Justice League: Throne of Atlantis Review
Having seen many iterations of Batman, Superman, and (to a lesser extent) Green Lantern, it was nice to have a movie focus on the introduction and development of Aquaman. This film picks right up where its predecessor , Justice League: War, left on with a dysfunctional Justice League with some of the members absent. The name 'Justice League' is not even a permanent one as each member is hesitant to commit to the idea of working together due to the team being full of egomaniacs. While the team dynamics are a subplot, primary focus is the hunt for Arthur Curry and using his power as the rightful heir to the crown of Atlantis to defeat Orm and bring peace between both the surface dwellers and Atlantians.
I appreciated how the introduction of the Justice League members was done; rather than do it all at once, the key members were given their own side story arcs; such as Cyborg, Wonder Woman and Superman. Shermar Moore did a great job as Cyborg, I actually did not even recognize him as the voice until the end credits. Rosario Dawson as Wonder Woman was a great casting, although she was a bit out-shined by Sumalee Montano. Dawson made sure you knew that even around a male dominated cast of heroes, she would stand out, as evident with her fights with the Atlantians and Orm. The back and forth exchange between Batman and Green Lantern in the beginning of the movie is absolutely hilarious because Batman talks to him with so much animosity and a disparaging tone, that you think he hated Green Lantern with a passion. The put downs of Green Lantern were good, but it is the way in which Jason O'Mara, voice of Batman, spoke them. They were definite zingers. The casting of all the members were good choices, you could tell get a sense that the actors were every part the hero they were portraying on-screen.
When we are first introduced to Arthur, we meet him at a restaurant drinking his pain away after the loss of his father. He befriends a lobster in one of the tanks and starts a ruckus because it is about to be cooked. This does not sit well with the guy who orders a lobster and we have our first fight between the guy and his cohorts and Arthur Curry. Outnumbered you would assume that this would end badly for Curry, but he accepts the challenge and proceeds to beat and incapacitate every guy. Arthur takes some brutal shots to the head via various lead pipes and is even stabbed in the chest by the disgruntled guy. The guys reaction as his knife breaks and shatters is priceless leaving his only remarks prior to being thrown about 50 yards into the sea as, "What the hell are you?" Arthur simply replies, " I wish I knew pal, I wish I knew." This fight was all over a lobster that Arthur had created a superficial connection with. The fight was very well choreographed. It portrays Arthur as a strong unknown being. He endured a heavy beating and looked unnerved as he walked away without a bruise on him. A funny take away from this fight is that during this whole incident Arthur has the lobster in his vest the whole time and then releases it into the ocean. It is also during this fight that we are introduced to the characters of Mera, Queen Atlanna's personal guard and two gentlemen named Dr. Shin, a scientist and the mysterious David, who all watch the events unnoticed by Arthur.
The main villain of this film is Arthur's Atlantian half-brother Prince Orm. I know we have had some great villains in these animated movies in the past. Orm might have to be one of my favorites because you will genuinely hate this guy. He is portrayed as the spoiled brat,who does all the nefarious things to fulfill his twisted meaning of justice. Also, he is very conniving and petty as holds a grudge against his half-brother as well as mother after the death of his father; through no fault of their own. Aided by Black Manta, who is far superior intelligently, Orm goes into the action with a plan that causes heavy casualties to both his own people and the surface-dwellers of Metropolis. His conversations with Arthur are so disrespectful, mainly because rather than addressing Arthur with his proper name, he resorts to calling him Bastard.
An important theme that coincides with the main plot is one of the struggle with identity. Arthur Curry initially questions who or what he is for a major part of the film. I liked how the character of Arthur knew that he was different from everyone in society, yet had no clue of his Atlantian lineage. Mera serves as the one who educates him on his lineage and who he truly is. The information Mera shares with Arthur helps him come to terms with the feeling of abandonment he held in. The Arthur Curry character progression from beginning to end is done very well. It is the basic story formula of introduction, plot, climax, then the resolution. Another character who struggles with identity is Wonder Woman. She confides in Clark that she wants to try to fit into society. It is through this insecurity that she has that the relationship between Superman and Wonder Woman is progressed through the movie.
Overall, this was a great movie that served as a great introduction into of Aquaman into the franchise. Traditionally, Aquaman is seen as an after-thought when discussing the Justice League, but I actually saw his as one of the powerful members at the conclusion of this film. The story was well written as well as the various dialogues amongst all the characters. There was a good mix of severity and comedy with every character, even the delusional Orm. In the closing moments of the movie, I found it funny as to how he was finally given the name of Aquaman; it was a great way to tie in with modern society. The after credits scene makes you anticipate for the next Justice League movie, as it is a minor cliff hanger. The picture quality came across the screen very well and the color palette make it easy to identify which colors were associated with with character. Warner Brothers Studios surprised me with this film and I am looking forward to the next movie.
Special Features: A behind the scenes look into the next animated film Batman v. Robin. This is the direct sequel to Son of Batman, as it will deal with the conflict and tension between Damian Wayne and Bruce Wayne. We are also introduced to the Court of Owls and their "hero" Talon as well as their agenda for Gotham City.