Throne of Atlantis Gives DC Fans Violent Origin of Aquaman

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Justice League: Throne of Atlantis

JUSTICE LEAGUE: THRONE OF ATLANTIS is the direct follow-up to JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR, hinting that there may start being some continuity to the DC Universe Original Movie universe (and yes, I know that's a redundant use of 'universe'). With Darkseid's forces turned back, the world was introduced to a superhero team. Unfortunately, nobody seemed to tell the team that they were a team -- and as a result, when Steve Trevor (George Newbern) comes to Cyborg (Shemar Moore) with a mission to find a missing submarine carrying nuclear missiles, he is set up for a sore disappointment.

Meanwhile, on the coastal New England town of Mercy Reef, Arthur Curry (Matt Lanter) is getting drunk over the recent death of his father. He gets into a brawl with a group of heavies, and displays just how strong he is -- and is observed by an Atlantean bodyguard to Queen Atlanna.

THRONE OF ATLANTIS is not a direct adaptation of the Justice League comic book series. It does, however, borrow a lot of elements from that story, as well as elements from other Justice League and Aquaman comics, as it develops into an Aquaman origin story. Drawing these elements together into a tale of murder and war is no small task, but storywise this works out well. None of the heroes act out of character from the way we see them portrayed in the comics. The artwork also is far more advanced than may of the DC Universe animated films, with much more detailed anatomy and delineated action sequences.

The film is rated PG-13 for "Sci-Fi Violence and Action Throughout." That small blurb doesn't quite prepare parents for scenes of Atlantean blades coming out the chests of dying victims, or for fleeing bad guys stating that their boss "doesn't pay them enough for this shit." So while, as an adult, I enjoyed the heck out of THRONE OF ATLANTIS, I won't be able to share the fun of viewing this with my seven-year-old for quite a few years.

Featuring the voice talents of Jason O'Mara as Batman, Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern, Jerry O'Connell as Superman, Rosario Dawson as Wonder Woman, Christopher Gorham as Flash, Sean Astin as Shazam and Being Human's Sam Witwer as Orm the Ocean Master, JUSTICE LEAGUE: THRONE OF ATLANTIS is an action-packed violent war movie with superhero characters.

This Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Combo package comes with a number of bonus features, including a lengthy sneak peek at BATMAN VS. ROBIN, the follow-up to SON OF BATMAN. This feature appears on both the Blu-ray and the DVD, but the rest of the bonuses are Blu-ray only, and include featurettes like "Villains of the Deep," "Scoring Atlantis: The Sound of the Deep," a THRONE OF ATLANTIS panel from the 2014 New York Comic-Con, and the option to turn on or off the THRONE OF ATLANTIS soundtrack.

The Blu-ray also features the pseudo-return of the animated shorts that we used to have, this time featuring NIGHTWING AND ROBIN. Unfortunately, it's only 45 seconds long, so we get to see it twice before the commentary about it is over, and finally once more by itself, with Michael Rosenbaum voicing the villainous scarecrow while Nightwing and Robin voicelessly take out his henchmen.

This release also includes four classic cartoons from the DC vaults. There are two episodes of BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD featuring "Aquaman's Outrageous Adventure!" and "Evil Under the Sea!" There are also two stories from the 1967 Filmation AQUAMAN series, "Menace of the Black Manta" and "The Rampaging Reptile-Men." Out of place among this set is the episode of JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED, "Far From Home," which has nothing to do with Aquaman at all but is a meeting of Supergirl, Green Lantern and Green Arrow with the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Previews on this release include "The Flintstones and WWE Stone Age Smackdown!" "Teen Titans Go!" and "LEGO: Justice League vs. Bizarro League."

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0