Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom flounders but doesn’t quite sink

in a moment Aquaman and the Lost Kingdomthe characters are running through a mutant jungle chased by lion-sized cockroaches while avoiding violence. man-eating plants. in another moment, Multiple characters Standing around, their hair flowing wildly, they deliver wooden dialogue that is almost as painful for them to say as it is for us to hear.

This combination of positive and negative A great representation of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. This is a movie that tries to be everything at the cost of being anything. Sometimes it is funny and exciting. At other times, he is serious and stoic. But unlike the original 2018 version, which found a strong balance between those things, this sequel tries to combine a very complex story and high themes along with fun and big action sets. It’s not terrible overall, but more often than not, it feels like a slog.

When we last left Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa), he had defeated his half-brother Orem (Patrick Wilson) and become king of Atlantis, a vast underwater kingdom hidden from the surface world. Now, probably a year later, Arthur and Hera (Amber Heard) have a child, Arthur Jr., and finding a way to father and become king becomes a struggle. These early scenes are among the film’s best, allowing Momoa to be his big kid while opening up new possibilities for the character, a hero torn between two worlds. Unfortunately, it is quickly forgotten.

Orem and Arthur.
Image: Warner Bros

This is partly because one of Arthur’s old enemies, Black Manta (Yahia Abdul Mateen II), is searching the world for technology that will help him fight and defeat Arthur. He soon stumbles upon a powerful and mysterious black trident that gives him ancient powers he can’t quite explain. Manta and his crew instantly become more terrifying than ever, and in order to find and defeat him, Arthur must enlist the help of his imprisoned brother.

It starts there and continues throughout the film, the main plot hints at this Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom They all seem too complicated and drawn out. Manta’s discovery of the Trident comes after a bit too much discovery sequence. Arthur needing Orem means he has to go against the council he’s on and betray an ally while also defeating some random bug monsters. There are many and we mean it Much, talking about this ancient and deadly energy source that plays a huge role in the story. Then, as Arthur and Orem form an unlikely alliance, their journey takes them to several different locations, including an entire pirate hideout that’s pretty cool to see, and Martin Short voicing a Jabba the Hutt character below. The water is called Kingfish, but it adds approx. Nothing remarkable

Then there’s the promise of the title, this mythical lost kingdom, which you’d imagine plays a central role in the film (it’s in the title anyway) but stops short of the very end, making it super redundant. comment . Of course, elements are seeded throughout, but once we get the big narrative that explains the lost kingdom and everything around it, you basically have it figured out and you just want to plow through it to get to the big finale.

Image for the article titled Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Flounders but Don't End

Image: Warner Bros

The grand finale is when the usually incredible director James Wan finally really flexes his muscles. There are amazing 360 degree camera movements. Creepy and daring angles as you discover key new locations. And when the movie gets a little more interesting, you realize something: you’ve been watching a James Wan movie for about 90 minutes and nothing about it visually stands out. Are there cool creatures? Ships? Fun action? Safe. But they’re all overshadowed by a film’s desire to take a relatively simple primary story and stuff it for the sake of extras. True or not, the climactic battle scenes simply have more coherence and authorship to them, as if they’re locked in while everything around them has changed.

And yet, for all its faults, there are plenty of moments in it Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom It can be a lot of fun watching Jason Momoa, as usual, really fun. He and Patrick Wilson have great chemistry and some great scenes together. Amber Heard’s Mera, who has been rumored to be cut from the film, or at least cut out of it, has some really big, heroic moments. Characters ride giant insects. Nicole Kidman’s giant seahorses pilot a shark. Plus, there are several attempts to make the movie about something other than Aquaman vs. Black Manta, all of which make it feel like it’s going to be better than it is, but then fall flat. An example is the political tension between underwater worlds. Another thing is the effect of the story on the global environment. But eventually even the best moments are forgotten because they, like the rest of the film, are all over the place.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom It’s certainly not the worst film in the recent DC universe – but as a sequel to one of the best, we expected more. It seems like a movie that’s more influenced by what goes on behind the scenes at DC than anyone involved will admit. Because if it wasn’t, everyone involved came in with so many ideas and decided to throw them all out there. The result is a film that does not sink, but does not swim either. It’s just kicking and kicking in hopes of coming up. But it is not.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom It’s in theaters now

This review It appeared first At io9 Gizmodo. Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, star WarsAnd space explorers What are the next versions? DC Universe in film and televisionAnd everything you need to know about the future Doctor Who.

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