Aquaman (voice of Matt Lanter) is forced to choose between the Justice League and Atlantis when Atlantean warriors invade Gotham City and Metropolis.
What I am about to say may sound super embarrassing considering the fact that I am a massive fan of DC Comics and really, superheroes in general. I love to watch these movies and just have an absolute blast. Ever since I was a young boy I have adored reading comic books and watching the movies. But, honestly, I forgot that Aquaman was a member of the Justice League.
He was barely in the 2017 film Justice League, although Jason Momoa was certainly good in that film, he just wasn’t shown in it all that much. However, I did really love his 2018 solo film of the same name. That was an extremely exciting superhero blockbuster that made a ton of money at the box office too. So I am honestly unsure of why I forgot that he was a part of the Justice League. Maybe it is just because he simply isn’t one of my favorite superheroes. I am one hundred percent a Batman and Superman guy. Not an Aquaman guy, even though I do like him.
But, continuing on in my DC Animated Movie Universe marathon, we have Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, which primarily focuses on Aquaman. It also serves as a sequel to the excellent Justice League: War, which greatly surprised me with how much fun it was.
The opening to this movie was honestly quite chilling, which may come as quite the surprise considering that this is aimed mainly towards younger children. It wasn’t anything out of this world, but in terms of superhero terror, it worked really well and set up a great tone for the rest of the film.
Something that was evident about Throne of Atlantis right from the beginning was the combat. All of the combat sequences are quite close-quarters and exciting, with one standout fight scene with Aquaman early on being incredible. All of the scenes like that were a blast to watch.
It doesn’t reach the excitement that War offered, though. That is a film that felt so much like a gigantic Saturday morning cartoon, but in all the best ways. It was just such a fun movie that put a humongous smile on my face throughout the whole thing. It was exciting, emotional, and interesting. This movie has some of those qualities, but it just isn’t as gripping.
A large portion as to why, maybe even the biggest, is simply because its story is extremely familiar. We have seen this story done countless times before and it is obvious where the story is going to end up. There really wasn’t any surprises to be found here which was quite disappointing.
The film also contains an extremely corny and cliché villain, that of Orm / Ocean Master (voice of Sam Witwer). He is the definition of a mustache-stroking villain. All he wants to do is have power. He is power hungry. That is basically his character. The film doesn’t make that much of an attempt to flesh him out more which was a let down.
Also, I have to admit, this film felt way too short. It is only seventy two minutes in length, and it truthfully is over before you know it. I watched it this morning and next thing I knew, it was already over. We don’t get a lot of time spent with our characters and time for them to grow. In some ways, it can benefit the action sequences because there is usually something happening every scene. But it is at the expense of the story which is not good.
Something that really bothered me about the aforementioned Dark was the humor. I thought that all of the jokes in that film were painfully unfunny and felt so forced. I cringed at a lot of them. Gratefully, with this film and War, the humor works quite well and never feels tacked on. It feels wholly natural and a lot of the humor landed.
So, overall, this was a decent watch. It isn’t quite as good as War and it isn’t as good as Son of Batman either, but it works really well at being a fun superhero adventure. It doesn’t have a lot of things to offer, but those in hopes of a fun time are more than likely going to be pleased.
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis may not offer a gripping story or a great villain, but it does offer fun superhero action with a good sense of humor.
Overall Grade: B-
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action throughout
Directed by: Ethan Spaulding
Distributed by: Warner Home Video
Release Date: January 13, 2015 (digital), January 27, 2015 (DVD and Blu-ray)
Running Time: 72 minutes