The DC Expanded Universe of films appears to be running out of steam, and in this universe, there’s just one hero who knows how to have fun at every moment and still acknowledges that he is a joke unto himself — Aquaman. Specifically, this is Jason Momoa’s Aquaman – after the half-human Prince (later King) of Atlantis, Arthur Curry has been remodeled as a muscular long-haired beer-guzzling high-fiving wisecracking bro who looks a lot like an actor called Jason Momoa. So now we get to this Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom review.
In “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom”, Momoa reaches peak Momoa in a neon submarine wreck of a sequel where the big guy tries to save the planet from returning bad guy Black Manta aka David Kane (played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), who wants revenge against Aquaman for killing his dad in the first movie, so he allows himself to be taken over by the spirit of the Black Trident/scepter made by inhabitants from 7th kingdom known as Necropolis filled with demonic creatures.
It turns out that Black Manta is not only dangerous to others but also dangerous to himself because he does not possess full control over his awesome weapon which he believes it does. His plan involves using an ancient power source that glows green like radiation times zillion and accelerates global warming (the film’s title is carved into the face of a collapsing glacier), which is not good. And you would want Aquaman on your side during this type of situation.
However, if there’s any reason you need to watch this movie it should be him. He’s as alpha-cool, or even kind-of-a-jerk like what one might expect from a “maverick” action star but at least you can see this character has some underlying goodness inside him and realizes when he goes too far or feels apologetic about it. He can do it all. One moment, Momoa will practically be doing his own smart-alecky running commentary on the film he’s in and then he’ll cry your heart out or scream in pain or vengeful anger over a villainous act like he’s starring in an old-timey silent film melodrama with title cards.
Yet it is successful. Self-awareness never tips into self-consciousness; rather than giving you emotional whiplash, Momoa simply moves everyone to the next scene (or mode) as if it were part of one whole. (Also, by the way, our hero has a baby son here — by his wife Mera played by Amber Heard — Pixar-style obvious but can’t-miss jokes about parents not getting any sleep because of their kid. It’s when this child reacts to something that we experience belly laughs from Momoa which are true movie star.)
Momoa’s chemistry with Patrick Wilson, who is back as Arthur’s half-brother Orm Marius, otherwise known as the Ocean Master, the deposed would-be king of Atlantis and this film’s main antagonist, is the second important reason to see it. Wilson seems like he has been pulled into modern-day Hollywood from an earlier point in time. Although Matt wrote this for the elders and any other person using Wikipedia: it resembles something Van Heflin would do in a movie such as this one. A man pretending to be an oceanic humanoid person could not be more dry than how he acts here.
In his rendering of Orm, one can observe that he does not know what jokes are or even understand when told so; so that he looks like another guy who is never part of a joke. Momoa’s Arthur Curry considers Orm his little brother (keep in mind that lil bro nearly killed him last time) and gives him big-brother head games all throughout this movie. The most frustrating thing Arthur can do to Orm is act recklessly through life, smashing through everything in his way without getting hurt himself – and grinning at him as if he’d planned it all along.
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