Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom 2023 movie review

If “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” were a musical composition, it could be likened to Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me.” The Canadian rock band produced a pseudo MTV-friendly grunge-style anthem, arriving on the scene nearly a decade after the early ’90s genre had lost its rawness and vitality. In the world of superhero sequels, this film emerges following a major reset of the comic book universe under James Gunn’s stewardship of the newly rebranded DC Universe. The familiar faces of Arthur Curry’s ally Batfleck may be gone for good, and Ezra Miller’s Flash has reset the multiverse so dramatically that the unexpected could occur, like Krypto the Superdog leading the Justice League or Dumb Bunny reigning as Queen of Themyscira.

In essence, “The Lost Kingdom” finds itself as a superhero film seemingly out of sync, struggling to maintain audience interest when even those in charge acknowledge that the game may be over, and audiences may have lost interest. This may explain why the recently released debut trailer, after years in the editing room, appears to have been meticulously crafted by director James Wan and his team to make it feel like a significant cinematic event.

On the surface, the movie boasts stunning visuals, featuring explosive underwater spectacles with megatastic fantasy creatures, Lord of the Rings-style slo-mo battles, and elaborate aqua-mech. However, there’s a lingering feeling that if Wan and his team truly had something groundbreaking to showcase, they might have held back the grand reveals until viewers had the opportunity to experience the actual film. Instead, a well-worn comic book movie narrative unfolds – the superhero bromance. Aquaman teams up with the villainous Black Manta, inexplicably partnering with the antagonist from the previous, oddly popular movie, Patrick Wilson’s Orm (also his half-brother). There’s a faint echo across the comic book realm, reminiscent of Marvel’s Thor and Loki, perhaps squirming in their future fictional graves.

It’s evident that enthusiasm for this installment is a challenge for me. Rumors circulate, unconfirmed, of test screening walkouts prompting extensive reshoots, a claim director Wan has denied. The hope is that the final movie will untangle the convoluted end of the DC extended universe and smoothly transition into Gunn’s envisioned reality. However, recent statements from Wan suggest little interest in aligning with Marvel’s vision. “The tricky thing early on was not knowing whether Aquaman would come out first or come out after [The Flash]. So, we just had to be prepared,” Wan explained. “At the end of the day, the best thing I would say about this movie is that it is not connected in any way to any of those films. That’s the bottom line.”

Anticipation for “Aquaman 2” may be fueled by hopes of glimpsing a brighter, Gunn-led DC future, but indications point towards potential disappointment.

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By acinetv