for something to do during the Christmas break, I figured the plot wouldn’t exactly be difficult to follow. After all, superhero movies aren’t exactly The Usual Suspects

In this movie, Arthur Curry, aka Aquaman (Jason Momoa – who has a cameo post-credits in The Flash) has married Mera (psycho nut-job Amber HeardZack Snyder’s Justice League), had a baby, and he’s now the King of Atlantis, which sounds like it would be ace, but in his world, it looks about as fun as being Prime Minister without the chance to add squillions to your personal wealth through your own corruption.

Because reasons, Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen IIThe Trial Of The Chicago 7) obtains a green trident which gives him superpowers, and he wants to bump off our hero. The only way he can do this is to break his brother, King Orm (Patrick WilsonInsidious 5: The Red Door), out of prison so he can help. But… hey, if we have Orm, where’s Cheep? Anyhoo, it’s yet another movie case of ‘getting the band back together’, and it leads to Aquaman calling his brother “Loki“, as in the evil sibling of the pair.

Nicole Kidman also returns, but since she had some unwise plastic surgery, it still makes her looks like she’s familiar with the pretend novel from Sean Hughes, My Life As A Startled Bunny

Meanwhile, Dr. Stephen Shin (Randall ParkTotally Killer) works for the enemy, because Black Lives Manta… (ba-dum-tss!), and ancient tech is helping them find orichalcum – which is useful because other reasons, but these products produce greenhouse gasses and oooh, cause a global climate meltdown. Oooh, need a tissue?

There’s a lot of good fun in Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom, such as fights and battles taking place to either Steppenwolf’s Born To Be Wild or Norman Greenbaum’s Spirit In The Sky, and how the land of Devil’s Deep is like the Land of the Lost – along with an “EWWWW!” encounter with a cockroach, but while at 124 minutes, the film doesn’t outstay its welcome, a minor issue is that the script is pretty poor. I presume the reasons for locking Orm up in an inescapable prison were justified, so for Aquaman to break in, smash the place up and when Orm questions his reasoning, our lead just replies, “Bah, old shit(!)”, it shows none of the $205m budget was spent on dialogue.

Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom

Jason Momoa and…. thingy.

However, the real dirge in the plot comes with how Aquaman’s underground area is experiencing global warming and it’s mankind’s fault (of course), so he wants to go above water and talk to a scientist and reveal their kingdom, so they can still live. Plus, everyone keeps going on about ‘climate change’, so this film is as bad as Superman IV: The Quest For Peace for the eco-plot, bashing you over the head with that nonsense.

There’s is lots of humour that does work, but like the water-based creatures, Warner Bros are really taking a bath on this one. While the 2018 movie cost around $200m, it coined in a massive $1.152 billion, back before all the behaviour from Heard and when people were still hugely into superhero movies. This time, it’s cost $205m, was filmed in 2021, didn’t realised just how hard things would (water) tank over two years later, and has barely taken $130m at the time of posting this. In fact, I read that there’s so little interest in it, that it’s going straight to streaming from New Year’s Day. Given its December 21 release date, that’s an appalling performance for a movie.

But then, this has been long since known as the 15th and final film as part of the ‘DCEU’ (DC Extended Universe), with the rebooted ‘DCU’ (no E, this time), being overseen by James Gunn from 2025, starting with Superman: Legacy. However, given the poor revenue of late, I think they may as well just knock the whole thing on the head. Look at the way Universal practically abandoned their Monsters Universe, after the way 2017’s The Mummy completely flopped.

Before I get to the last part of my review, there’s also a mid- and post-credits scene to the film, so STAY SEATED! If you missed it, check out the Short video below.

Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom – Mid- AND Post-Credits Scenes Breakdown #Shorts – DVDfeverGames

Still, what’s more interesting about the film is not the plot onscreen, but about what’s going on with superhero movies in general. There’s clearly a decline in their fortunes, and while DC Movies have had a regular rocky road in terms of success at the box office – but more often, failure, Marvel have usually leapt ahead with a clearer vision of where their characters are going.

That said, while this film and The Flash have basically flopped, Marvel haven’t had an easy time of it, either. In 2023, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania started Phase Five with a less than out-of-this-world box office, and one that was almost as small as its characters. It had a $200m budget, and while movies need to take about 2-3 times their budget to break even – so, this one would’ve needed around $500-600m, it only took $476.1m.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3 was still as so-so as a movie as usual, but despite the $250m budget, it took in a large $845.6m. However, the rot is now setting in for them, with the awful The Marvels, which cost $219.8m, yet only recouped $205.6m. As such, it’s of no surprise to anyone that, whilst probably affected by the pandemic delays, Marvel only have one film to be released in 2024 (Deadpool 3, on July 26th), with Captain America: Brave New World scheduled for Feb 14th 2025, even though all the filming was complete by June 30th, this year.

As an aside, while the cast are generally clearly having fun, I can’t believe they hired the stunning Ingrid Bisu (The Nun, Toni Erdmann), and then relegated her to a mere ‘Pier Waitress’. Give her a major part! Give her Amber’s part!!

Plus, for a film shot in 2D and converted to 3D in post-production (like all superhero movies), this one breaks the mould in being one that actually works, and is looks great when viewing it that way, as the effect is well-used. Additionally, unlike the regular cinema version being in 2.39:1, in IMAX, it’ll fill your digital IMAX screens at 1.90:1 from start to finish. Reportedly, it was shot in 1.78:1 (16:9), so for the handful of screens in the UK which can show 1.43:1 IMAX images, if they have a GT Laser printer – and if Warner supply the correct master, unlike Fox with Star Wars: The Force Awakens – you’ll see a smidgen more.

Either way, it would be better in at least 1.90:1 than 2.39:1, so it’s worth the IMAX trip.

Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom is in cinemas now, and is available to pre-order on 4K Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD, ahead of its release date TBA.

Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom – Official Trailer – DC

Detailed specs:

Running time: 124 minutes
Release date: December 21st 2023
Studio: Warner Bros
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 (IMAX version); 2.39:1 (DXL RAW (8K))
Cinema: Odeon Trafford Centre
Rating: 7/10

Director: James Wan
Producers: Rob Cowan, Peter Safran, James Wan
Screenplay: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick Aquaman creators: Mort Weisinger, Paul Norris
Music: Rupert Gregson-Williams

Arthur Curry / Aquaman: Jason Momoa
King Orm / Ocean Master: Patrick Wilson
Black Manta: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Mera: Amber Heard
Atlanna: Nicole Kidman
Dr. Stephen Shin: Randall Park
Tom Curry: Temuera Morrison
King Nereus: Dolph Lundgren
Kingfish: Martin Short
Stingray: Jani Zhao
Kordax: Pilou Asbæk
Karshon: Indya Moore
Brine King (Digi): John Rhys-Davies
Atlan: Vincent Regan
Pier Waitress: Ingrid Bisu