Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom early reactions tease 'bittersweet farewell to the DCEU'

Jason Momoa returns as Arthur Curry in the long-awaited Aquaman sequel which could be last time we see his character

USA. Jason Momoa in the (C)Warner Bros. new film: Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023).  Plot: Arthur must enlist the help of his half- brother Orm in order to protect Atlantis against Black Manta, who has unleashed a devastating weapon in his obsessive quest to avenge his father's death.  Ref: LMK106-J10408-201223 Supplied by LMKMEDIA. Editorial Only. Landmark Media is not the copyright owner of these Film or TV stills but provides a service only for recognised Media outlets.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is out now in cinemas. (Warner Bros)

The first social media reactions to Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom have emerged as the sequel finally hits UK cinemas this weekend after a lengthy delay.

Marking the end of the DCEU, which began with 2013's Man of Steel and culminated in Justice League four years later, this sub-aquatic spectacle sees Jason Momoa back in the gold and green swimsuit as the King of Atlantis, who must once again contend with the villainous Black Manta (played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II).

Appointed the new DC Studios co-CEOs just over a year ago — responsible for rebooting the comic book universe, essentially — James Gunn and Peter Safran will be eager to see how this one performs both commercially and critically.

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So without further ado, here's what one of the very first Lost Kingdom viewers wrote: "I liked #AquamanAndTheLostKingdom visually fun and the brother storyline worked. Liked the villain again and the finale is balls to the wall epic. A good time!"

"Just watched #AquamanAndTheLostKingdom in IMAX 3D and despite plenty of issues that plagued this film and too much of Amber Heard, it is a bittersweet farewell to the DCEU," wrote a second cinemagoer, before someone else added: "#AquamanAndTheLostKingdom, aka the DCEU funeral, is nowhere near as a crazy blast as the original, despite sharing SIMILAR traits (has its moments)."

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. (Warner Bros.)
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II returns in the sequel as supervillain Black Manta. (Warner Bros)

Awarding the movie a 9/10 rating, a fourth X user labelled Lost Kingdom "emotional" and "sometimes spooky" with "exquisite" writing, direction, action, VFX and acting on display.

Not nearly as animated was this reviewer, who decided: "Aquaman 2 seems to have lost its way to the routine formula and succumbs to Superhero fatigue. Well, there were so many promising episodes only to be wasted by huge predictability and dramatic dialogues. Most of them felt forced and unimaginative."

When it comes the world of Aquaman, it's standard practise to witness all manner of deep sea monsters crashing into scenes, but the CGI throughout this sequel was dubbed "messy" and "inconsistent" in one reaction.

"But damn it's a lot of fun," the individual caveated. "Perfect action cheese movie for this time of year. Put a smile on my face. I'll miss #JasonMomoa's Aquaman. Farewell DCEU. Oh what could have been."

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If a franchise already boasts over $1b at the box office - 2018's original Aquaman became the DCEU's highest-grossing entry - odds are, the fans are going to return for more regardless of the critical consensus.

These two thoughts won't hurt, though: "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is a satisfying sequel, impressing with an improved story, visuals, and a badass villain", and "Does it live up the first movie? Almost. Everything about this movie is... okay. Except the cinematography, James Wan [delivers]".

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is out in cinemas tomorrow (22 December).

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