I didn’t have high expectations going into Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023) given the negative reviews, but just like Black Adam (2022) which also received lackluster coverage from mainstream critics, I was thoroughly impressed.
Aquaman must team up with his brother Orm to stop Black Manta once and for all.
First of all, the CGI is breathtaking, add to that James Wan’s stellar direction of mixing live-action with VFX was most impressive. There is a triple A video game feel to the visual effects and this was a positive factor.
Next, the humor takes a little time getting used to but the one-liners are well-delivered. On top of that, the action is frenetic and fast-paced. The story is also good but alas it’s not the strongest point of the flick.
I think the best part was Arthur and Orm’s sibling rivalry and lively banter as they were forced to work together to defend the world. Reminded me of Hawaii Five-0’s leading duo of Steve McGarrett and Danny Williams.
I think the story had some flaws and the narrative was semi-predictable. The ending was also abrupt.
I was surprised to see Amber Heard getting a lot of screen-time given the negativity surrounding her in real life. Willem Dafoe’s character was also missed.
Despite its flaws, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is one of DCEU’s best movies alongside Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Batman v Superman, Man of Steel, and Black Adam.
P.S. I also have to mention that mainstream critics especially those of the Rotten Tomatoes variety are highly biased against DCEU compared to Marvel. For example, they gave Echo a positive score whereas it is one of the worst shows I have ever seen. Comparatively, they gave Black Adam a negative score whereas it is one of the most underrated comic-book based movies of all time.