NOTE: The following review will eventually be moved to a special 'DC Films' page.
Let me start by saying I won't be getting into anything involving Amber Heard and her recent activity. Even having said that, while she remains a part of the movie, she is not at all any sort of main focus, so protesters need not think too much about it. The thing is, there are a few characters that get a bit of a back seat in the 'Aquaman' sequel, as most of the focus seems to be on Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa), his brother, King Orm/Ocean Master (Patrick Wilson) and the return of David Kane/Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II).
For those who need a bit of a refresher course on what happened in the last film, once King of the city of Atlantis, Orm had plans to conquer not only the oceanic people but also the surface world, and he uses the help of Black Manta in his attempt. He is, however, thwarted by Arthur, who eventually takes the Trident of Atlan for himself and his rightful place on the throne, afterwards imprisoning Orm for his power-hungry crimes. In the meantime, Black Manta is thought to be killed in a final battle, but we see that he manages to survive and swear revenge on Aquaman.
Four years have passed since the events of the first film. Arthur's living the good life, married to Mera (Heard), supporting his baby boy, Arthur Jr. (played by a variety of babies), and living his balanced life between land, where he stays with his Dad, Tom (Temuera Morrison) and sea, where he rules as King of Atlantis and can visit his Mom, Atlanna (Nicole Kidman). Things are relatively boring for Arthur for the time being, but it's all about to change when Black Manta continues his revenge plot with the help of a marine biologist named Stephen Shin (Randall Park).
While searching for Atlantean artifacts, Manta and Shin find a black trident which promises its possessor (Manta) the power he needs to destroy Arthur and, as the trailer suggests, "everything he holds dear." Hellbent on power, Manta goes for Atlantis' stores of orichalcum, and this is where we realize that we end up getting a pretty heavy-handed message about the dangers of global warming and how easy it is to speed up: orichalcum being a source of greenhouse gasses. To stop Manta with his black trident, Arthur breaks Orm out of his prison to help him in his mission to save the planet and protect his family.
Ultimately, the film ends up being DC's answer to Marvel's brotherly buddy comedy, ' Thor: Ragnarok,' as the two must put aside their differences to face a bigger threat. I have to admit that while I did enjoy their chemistry here, it almost felt like too much of a copy, right down to the fact that at one point, the villainous brother was once a main villain and is slowly coming around to fight for the side of good. But it is fun to watch Arthur mess with Orm on the surface world with things he's unfamiliar with. To some degree, it's entertaining. But it's also full of superhero cliches and doesn't necessarily leave the DCEU going out with a bang.
This is another one in which the villain is out for the simplicity of revenge and power, and there's no real fleshing out of his character, even after he's already been in a film before this. Really, he's just kinda angry at things and is willing to destroy the world, all while being possessed by whatever's going on in a mysterious dark object (in this case, a trident). It plays as more of a superhero Saturday morning cartoon three or four-parter than an in-depth film, and it feels like the DCEU dropped the ball on their final flick.
I can't honestly say that I hated it or even really disliked it. But it's a film for those looking for something typical in their superhero movie instead of something unique. It's about how I felt about its predecessor. If you wanna just come in for a fun ride, you might enjoy it, but it's not the best ride at the DCEU fair either. But, being that it is the cloer of the DCEU, I am hoping to see DC come out with more promising superhero sidequests like they've done with 'The Batman' and 'Joker', because I feel like DC has the potential to shine if they just keep their projects uniquely theirs as opposed to trying to conquer the MCU.