Justice League Throne of Atlantis review

Justice League Throne of Atlantis improves

After a rough string of some surprisingly underwhelming efforts, DC Animated rights its ship (mostly) with Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, a welcome return to form for a studio that’s long been synonymous with quality home video original productions.

Justice League Throne of Atlantis - Ocean Master

Truthfully, all Throne of Atlantis had to do was simply step over the very low bar set with Justice League: War [Blu-ray], the awkward introduction of the New 52 animated universe. Thankfully the creative team sets its sights higher.

Picking up from the post-credits scene in War, a faction of Atlanteans led by Orm/Ocean Master (Sam Witwer, Smallville: Season 8) is ready to bring war to the surface dwellers for their (unintentional) actions that are destroying the undersea realm.

Justice-League-Throne-of-Atlantis-- Mera and Aquaman

The comic (Justice League Vol. 3: Throne of Atlantis (The New 52) (Jla (Justice League of America), written by Geoff Johns, did a much better job of making Orm a more complex character, while the movie simply makes him a terribly cliché power-hungry despot.

Queen Atlanna (Sirena Irwin) would rather strike a peace treaty through her half-Atlantean/half-human son, Arthur (Matt Lanter), who will eventually become Aquaman. Indicative of the rushed pace of the film, Arthur quickly accepts his destiny after meeting Atlanna’s emissary, Mera (Sumalee Montano) and partners with the Justice League to stop Orm’s conquest.

Screenwriter Heath Corson opted to keep JL founding member Aquaman out of War to give him more of a spotlight in Throne, but Aquaman is still short-changed. Corson still hasn’t mastered the art of pacing these 72 min. DC Animation efforts and struggles in juggling the numerous underdeveloped subplots from Superman and Wonder Woman’s budding relationship, Cyborg trying to tap into his humanity and Aquaman’s relationships with Orm and Mera.

Justice League Throne of Atlantis - Batman and Superman

Most of the characters received a much needed personality enhancement from the first film. Shazam (Sean Astin) is still a bit grating, but not the Jar Jar Binks levels of annoyance he was in War. The interactions between the teammates feel much less forced as well and natural with Batman/Superman and Green Lantern/Flash in particular having some nice exchanges.

DC Animated is still trying to find the right combination for the characters so there’s some changes to the War cast. Alan Tudyk, Michelle Monaghan and Justin Kirk are out as Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern respectively and replaced by Jerry O’Connell, Rosario Dawson and ‘the Green Lantern’ Nathan Fillion, voicing the character for a fourth time.

Justice League Throne of Atlantis - Wonder Woman and Cyborg

The swaps are an improvement and they mesh well with returning Shemar Moore (Cyborg), Christopher Gorham (The Flash) and Jason O’Mara, who’s slowly growing into the role of Batman.

Similar to recent efforts dating back to Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, the action is intense and at times, gratuitously violent with decapitations, gushing blood and brutal fight scenes — including a literal jumping shark moment. The action is way over the top, but the battles are animated well. Character designs are much improved over War, which had more simplistic visuals.

Justice League Throne of Atlantis - Aquaman meets the Justice League

There’s a post-credit scene that’s mildly spoiled if you pay any attention during the credits. It suggests an intriguing storyline for the next Justice League focused film and one that appears to be less beholden to the source material.

While it doesn’t quite reach the peaks of the upper echelon of the DC Animated stable, Throne of Atlantis gives reason for optimism with future New 52 Justice League films.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Buy the movie here: Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (Blu-ray + DVD)

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  • keith

    I liked it a lot. I forgot its quite bloody now. My wife watched it with me and laughed when i freaked out when mira starting killing her own people like they were ants. Im like damn mira. Wifey was like, the ladies show you how to get it done. Well thats thats. She liked it .. or tolerated lol. Thats all I can ask for. Well maybe getting of shazam. He is freaking useless… and redunant. Yeah everybody was way less jerky this go around.

  • Where did it rate with you with the other DC movies? I’m not a fan of this version of Shazam at all.

  • keith

    i havent seen son of batman, its was better than WAR just because it improves and progresses them. I of the new one’s Assault on Arkham was movie quality. I wish that one was longer. Its in the middle but far from the worse. Shazam is not likable at all and how did this punk get them as he was douche to this adopted family in war, and he is NOOOO where as nice as the version on JL Unlimited. They missed the mark badly with such a superb version. I know he was a throwback kind of but so much better. Hell i would have taken the one in version of the Black Adam movie. This one… BLAH

  • keith

    get those powers is what i meant..

  • keith

    with all that said… SO far above Marvel with animation. Honestly, the FF need about 3 animated films to and stoppage on that trash to come out fix them. I dont get how XMEN in their own made up way.. has outdone SONY web guy man (lol) and whatever this FF is supposed to be. I feel for Mike b Jordan being the scorn of the internet racists.. ( you should really dig more into this a topic on black people being accepted as” nerds,” pop, etc. america needs a good lashing) But he needs better than this overly dark sullen piece of thrash that may bury the FF as long as Captain America as a viable movie before. hell I respect the mad cap action of ghost rider over the FF (part one was complete trash) but Nick owns though lol. Thankfully Daredevil came home. sorry marvel tangent. But since im rambling, will we get the updated 2015 of what our favorite black acotrs are doing this year. Or directors as well.

  • Son of Batman was OK, besides making Slade/Deathstroke a bit of a joke.

    I enjoyed the Young Justice version a lot too!

  • It’s so funny. When I was in middle school and high school, “nerd” was a fully derogative term and now it’s worn like a badge of pride.

    Just like then I don’t need anyone’s acceptance of what I like/don’t like. The best way to do it, like everything else is supporting efforts to diversify like buying the new Captain America comics (Captain America, Captain America and the Mighty Avengers) which feature a black Captain America. If the support isn’t there and reverts to status quo, it’s only so much tongue lashing America can get.

    I liked Ghost Rider too — at least the first one. Still haven’t seen the sequel.

    Hopefully soon bud. Working on the list.

  • keith

    thats why it kills me i think the movie wil suck.. people are mad now that johnny is black.. smh. I see this behavior on blogs, in general, etc. I know its there for us sports fan and for politcal stuff. Two things Im in the real world a lot a consistent basis. Yet when you want to “nerd” out or get your “geek” on. here this sh it go. Yeah it was derogatory. why i didnt let everyone know I was into them as well It was girl repellant in the 90’s and yeah i had a lot of wannbe and real thugs at most of my schools. However best experience was one year at magnet highschool( gifted as they call them up north im sure) Changed my life. I was kicked out for not keeping up. I could have , but girl crazy and no focus. My parents barely had even modern schooling so i was on my own. Oh well. times changed but people need to get off their hatred. Y i can fully accept a cosplayer doing a version of a person. i just dont trust it.. I look for the pi

  • keith

    forward to the piece. sorry for the all the posts. i am having trouble viewing since the change

  • Hey man, if it’s any indication, it seems both on the movie and TV front, more minorities are getting roles in these comic book movies and that’s only a good thing!

  • No worries. 😉
    What are you having trouble viewing?

  • Jace

    You are right that the last JLA film was a very low bar to clear. I really appreciated the voice changes and not having Wonder Woman being a man hungry idiot like in War. I also liked that they didn’t have the jerk Billy Baston in this one. His comic persona is so much better. Orm’s character was ok until the post credits to me, way better than sccurying “Darkside.” If they were going to do that post credit scene the comic book version of Orm would have been better. I never liked how Aquaman left him in the comic and in the movie version it made more sense to leave him.

  • Wonder Woman was a major improvement. I really enjoyed Orm’s portrayal in the comic. I find it odd that when they adapt some of the comics, they lose the point of the story (trading out Ra’s al Ghul for super villains in JL: Doom being the most glaring example)