This has been a weekend full of watching comic books shows/movies. Aside from the animated Justice League movies I have been watching, Iron Fist came out on Netflix Friday so I have been watching episodes of that while writing up these blogs. But I am not here to talk about a TV show, today it is about yet another animated movie. So, I have watched yesterday’s and today’s movie before but I chose not to buy them at the time. However, I had pre-ordered the latest Justice League movie, Justice League Dark, and after it came in, decided to go ahead and get the two earlier films in the shared universe. So let’s get right into the next adventure for DC’s greatest heroes with today’s movie, Justice League: Throne Of Atlantis.
The plot: In the depths of the Marianas Trench, the USS California is doing routine maneuvers when it detects human shaped objects approaching on sonar. The sub tries to avoid the objects but when they impact the ship, the captain tries to radio an S.O.S. before he and his crew are killed. In Metropolis, the S.T.A.R. Labs facility is being converted into the new headquarters for the Justice League. Cyborg is having a dream about being human but is woken up by his systems internal clock to find Dr. Sarah Charles there checking up on him after they removed his lung in order to improve his environmental systems. After she leaves, Steve Trevor, the government liaison to the Justice League, shows up to tell Cyborg about the missing sub. Cyborg says he will go investigate and Steve suggest he call in the other members of the league for help but Cyborg says that the other members don’t show up. In a bar in Maine, Arthur Curry is getting drunk after burying his father and starts talking to a lobster in the tank but when someone orders the lobster to eat, Arthur stops the cook from killing it and ends up getting in a fight with the men that ordered it. As the fight rages, Dr. Shin and his associate David are observing the fight and Dr. Shin wants to confront Arthur about who he is but David suggests waiting until the morning. Arthur wins the fight and releases the lobster back into the sea, unaware he had a second observer, an Atlantean named Mera, who watches him head home before diving into the sea. Back in the Marianas Trench, Cyborg finds the subs wreckage and discovers a hand print on the sub’s hull. Heading inside, Cyborg accesses the security footage of the sub’s wreckage but the footage is damaged. After learning that the sub’s missiles are missing, Cyborg is attacked by some unseen assailants and after getting stabbed in the shoulder, manages to get away and use a boom tube back to headquarters. Cyborg sends a signal for the other members of the League to meet at headquarters but Flash and Shazam are the only two members to show up so Flash suggests they go get the others in person. Flash goes to get Green Lantern from the Air Force base while Shazam and Cyborg use a boom tube to get Superman and Wonder Woman and are shocked to find the two heroes on a date. When he learns that Batman hasn’t shown up, Green Lantern goes to get Batman and catches some of Scarecrow’s henchmen that Batman was chasing but Batman chastises Green Lantern, as he was hoping to get information from the henchmen or at the very least, learn where Scarecrow is hiding. Back at Justice League headquarters, the members examine the wreckage of the sub and when Flash notices multiple hand prints moving in sync and Batman agrees, saying that it was a coordinated attack. Watching the replay of Cyborg’s attack, Wonder Woman recognizes the blade as coming from Atlantis and tells the others of what the legends said happened to it’s inhabitants. Shazam mentions a TV story about a professor and Atlantis and Batman takes Superman with him to go talk to Dr. Shin while the others try to locate where Atlantis is. In Atlantis, Prince Orm and Black Manta are discussing their plan before the go to see Queen Atlanna, who chastises Orm for attacking the sub. Orm blames the surface world for his fathers death, though Atlanna says it was Darkseid, not the surface world, that killed the king and says that as long as she is queen, they will keep peace with the surface world. After Orm leaves, Atlanna says that Orm is not ready for the crown and asks Mera to bring her other son, Arthur, to her. Back on the surface, Shin calls David and tells him that he is going to go see Arthur and thanks David for his help, not knowing that David is Black Manta. After hanging up with Shin, Black Manta sends a squad of his men to kill Shin and Arthur, then pilots his sub towards Atlantis, where he disguises it as a human sub and fires the stolen missiles at the outskirts of the city, killing dozens of Atlanteans. At Arthur’s light house, Shin arrives and tries to speak with Arthur but before he can say anything, he is killed by Black Manta’s men. Arthur manages to fend them off for a while but when he is knocked unconscious, he is saved by Mera, who kills the rest of his attackers and takes him under water with her. Meanwhile, Batman and Superman arrive at Shin’s lab to find the place ransacked and Batman believes Shin is dead. When Superman finds a ripped up picture of Arthur and a letter from his father, Batman contacts Cyborg through his cowl and tells him to track down Arthur. In Atlantis, Atlanna is trying to reassure her people after the attack and Orm demands that they unseal the Atlantean War Plans that his father had made. Atlanna says that war would only bring destruction to both sides but agrees that it is time they made contact with the surface world and asks Black Manta to set up a meeting with the Justice League. In a hidden ruins of Atlantis, Arthur regains consciousness and Mera explains about Arthur’s mother, who had fallen in love with Arthur’s father but since she was Atlantean nobility and promised to the king, could not stay with them. Mera shows Arthur his father’s armor, which Atlanna had hidden for Arthur and has him put it on but Arthur removes the armor, leaving only the orange and green bodysuit and swims back to the surface, as he is overwhelmed by all of the information. Resting on an island for a few minutes, Arthur and Mera resume talking when they are suddenly attacked by Trenchers and are forced to fend them off. Flash spots them and radios the rest of the team, who show up and help defend Arthur and Mera from the Trenchers. After the battle, MEra explains to Arthur that it is Alanna’s hope that Arthur, being part of both Atlantis and the surface world, will act as a beacon to inspire peace between the two races, and Arthur agrees to go with her, along with Superman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, and Green Lantern. Meanwhile, Orm is upset when he learns that the Trenchers failed and when Atlanna enters the throne room, tells her that the thought of peace dishonors his father’s memory just as much as the fact that she bore another son. Atlanna says if anyone dishonors Atlantis it is him, revealing that she knows he attacked his own people in order to provoke a war. When she goes to leave and meet with the Justice League, Black Manta tries to stop her but is blasted away by her trident but Orm uses the opportunity to stab her in the back and kill her. When Arthur and the others arrive in Atlantis, they find it practically deserted and Mera learns that Atlanna has been killed and a surface dweller is blamed for the attack. When they go to see the body, Orm shows up, garbed as Ocean Master, and admits to killing Atlanna in order to follow through with his plans. Arthur tries to attack him but Orm uses the trident to easily overpower him, as well as Mera and the Justice League and trap them in cocoons, then orders Black Manta to drop the cocoons in the trench and let the horrors there deal with them. Orm then gathers the Atlantean army and leads them to attack the surface world, summoning a massive tidal wave to hide his army’s approach to Metropolis. In the trench, Arthur is able to escape the cocoon, due to his royal blood allowing him control of the magic, and frees Superman to deal with the monster approaching them while he summons a whale to grab the cocoons that the others are trapped in. When the others are freed, Cyborg contacts Batman and learns about what is happening so he uses a boom tube to get the others back to the surface and they race back to Metropolis. As the Atlantean army begins attacking Metropolis, Arthur, Mera, and the Justice League fight to stop them. At one point, Black Manta confronts Arthur and as he battles him, admits that he was the one that pushed Orm into starting the war, as he plans to kill Orm and take Atlantis for himself but Arthur summons a massive shark to rise up and grab Black Manta, killing him as it drags his body back into the ocean. Orm makes his way into the city and manages to defeat Mera, then takes on the Justice League single handedly. He uses the staff to summon lightning to change Shazam back into Billy Batson, then damages Cyborg and shorts him out when Cyborg defends the helpless Billy. Wonder Woman manages to disarm Orm but though she tries to prevent it, he is able to summon the trident back to him and defeats her, then Flash and Green Lantern. Superman attempts to stop him but, due to the trident’s magical nature, Orm is able to stab Superman in the chest with it and electrocute him. Arthur challenges Orm and the two begin fighting but Orm manages to overpower Arthur with the trident. Batman speaks with Green Lantern and learns that Orm killed Atlanna, then heads over to Cyborg and manages to use a taser to revive him. As Orm is about to kill Arthur, Cyborg uses his holographic projections to show the Atlantean army Orm admitting to killing Atlanna, causing the army to turn against Orm. Arthur manages to knock Orm out, then grabs the trident and speaks out to the Atlantean army, asking if they want a king who would cower and lie to them or one that would help bring about peace between them and the surface world. The Atlantean army listens to Arthur and stand down, as he embraces Mera and kisses her. Some time later, the Justice League is invited as guests to Arthur’s coronation and Batman says they need to solidify their team, as more threats seem to be popping up. Cyborg mentions having plans for a watchtower and Superman suggests inviting Arthur to become a member, Arthur agrees, feeling it would do good to restore relations between the two races if he was seen to be helping defend the world and Shazam suggests they call him Aquaman, due to reports on the internet calling him that and Green Lantern quickly agrees, though Arthur hates the name. When Mera tells him that an army of Trenchers was approaching the city, Arthur heads off with her, summoning an army of whales, sharks, and other sea creatures to help them fend off the approaching army. Meanwhile, in a special cell at Belle Reve prison, Orm demands to be allowed to speak to his brother when he is approached by Lex Luthor, who says he has a proposition for him.
I have to admit, DC stepped up their game with the animation on this movie. The voice acting was good, with Jerry O’Connel, Rosario Dawson, and Nathan Fillion doing a good job taking up the roles of Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern respectively. I also liked Matt Lanter as Aquaman but thought that Sam Witwer was a little too over the top with Orm. The story was actually a little disappointing to be honest; as it felt like it could have been made into a decent stand alone Aquaman movie, but with the addition of the Justice League, it made it seem a little weak. That being said, I did like how they made the team appear able to work together a lot better than in the previous movie, but the final battle still showed them mostly going solo against Orm instead of trying to work as a team. The animation was a lot better in this movie and definitely improved on some of the character designs. Weak plot aspects aside, this is still a fun movie to watch.
Rating: 4 out of 5