top of page

Film REVIEW: Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023) - ★★★★

We don’t want to throw you in at the deep end so check out our guide to the Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom cast.

From Jason Momoa’s grizzly superfish to Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as a Kang-beating bad guy, this must be DC’s most outrageous lineup of characters yet (and that’s before we get started on the sea monsters…).


Director: James Wan

Writer: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, Jason Momoa, Thomas Pa'a Sibbett

based on Characters from DC

Stars: Jason Momoa, Patrick Wilson, Amber Heard, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Randall Park, Dolph Lundgren, Temuera Morrison, Martin Short, Nicole Kidman.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Themes: Antarctica

Black Manta seeks revenge on Aquaman for his father's death. Wielding the Black Trident's power, he becomes a formidable foe. To defend Atlantis, Aquaman forges an alliance with his imprisoned brother. They must protect the kingdom.

It is the sequel to Aquaman (2018), and the 15th film and final installment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU).

In Cinemas Now


Sophie (Age 10) - ★★★★

"Great second movie in the series. I loved the funny relationship between Aquaman and his brother. It had a strong adventure storyline and lots of action. The soundtrack was also awesome. A great movie if you are a fan of superheroes and DC! Jason Mamoa was excellent."

Have you seen it yet?


Jason Momoa is Arthur Curry / Aquaman

Remember when you first saw him? Topless, tattooed, rocking more eye makeup than a teenage goth and permanently atop a warhorse, Jason Momoa (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Dune) instantly had our attention as Game Of Thrones’ ferocious warlord Khal Drogo. ‘Give that man a billion-dollar film franchise’, we thought – and Warner Bros. read our minds.

At first, it seemed the Hawaii-born actor had drawn the short straw with Arthur Curry (the runt of the DC litter, portrayed by the comics since 1941 as a bottle-blonde doofus in a vomitty orange/green leotard). But Momoa promptly set about transforming the character into the Justice League heavyweight you’d most want alongside you when the ship goes down. “Aquaman is probably the hardest character in comic history,” reckons the actor. “He’s made fun of and ridiculed, but I tried to give it heart and soul, and I’m proud of it.”

Momoa’s Aquaman isn’t a square like Supes or a genius like Bats: he’s bad-tempered, impatient, fond of a pint or six. But there’s a heart of gold beating within that grizzly bear, and he’ll need it for Aquaman 2. Making a home for his new baby in a whitewashed lighthouse, watching the sunset over a beer – the start of the new Aquaman movie could be an advert for the Cornwall tourist board. Don’t worry: this idyllic scene is about to be shattered by the return of a powered-up new foe, and as King Of Atlantis, Curry is in it up to his neck.


Patrick Wilson is Orm Marius / Ocean Master

You probably half-remember Arthur’s half-brother from the first Aquaman movie, but back then, Orm was no fun, so consumed with punishing humanity for our ocean-polluting ways that he forgot the one-liners. Now, director James Wan (The Conjuring) has busted Patrick Wilson’s semi-villain out of jail, given him a sense of humour and built a buddy movie around his testy bromance with Aquaman.

Like Riggs and Murtaugh, Hobbs and Shaw or [insert name of your favourite cinematic frenemies], Arthur and Orm would rather dump a handful of leeches down their codpieces than work together – but their combined force is their only chance against Black Manta.

According to an interview with USA Today, it seems the brotherly love/hate continued even during set breaks. “I have a lot of fun with that guy,” said the actor of his co-star. “If you ever need to be quiet in your trailer to record something, don't be next to Jason Momoa's trailer. Music's going to be loud, he’s going to be bellowing louder than anyone else on set, but that's why we love him.”


Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is David Kane / Black Manta

We hope you stuck around for the credits scene in 2018’s Aquaman. If so, you’ll remember that the waterborne mercenary known as Black Manta – having been beaten by Arthur – was rescued by marine scientist, conspiracy theorist and Atlantis fanboy Dr Stephen Shin (Randall Park - Ant-Man and the Wasp). The pair struck a deal: Manta will lead Shin to the undersea city if the egghead helps him exact revenge on its leader.

Now, the fan-favourite DC villain is back at the gates – but as we’re told in the Aquaman 2 trailer, “he’s different now, stronger than before”. Why? Well, this time, Manta is wielding the infamous Black Trident: a cursed toasting fork that can raise long-dead ocean warriors from the mud. DC connoisseurs also speculate that the weapon itself could be the movie’s main antagonist, pointing to David Kane’s newly green eyes as evidence he is being corrupted, like a superbuff Gollum from The Lord of the Rings.

There’s an intensity to Yahya Abdul-Mateen (The Greatest Showman)’s performance that suggests he could shape up as a Kang-beater for DC – and just wait until you hear Manta’s to-do list: “I’m gonna kill Aquaman and destroy everything he holds dear. I’m gonna murder his family and burn his kingdom to ash…”


Amber Heard is Mera

Let’s not get into that whole thing. Despite the reams of bug-eyed click-bait, all you need to know is that Amber Heard will return as Arthur’s queen, and if the actress gets less screen time than in 2018, director James Wan told a press conference, that’s down to narrative arc, not personal issues. “I felt like I told the Arthur and Mera story in the first one that I can also just sort of focus on Arthur and Orm in this one.


Dolph Lundgren is Nereus

We’ve loved the Swedish action star since he pounded on Stallone like steak back in 1985’s Rocky IV. A lifetime later, the remarkably well-preserved Lundgren can still mix it up with the kids, but as king of Xebel and Mera’s father, he previously sided with Orm against Arthur and us surface-dwellers. Which side of the battlelines will Nereus fall this time around?

“That whole picture is just a class act,” Lundgren told The Hollywood Reporter. “I think this one is better. I think the script is stronger and it’s more exciting. The technology has moved forward, so I was really pleased to be a part of it. James Wan is just going to blow everybody away again by this tremendous world that he creates. He’s involved in every little detail, even every little piece of every weapon, and I think it’s going to be great.”


Nicole Kidman is Atlanna

In any other movie, her name would be in lights. So it’s a mark of how massive Aquaman 2 is that the formidable Nicole Kidman (The Others) is here as backup.

Reprising her role as Arthur and Orm’s mother, Atlanna, the former queen of Atlantis, James Wan told Collider she’ll be the whisper in the big man’s ear. “Nicole definitely plays more like the right hand to the king in this one. She comes in, and she's a motherly figure, but she's also an advisor in this as well. Like a royal advisor – just because there's a bit more politics within the world of Atlantis. And again, Arthur is not really from that world, so he needs someone to help guide him.”


How do you rate these movies?...

Make sure you have booked in for the latest DRAMA CLASSES at Mix Up Theatre...


bottom of page