Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom UHD Review

3.5 Stars Fun but forgettable
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom 4k review promo shot

The DCEU comes to an unceremonial conclusion with Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, now available on 4K UHD Blu-ray from Warner Bros.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023)
Released: 22 Dec 2023
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 124 min
Director: James Wan
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Cast: Jason Momoa, Patrick Wilson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Writer(s): David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, James Wan, Jason Momoa
Plot: 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.
IMDB rating: 6.0
MetaScore: N/A

Disc Information
Studio: Warner Brothers
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 2160p HEVC w/HDR
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: Dolby Atmos, English 5.1 DD, English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, English Descriptive Audio, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 2 Hr. 4 Min.
Package Includes: UHD, Digital Copy
Case Type: UHD keepcase with slipcover
Disc Type: UHD
Region: All
Release Date: 03/12/2024
MSRP: $39.98

The Production: 3.5/5

A lot has happened since we last saw Aquaman (Jason Momoa). After marrying Mera (Amber Heard) and having a child together, he has gone from reluctant hero to reluctant king, now ruling over the underwater city of Atlantis by day and a loving father by night. But Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), having been defeated by Aquaman in the last installment, is bent on revenge. Manta has hired scientist Dr. Shin (Randall Park, making his transition from Marvel to DC) to locate a mythic Black Trident in Antarctica, the rumored location of the Lost Kingdom where Kordax (Pilou Asbæk) has been banished. The spirit of Kordax haunts the Black Trident (which glows green), and as soon as Manta takes possession of it, Kordax takes possession of Manta, giving Manta superhuman powers. After attacking Atlantis and severely injuring Mera, Aquaman vows to defeat Manta once and for all, but realizes he needs some help, so he frees his half-brother Orm (Patrick Wilson) who has been imprisoned for killing the Fishermen king. Is Orm trustworthy, having also been defeated by Aquaman, and what if he comes into contact with the Black Trident?

It was reported that Warner Bros spent a ton of money in reshoots so that Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom didn’t have the same issues that plagued Shazam! Fury of the Gods and The Flash by introducing threads of a plot that would never be resolved in future installments, since there most likely wouldn’t be any more installments with the planned reboot of the DC universe with the upcoming Superman movie directed by James Gunn in 2025. While that is appreciated, returning director James Wan seems to be on autopilot, recycling much of what worked in the first Aquaman movie and not really bringing much of anything original this time around. Jason Momoa truly is Aquaman, and appears to be having a blast with the role. The sibling rivalry between Momoa’s Aquaman and Wilson’s Orm is believable and used to good comic relief. Both Amber Heard’s Mera and Nicole Kidman’s motherly Atlanna are barely in this installment and really do not have much to work with during their very brief screen time. The weaknesses, though, are in the villain, Black Manta, who never seems all that threatening, despite the apparent threat to all forms of life on the planet, and the fact that the movie doesn’t bring anything all that new to the mythology of Aquaman. It is definitely an entertaining yet rather forgettable two hours.

Video: 5/5

3D Rating: NA

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was captured in 8K resolution on Panavision Millenium DXL2 IMAX cameras and completed as a 4K digital intermediate in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio for IMAX engagements and 2.39:1 aspect ratio for its more standard theatrical engagements, adding Dolby Vision high dynamic range for its premium theatrical engagements. Warner’s 2160p HEVC encode presents the film in its IMAX aspect ratio for its entire running time with both Dolby Vision and HDR10 high dynamic range. This disc is another demo-worthy endeavor, with bold, vibrant colors that never appear over saturated. Detail is exceptional, revealing every grain of sand on the beach, every flake of snow in Antarctica, nearly every thread of material in costumes. Contrast is also excellent, with deep blacks and strong shadow details as well as bright highlights that are never blown out.

Audio: 5/5

The default Dolby Atmos track (with a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core) on Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is phenomenal and will give your sound system a good sonic workout. Chapter two is the place to go if you want to give your visitors a taste of what your Dolby Atmos-equipped home theater is capable of. Wind and snow flow around you in a nice 360 degree bubble. Once Dr. Shin falls into the ice crevice, you can hear the boulders of ice falling from above, and the beast punching to break the ice will rattle your floorboards. It’s a fun and immersive track that makes good use of its spatial capabilities. Dialogue is clear and understandable throughout.

Special Features: 3/5

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is a single-disc 4K release with some nice featurettes.

Finding the Lost Kingdom (1080p; 21:22): Members of the cast and crew discuss some of the themes explored in the film.

Aquaman: Worlds Above and Below (1080p; 9:38): A look at the different sets and locations in the film.

Atlantean Blood is Thicker Than Water (1080p; 4:17): A look at the sibling rivalry between the two brothers.

It’s a Manta World (1080p; 10:08): A look at the character of Black Manta.

Necrus, the Lost Black City (1080p; 5:51): A look at the lost kingdom of Necrus.

Escape from the Deserter World (1080p; 8:05): A look at the sequence where Orm is freed from prison.

Brawling at Kingfish’s Lair (1080p; 4:07): As the title implies, this is a look at the bar brawl sequence in Kingfish’s lair.

Oh, Topo! (1080p; 2:12): A look at Aquaman’s new sidekick, cephalopod Topo.

Digital Copy: A Movies Anywhere code in included to redeem a 4K digital copy.

Overall: 4/5

The DCEU comes to an end with Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, a fun, entertaining yet rather forgettable two hours that will show off the capabilities of your home theater.

Todd Erwin has been a reviewer at Home Theater Forum since 2008. His love of movies began as a young child, first showing Super 8 movies in his backyard during the summer to friends and neighbors at age 10. He also received his first movie camera that year, a hand-crank Wollensak 8mm with three fixed lenses. In 1980, he graduated to "talkies" with his award-winning short The Ape-Man, followed by the cult favorite The Adventures of Terrific Man two years later. Other films include Myth or Fact: The Talbert Terror and Warren's Revenge (which is currently being restored). In addition to movie reviews, Todd has written many articles for Home Theater Forum centering mostly on streaming as well as an occasional hardware review, is the host of his own video podcast Streaming News & Views on YouTube and is a frequent guest on the Home Theater United podcast.

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