Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Review: Momoa and Wilson Shine in Fun and Adventurous Sequel

John Nguyen

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is the continuation of Aquaman starring Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry, a superhero with superhuman strength and the ability to swim fast in the ocean. Director James Wan returns as the director, and he and his team were able to craft a fun adventure with Momoa and Patrick Wilson shining as the two leads.

With his half-brother Orm, played by Wilson, defeated and sentenced to prison, Aquaman now reigns as the king of the seas. He also has a baby son, which makes his life more hectic than it already is. In addition, the threat of Black Manta is back, with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II reprising his role, and the villain is hellbent on eliminating Arthur thanks to the power of the Black Trident. Arthur will have to break Orm out of prison, team up with him, and try to stop Black Manta from destroying the world.

Momoa brings back his charm as Arthur, and you can tell he’s having a good time on this new adventure. He makes us feel at home as he navigates the politics of Atlantis while taking care of his baby son, Arthur Jr. The allure of the film is the relationship between Arthur and Orm, former rivals who now have to work together. Now it becomes a playful adventure where Arthur tries to bond with Orm, but Orm is disgusted with everything about Arthur.

The rest of Arthur’s crew includes Topo, the comic relief octopus; Nicole Kidman as Atlanna, Arthur’s mother; Temuera Morrison as Tom Curry, Arthur’s father; John Rhys-Davis as Brine King; and Dolph Lundgren as King Nereus. Together, they are a fun-loving team who help support Aquaman. Amber Heard is back as Mera, and although she does have quite a bit of scenes, her role does feel diminished.

The story is pretty straightforward where Arthur and Orm are teaming up together to figure out a way to stop Black Manta and his newfound weapon, the Black Trident. As the superhuman brothers continue their journey, the main villain is focused on collecting the powerful material known as the orichalcum to help him become an unstoppable force. We get to see how Black Manta becomes powerful, but he isn’t a captivating villain because he’s being corrupted by the Black Trident during most of the movie.

There’s also this whole mystery with the Lost Kingdom, but once it’s all explained, it devolves into the typical third act of good vs evil.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom delivers an entertaining cinematic experience. There’s plenty of action and adventure with Jason Momoa having a blast as Arthur Curry. Seeing Momoa and Patrick Wilson teaming up was something I didn’t know I needed, but I want more of their adventures. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is back as Black Manta, and he’s now a formidable villain against the likes of both Aquaman and Orm. However, he’s a one-note character who simply wants revenge against Arthur, but that’s pretty much capturing his comic book counterpart.

Rating: 3.5/5 Atoms

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom releases in theaters on December 22, 2023.