Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom parents guide

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Parent Guide

Jason Momoa exudes earnest good nature but the movie itself is a long slog through predictable events and subpar digital effects.

Overall C

Theaters: Now King of Atlantis, Aquaman faces a new deadly threat: Black Manta, who plans to use the power of the Black Trident to destroy Aquaman once and for all.

Release date December 22, 2023

Violence C
Sexual Content A
Profanity C-
Substance Use B

Why is Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom PG-13 for sci-fi violence and some language.

Run Time: 115 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) is more exhausted than the average new father. In his lighthouse home, he treasures the time he has with his chubby-cheeked infant son. But at work under the oceans, he’s trying to save the world.

Arthur is the King of Atlantis, a powerful confederacy of aquatic kingdoms, many of which want to attack land-dwellers for polluting the seas and triggering global warming. Arthur insists that their best option is to come out of hiding and work with humans to save the planet and possibly turn back the tide of climate change.

Difficult though his council members might be to convince, Arthur soon faces an even bigger problem. His nemesis, David Kane a.k.a. Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), is determined to kill him to avenge his father’s death at Arthur’s hand. Kane has stumbled across the remnants of a lost undersea kingdom, including an ominously magical trident which gives him unusual powers. With the help of a soon-to-be-disillusioned scientist (Randall Park), Kane begins to use the ancient technology for lethal purposes. The required fuel source might rapidly overheat the planet, but that’s a price Kane is willing to pay.

Let me begin with a trickle of compliments: Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom comes with some strong, positive messages about forgiveness, second chances, and the importance of family ties. In order to find Kane, Arthur realizes that he needs the expertise of his brother, Orm (Patrick Wilson), currently held in an arid prison underneath the Sahara Desert for, among other things, launching a war and trying to kill Arthur. The two men will have to put the wellbeing of their people and the planet ahead of personal animosity. Watching them come to appreciate each other’s abilities is the best part of the film.

Now for the tsunami of complaints. There are little niggling problems like the design of Black Manta’s costume. Can anyone tell me why an undersea villain looks like a red-eyed housefly? And why are there so many bug-like creatures in this movie anyway? Then there’s the bigger issue of Jason Momoa’s non-existent acting talents. The man exudes earnest commitment and throws punches with panache, but he feels like an emotional void on screen. Frankly, the most interesting character in the whole film is Orm, and thankfully Patrick Wilson gives him some believable life.

These flaws are annoying, but the movie’s biggest problem is its digital effects. Considering the studio invested $72 million, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom should offer dazzling undersea vistas and riveting aquatic action scenes. Instead, it gives us silly looking submersibles, weirdly waving hair, and some scenes where character movements are so jerky they resemble 1990s video games.

If you’re considering taking your kids to this waterlogged sequel, you can be assured that it fits into the content parameters of most superhero flicks. There are non-stop scenes of stylized violence and some uses of dark magic. The script features a dozen-or-so profanities and a muffled sexual expletive. If your youngster enjoys Marvel or DC movies, there’s nothing here they haven’t seen before. And that, my friends, is the core of the problem. There really is nothing here we haven’t seen before.

Directed by James Wan. Starring Jason Momoa, Ben Affleck, Patrick Wilson. Running time: 115 minutes. Theatrical release December 22, 2023. Updated

Watch the trailer for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
Rating & Content Info

Why is Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom rated PG-13? Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sci-fi violence and some language.

Violence: There are non-stop scenes of physical combat involving punching, kicking, and tossing. People are attacked with firearms, bladed weapons, and fantasy weapons. A sonic weapon causes pain to people and disrupts their nervous systems. There are frequent explosions and people, watercraft, and buildings blow up. Dark magic transforms people into zombie-like creatures. A man swears to kill another person. A person abducts a baby and tries to stab him.
Sexual Content: None noted.
Profanity: There are a half dozen scatological terms, seven crude anatomical expressions, a muffled sexual expletive, and a couple of minor profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults drink beer.

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Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Parents' Guide

Why does Arthur rescue his brother? Would you have taken that risk? What are the results of his decision?

This movie’s plot is partially based on the challenges of global climate change. What effects of climate change are you experiencing where you live?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

This movie is a sequel to 2018’s Aquaman. For more undersea mayhem, you can try Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

If you’re looking for top shelf aquatic animation, you should watch Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water.