AQUAMAN and the Lost Kingdom*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
The film starts as a cargo ship is being raided by criminals during a storm. Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa) emerges from the ocean riding his giant seahorse Storm. He proceeds to mop the floor with the criminals as we hear his voice discussing his life over the past few years. After defeating his brother Orm/Ocean Master (Patrick Wilson), Arthur is now king of Atlantis, a job he finds boring. He has also married Mera (Amber Heard) and they have a son, Arthur Jr. Arthur’s parents Thomas (Temeura Morrison) and Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) also help raise Junior while Arthur deals with his duties as king and as Aquaman. Junior is also shown to have inherited Arthur’s ability to communicate with underwater creatures.
Somewhere in the Arctic, David Kane/Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) is leading an expedition in his quest for revenge against Aquaman. He has partnered with marine biologist Dr. Stephen Shin (Randall Park) and others to locate Atlantis. Shin and another crew member end up falling down an icy chasm. A creature that has been dormant in the ice for a long time breaks its tentacle out and pulls the crew member to his death. David and his men later recover Shin and come across other creatures that remain frozen solid in ice. David goes underwater and comes across the Black Trident. He puts both halves together and sees a vision of a monstrous king, Kordax (Pilou Absaek), calling to David and offering to help him kill his enemy if David frees him.
Five months later, temperatures around the globe begin rising at an alarming rate. Mera brings Arthur before the Council of Atlantis, led by Karshon (Indya Moore), to discuss the issue. Arthur believes it is time for Atlantis to reveal itself to the surface world, something everyone quickly disagrees with. Arthur goes to share a beer with his dad and discuss how hard his duties as king are when the others don’t see eye to eye with him.
In the Atlantic, David is trying to locate a fuel source called Orichalcum, which is located in Atlantis and can power up machines made by Shin. After finding the Atlantean reserves of Orichalcum, David initiates an attack on Atlantis. Atlanna and Mera come in to defend the kingdom and fight Black Manta, but he uses his laser helmet to incapacitate Mera. Before he can kill her, Aquaman arrives for a fight. Manta wields the Black Trident, giving him greater strength and power without his suit. Arthur pursues David, but he uses a device on his ship to emit a sonic pulse that knocks Arthur out.
In the aftermath, Karshon tries to pin the blame on Arthur for the attack on Atlantis, and Mera is hospitalized. Arthur discusses with Atlanna and King Nereus (Dolph Lundgren) how to deal with Black Manta’s threat. They determine that David is using the Orichalcum to cause the spike in temperatures around the world. In order to find Manta, Arthur suggests that he needs Orm’s help, despite Atlanna and Nereus thinking it’s a bad idea to try and get him out of prison. Arthur believes he can trust his brother this time.
Arthur uses a stealth suit to get into the prison in the Fisherman Kingdom, along with a cephalopod called Topo who is good at camouflage. Orm has been deprived of most of his water, leaving him emaciated and weakened. Arthur reaches his brother and fights off the cruel guards before freeing Orm, who is none too happy to see Arthur. The two take control of two large beasts that bring them back up to the surface. More guards go after the brothers, but Orm manages to reach the beach and regain his strength, allowing him to take down the guards. Arthur and Orm then retreat into the ocean before re-enforcements arrive.
The brothers travel to an underwater pirate sanctuary called the Sunken Citadel. They approach a crime boss called Kingfish (Martin Short) for information on how to find David. When Kingfish refuses to help, Arthur and Orm fight his goons before Arthur sticks a helmet on Kingfish’s head to drain the water from it until he admits that he has heard talks of Manta hiding out in a dormant volcano called Devil’s Deep. After getting enough info, Arthur breaks the helmet and flees with Orm.
Shin comes upon David talking in the mirror to Kordax, though the image of the evil king disappears before Shin can see him. After David leaves the room, Shin touches the Black Trident and sees the visions of Kordax. David threatens Shin if he continues to snoop into his affairs.
Arthur and Orm (and Topo) come to an island where Devil’s Deep is located, surrounded by a vast jungle. They see that a lot of the plant and animal life has mutated, so they run from a group of giant insects. Arthur body-slams a statue to create a bridge for him and Orm to get across, and they push the statue over the ledge to send the insects to their deaths. Arthur and Orm continue bickering on the way to their destination but eventually find Manta’s base before knocking out some of his men. Shin finds them and asks to join them since he didn’t realize how insane and dangerous David really is. Before Shin can explain what is going on, David’s right hand woman Stingray (Jani Zhao) blasts through the door, rendering Shin unconscious. The villains pursue the brothers, with Stingray controlling a large robot with tentacles to go after them. Arthur and Orm work together to take down the mecha before Manta emerges to confront them. They fight him, but before he can kill Orm, Atlantean forces led by Nereus attack and destroy the base. Manta and his goons escape after using the sonic pulse on Arthur again, but he is saved by Mera.
Everyone recovers on the surface, where Orm starts to tell Arthur what he knows of the Black Trident since he briefly got his hands on it while fighting Manta. Kordax was King Atlan’s (Vincent Regan) brother, who started his own kingdom, Necrus (the titular Lost Kingdom) forged the Black Trident in an attempt to seize control of Atlantis. It ended up corrupting him and turned Kordax and his subjects into monsters. In order to free Kordax, blood from a direct descendant of Atlan must be used, meaning Manta can go for Arthur, Orm, Atlanna…or Arthur Jr.
Sure enough, Manta arrives in Amnesty Bay and attacks Thomas in his own home before kidnapping Junior and setting the house on fire. Arthur rescues his father and leaves him with Atlanna to care for him. After Shin sees that David kidnapped Junior, he sends a signal to the Atlanteans in order for them to come find them. Arthur joins Mera, Orm, Nereus, and the Brine King (John Rhys-Davies) to go find Manta.
David and Stingray locate Necrus, and he prepares to take Junior to Kordax’s throne. Arthur summons the creatures of the deep to aid him. The sea creatures overload the frequencies in the villains base, causing an explosion and killing Stingray and other goons. Just before Manta prepares to use Junior’s blood, Shin instead gives him a bag with a bomb in it while he takes Junior to safety. After mowing through other goons, Arthur and Orm confront Manta, but Manta manages to hit Arthur hard enough to draw blood and awaken Kordax. Orm takes the Black Trident and begins to get possessed by Kordax’s influence. The evil king tries to turn both brothers against each other, but Arthur appeals to Orm’s better nature, and the two overcome the possession. Arthur hurls the Black Trident toward Kordax, but he catches it. Shin then tosses Arthur his own trident, which he hurls directly through the Black Trident, causing it to shatter and destroy Kordax. With his death, Necrus begins to crumble. David begins to fall through a chasm, and Arthur offers a chance to save him, but he simply sneers “Never!” at Arthur and allows himself to fall to his death. Everyone else gets out.
Following their escape, Arthur and Mera thank Shin for saving Junior, while everyone decides to allow Orm to go free by pretending he died in the collapse. Orm bids his brother and mother farewell before swimming away.
Arthur returns to Atlantis and makes good on his decision to reveal the kingdom to the surface world. Atlantis rises from the ocean before the whole world, and Arthur speaks before the United Nations in an attempt to unite the land and sea. He then ends his speech by bragging that he is the king of Atlantis, and, of course…AQUAMAN!
During the credits, Orm is seen eating a cheeseburger for the first time since Arthur suggested it to him. He then sees a cockroach crawling by (Arthur had earlier convinced him people eat cockroaches) and then adds it to his burger.
Arthur Curry is juggling multiple duties as king of Atlantis, a husband and father, and as Aquaman. Meanwhile, David Kane/Black Manta continues his quest for revenge against Aquaman after he refused to save David's father. Manta encounters the Black Trident, giving him greater strength and power since he is being controlled by the spirit of the corrupt King Kordax, brother of King Atlan who forged the Black Trident to gain control over the kingdoms, but it turned Kordax and his people into monsters that now lay hidden away underwater in what is now known as Necrus, the Lost Kingdom.
Arthur frees his brother Orm/Ocean Master from prison in order to find David and stop him. Orm reluctantly joins Arthur and fights off several villains with him before they find David's base of operations in a volcano, where he is using an Atlantean power source called Orichalcum to fuel his weapons. After a fight with Manta, Orm tells Arthur, Mera, Atlanna, and others about the Black Trident's history and that Kordax is using David to free him using the blood of a direct descendant of Atlan.
David goes for Arthur and Mera's son Junior, attacking Arthur's father Thomas and kidnapping the boy before taking him to Necrus. Arthur and his allies join forces with other kingdoms and the creatures of the deep to go after Manta and his goons. Arthur and Orm battle David, leading to David drawing Arthur's blood and freeing Kordax. The evil king attempts to manipulate them both through the power of the Black Trident, but Arthur is able to destroy the Black Trident, killing Kordax for good and bringing Necrus to collapse upon itself. Arthur offers to save David from falling, but he refuses and allows himself to die.
Arthur and his allies allow Orm to go free and fake his death. Arthur then gets Atlantis to rise to the surface and reveal itself to the world, so that the land and sea may unite as one.