Yes, the King of the Seas, and the punching bag of the Justice League has somehow got himself a starring role in the latest DC Comics’ direct-to-video release. And you know what? It’s damn good!
1.Characters – One of the perks of being a sequel is building on characterizations and dynamics already established. Hence, the first half of Justice League: Throne of Atlantis gets to focus on the characters of the Justice League. We get to see more of the Green Lantern and Batman dynamic, which always proves to be a joy.
More of Green Lantern and The Flash, with The Flash being the worst wingman of all-time. Sadly, Cyborg and Shazam’s budding friendship takes a bit of a backseat. Actually, Shazam takes a massive backseat in this film which was slightly disappointing.
There was one relationship that was a bit of a mixed bag…
2. Superman and Wonder Woman and Lois Lane – Granted this is just two scenes in the film, but I really didn’t like that they made Lois and Diane all catty towards each other for the affection of Clark/Superman. I don’t even know if Lois/Clark is a thing in the comics, but it felt weird to include her in the diner scene just so they could mark their territory around Clark.
3. Arthur Curry/Aquaman – While this is titled Justice League, there is no doubt that this is an Aquaman origin film. It proves to be to the benefit of the film. By centering the film on a single character/plot, it allows the action and progress to be extremely smooth and connected. Very much unlike the flow of War, which centered on the action. Not only that, but Aquaman is an interesting and compelling character in this as well. His introduction of him talking to a lobster is just adorable. He manages to get in a trademark (now) “Outrageous” and kicks a ton of arse.
4. Action – I keep making the comparisons to War, and it makes sense for being the most easily comparable film (and this being a sequel and all), and I will say War has better fight sequences. The fights in this movie aren’t bad at all, but since the threat isn’t quite Darkseid level it does make for much more one-sided affairs for the most part. That said it does have some great moments, and almost all the heroes, and even the villains get to shine.
I also wanted to make a special note for Mera, who is perhaps the shining star of this whole project. Her powers have always been pretty damn sweet (control of water) and visually makes for some great and sometimes very vicious fight sequences involving her.
5. Humor – Comedy is always subjective, but I found this film offered plenty of moments of levity. I mentioned earlier the introduction of Aquaman when talking to a lobster, which is really fun. Green Lantern has some of the best moments just playing a complete ass to most people. Shazam is a superhero in a kid body, and sometimes reacts as such. There’s even some nice callbacks to War that are both touching and humorous.
6. Voice-Acting – It’s strange that this is a sequel, but not all of the voice actors and actresses return from the previous film. For the most part, I found the Wonder Woman change to be a downgrade. The Flash actor has more material to work with, which is a plus. Matt Lanter does a terrific job as Aquaman, and it probably helps he is given a ton to work with including a range of emotions and feelings. Sumalee Montano also does good work as Mera, who sadly isn’t given the same emotional baggage as Arthur.
7. It’s All Connected – DC isn’t any strangers to connected products. For over a decade, they played home to the Timmverse, and their DTV line even started with two Superman/Batman films which were connected.
But Justice League: Throne of Atlantis really marks the first time they are pushing forward with this entirely interconnected universe. While “Son of Batman” doesn’t make much reference to War, Throne of Atlantis is ripped with references and dynamic from it. While it doesn’t bog down the film in any form, nor do you really need to see War to get Atlantis, it is nice for fans who have been following these movies. And much like Flashpoint Paradox and War before it, Atlantis ends with a nice little tease about what to expect next. And I’m really curious for that.
Review 6 (Out of 7) – After a somewhat lackluster start with Justice League War, I was fearful for this new interconnected DC Animated Universe, but Throne of Atlantis comes ripping out of the gate and makes for an enjoyable romp.