Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom | Review by: Gal Balaban

 The first Aquaman is a fun action fantasy film that knows what it’s going for and how to build an engaging world and action set pieces on the screen. Save for a few cool effects and maybe one action scene that’s great, this soulless and uninspired sequel lacks all of that. The story is so convoluted and unengaging that it’s hard to imagine James Wan had any part in bringing it to life. Jason Momoa is having a great time in the titular role, but everyone else seems like they’d rather be anywhere else, even the great Nicole Kidman. Aquaman and Orm’s brotherly dynamic isn’t as sweet as the film imagines it is, and it’s basically the same dynamic Thor and Loki had when the latter broke out from prison in Thor: The Dark World. However, Momoa gives off that endearing energy very well in his line delivery — maybe the only good thing this script has going for it. Yahya Abdul Mateen II as the main villain really excited me, but even he isn’t really used well, with his unfiltered rage being clouded by plot MacGuffins and silly side goals that the film should’ve done without, not to mention Randall Park who’s very well cast but his character isn’t executed that strongly, and Dolph Lundgren’s incredibly questionable and head-scratching performance.

The visuals of Atlantis still look cool but the corners of this fantastical world that are explored this time don’t look very interesting once you leave the kingdom of Atlantis itself, which is pretty early on. Besides one action scene that takes place in the first act in Atlantis’ big city you saw in the first film, the action’s choreography misses the mark and the attempts to raise the stakes by adding plot devices and tying them into climate change are too tacked on. There’s also plenty of dialogue and soundtrack choices that are simply irritating and generic. Through the end, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom doesn’t seem interested in redeeming itself and settles for the less exciting decisions each time. It’s a disappointment considering how enjoyable and cheeky that first movie is and does nothing to warrant a watch even for fans of that first movie’s energy and characters, or action movie fans in general besides some empty spectacle without the delight.


Review by: Gal Balaban 

#review #aquaman #dc #dceu #jasonmamoa #toronto #superheroes

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