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Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis Review

Another season, meaning the good folks at DC Comics and Warner Brothers are out with another straight-to-video animated film.  Let's look at the latest one....

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis

Directed by Ethan Spaulding

Starring the voices of Matt Lanter, Sam Witwer, Jason O'Mara, Shemar Moore, Jerry O'Connell, Christopher Gorham, Rosario Dawson and Nathan Fillion. 

Backstory:  Well, again, I lament that the bigwigs decreed that the only films that sell well are ones featuring Batman and Superman, and the only way we'll really get one featuring another DC hero is if they feature prominently in a Justice League story.  Hence, the latest film, Throne of Atlantis, based on the New 52 Justice League story of the same name, and giving us the gritty reboot of the origin of Aquaman.  This is also the latest in the new batch of "shared continuity" films that they're giving us, following up on the last Justice League film, War.  So how does this latest animated outing fare? 

Plot:  In the wake of Justice League: War, the King of Atlantis is dead.  Orm, heir to the throne of Atlantis, is eager to take advantage of this, and with the assistance of Black Manta, is eager to stir up tensions between Atlantis and the surface world and bring on full scale war.  But Queen Atlanta knows there is another hope...the child she had with a surface dweller, who resides on land, unknowing of his destiny.  Meanwhile, a series of mysterious attacks on submarines and the the theft of some nuclear missiles has drawn the attention of the newly-formed Justice League, and they being investigating.  In the course of their investigation, the learn of Atlantis's existence, and that war is coming.  To stop the war, the race begins to find the true heir to the throne:  Arthur Curry.  Will Arthur accept his destiny as Aquaman and the ruler of Atlantis and bring peace to Atlantis and the surface world?

What I Liked:  Well, with Aquaman always considered a bit of a joke, there's a few good gags.  Our first introduction to him is drunk in a bar, talking to the fish in the aquarium.  And they do make a subtle reference to the over-the-top Aquaman we saw on Batman: The Brave and the Bold.  There's some good character bits with our favourite Justice Leaguers, as Superman teaches Wonder Woman the benefits of a secret identity, and some good Flash/Green Lantern banter.  And it's a great introduction to Aquaman's world, as Mera is also given a prominent role.

What I Didn't Like:  I'm really starting to think this franchise is wearing out its welcome, as there's a whole "been there, done that" hanging over the proceedings.  I'm getting tired of watching the Justice League take down hordes of invaders.  Aquaman's origin story is such a routine origin tale.  We've just...seen this all before.

Final Verdict:  I'm getting so very tired.

2 Nibs

Bonus Features:  For additional goodies on the Blu-Ray, you get a featurette on the score, a deleted scene featuring Nightwing and Robin, the 2014 NY Comic Con panel promoting the film, a featurette on Aquaman's rogues gallery, 4 bonus cartoons featuring Aquaman, and a sneak peak at the next in the series, Batman vs. Robin

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