‘Justice League: Throne of Atlantis’ Animated Movie Review: Not This Time

Posted in The Screening Room by - January 21, 2015

The latest DC Animated Movie based around New 52 is out. War was a decent start to this new Animated Universe, but man, does this version of Throne of Atlantis stumbles in places where the comic really shines.

I’m going to go ahead and knock out the things I like about this movie, because it’s not gonna take that much time.

The animation style looks good and the fact that this movie is not aimed towards kids, by showing blood and death on screen allows the adult side of me to enjoy it a bit. When the action gets started, man does it get going. Plenty of mindless beat-em-up shots that come out pretty good.

Thaaat’s about it though in the way of what I liked about it. Let me complain about the rest of the movie now. I’ll start from the beginning.

The submarine that is attacked that leads to all the the entire storyline is done completely different. Now, it might not seem like a big deal, but the trickle down effect is obvious towards the end of the story. If you’ve read the comic, you know there is a bit of a twist as to who was behind it that leads to some emotional conflict for the King of the Seven seas, Aquaman. The little change at the beginning of the movie takes that all away and makes all the conflict in the story very black and white.

Speaking of changes that take away any bit of emotion from the story, the first shot we see Cyborg in, is him waking up from surgery. He had his last human lung replaced by machine to allow him to be able to swim deep under water. Again, what seems like a little change really rips away any bit of emotion from Victor Stone. In the comic, he is against removing his last human lung despite the urges by his father and team of scientists. He wants to keep what human parts of him remain. But he ultimately changes his mind, to save the Justice League as they are trapped deep under water and he is their only chance of survival. Instead, they just totally ignore that ability to bring some emotion and sincerity to a lesser known League member.

Shazam is just terrible in this movie. When he should be portrayed as a man with the innocence of a child, he is instead portrayed as a big man-child. He’s basically Billy Batson but with superpowers. Again, another wasted opportunity to bring a lesser known League member some quality airtime.

As a whole, the voice acting is pretty poor as well. Now, I’m not one of those fanboys that think that if Kevin Conroy doesn’t voice Batman it’s a waste, although he is the voice of Batman to me. Jason 0’Mara’s Bruce Wayne was definitely a step down from his previous portrayals in War and Batman and Son. Nathan Fillion is usually a great Hal Jordan as well, but his Green Lantern felt a little bit phoned in compared to his previous versions. It’s a shame though because I was pretty pumped he was coming back to play Hal. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Rosario Dawson was Wonder Wonder woman, because I felt like Diana was a bright spot in an otherwise lack-luster voice cast.

Also, everything involving Orm AKA Ocean Master was just butchered. If you’ve read my review of the comic, you’ll know he was one of my favorite parts about it. Geoff John did a wonderful job of humanizing a pretty D-List villain, and bringing him to the forefront by taking on the Justice League. This movie completely undoes all of that. Instead, he is portrayed as a purely evil villain who has no conscious and wants nothing to kill anybody who is not Atlantean. Sigh. What a total waste.

I feel like that’s probably enough complaining for anybody to actually read. I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. Justice League: Throne of Atlantis was a total swing and miss. They take what is a fantastic storyline that really bring Aquaman to the forefront, and dumb it down to nothing more than a generic origin story. Let’s hope DC’s next animated movie makes up for this dud.

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