So here we go again, The D.C Animated Universe adds to its roster a new comic book adaptation of the usual heroes, Batman and the crew… So, is “Throne of Atlantis” any good? You’ll find out soon enough…Note that I will review this not in comparison to the comic book it was based on, but rather as an animated movie in itself so as to benefit those who may not have read the comic book, so there you go.
The events of JL: Throne of Atlantis take place after last year’s JL: War (Which was fantastic by the way) Where the battle with Dark Seid brought these individual heroes to a common cause. After their conflict driven call to duty, the heroes consisting of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Cyborg and Shazam are now recognized as a unit of extraordinary people who may be called to action whenever there is a threat to the world.
The story begins under the sea where a submarine is mysteriously attacked by unknown assailants. Therefore, Cyborg is asked to go investigate what may have happened and soon enough, he finds out that the ocean is no place for a 2-ton robot. The rest of the Super Seven are then assembled to figure out the mysterious events in the ocean, thus they discover the possible existence of Atlantis, the mythical city. Enter Aquaman! What better way to introduce him as a drunken dude talking to a seemingly dead lobster. The plot revolves around Aquaman discovering his destiny as an Atlantian and a mischievous scheme from Orm/Ocean Master to attack the human world in retaliation to the millions of sea life lost during the surface war with Dark Seid. Now let’s tear this thing apart!
The first scenes are great. I liked how the story was building up and progressing to an intriguing conflict between the various parties. We were quickly introduced to the situation at hand and the consequences were clear. After that, it suddenly got to a point where it slowed down to one of those “What’s going on?!” moments. Pacing was absolutely an issue after the first 10 minutes, the jump from scene to scene lost its fluidity suddenly. I will give it this though, the action and the fight scenes were great, definitely rewind worthy! Character design, again as was the case in Justice League: War, was different from the traditional look of the heroes that we’re so used to by now, which I totally loved. Superman’s costume looked as badass as in the live-action Man of Steel, pretty much all the characters looked amazing, not forgetting Wonder Woman of course (Eye-candy for the guys? No worries, D.C will take care of you “wink!”)
Now then, Story…The story was engaging enough but unbelievably cliché! We have seen this again and again and god-forbid we’ll keep seeing this kind of set-up in Superhero origin stories in future for a long time to come. Here’s the entire Throne of Atlantis movie in one sentence: Man knows he’s unique, man discovers destiny, man is reluctant to fulfill his destiny, predictable betrayals, bad guy wants to destroy humanity, and they fight! Movie over… Actually there are no twists, surprises or an unexpected turn of events. On the other hand, the motivations behind the villain’s actions were believable and very real, but how he expressed them made him look like more of a whining brat. Clearly D.C was going for a kind of “Loki aura” in Orm, but utterly failed. Also, I’m not so sure about that whole Superman – Wonder woman dating thing…this resulted in an awkward moment in the movie where they were at some diner. Was an interesting part.
On the technical side of things, the Voice acting really felt flat and didn’t leave any memorable performances. Despite that I appreciated the effort from the voice actors in instances such as the hilarious dialogues between The Flash and Green Lantern, or Shazam still speaking in an immature tone, reminding us that he actually is a kid inside despite his Superhero form. Music was good and added to the impact of what was going on on screen, no doubt about that. The art had a decent amount of attention to detail but could have been more refined. Going back to the action, it was very well done as you’d expect from a D.C animation, some scenes had exciting exchanges of blows indeed, unfortunately they all felt too short. But these days they go more violent so expect lots of blood!
To end this review, I’ll say this: Sure there were numerous flaws in this movie, but was it horrible??? Not at all…if anything, it was fun to watch. People will be torn between being disappointed or having enjoyed it. There are numerous approaches they could have taken to make the movie feel balanced, like making Aquaman the main character and a small cameo by the rest of the justice league towards the end. But you know, “marketing”…so Batman and the crew had to be there from the very beginning, despite not contributing to the plot whatsoever. Nonetheless, we have seen much MUCH better from the D.C animated universe, I’m talking Superman: Doomsday, Batman/Superman: Apocalypse, Flashpoint Paradox and the other numerous ones… It was a let down that Throne of Atlantis was so forgettable, but I remain hopeful we’ll get other epic animations to come; it’s D.C after all!
[Cheerz for reading! And always keep in mind: The early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese]