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Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (Blu-ray Review)

22 Jan, 2015 By: John Latchem

Street 1/27/15
$19.98 DVD, $24.98 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG-13’ for sci-fi violence and action throughout.
Voices of Matt Lanter, Sam Witwer, Jason O’Mara, Shemar Moore, Jerry O’Connell, Christopher Gorham, Rosario Dawson, Nathan Fillion, Sean Astin, Harry Lennix.

This follow-up to last year’s Justice League: War has a lot of ground to cover. Not only does it continue the story of the formation of the Justice League, but it also introduces Aquaman to the mix, a character whose reputation has taken a hit over the years and was in need of some rehabilitation.

As such, this animated movie is primarily an Aquaman story, adapted from a recent comic book storyline about a power struggle for control of Atlantis and the Justice League’s efforts to prevent a war between the undersea kingdom and the surface world.

Picking up from the battle depicted in War, villains Ocean Master (Sam Witwer) and Black Manta (Harry Lennix) plot to wipe out the surface world to defend the seas from future conflict. This causes the queen of Atlantis to seek out her long-lost half-human son to serve as a liaison between both worlds and maintain peace. This serves as an origin story for Aquaman (Matt Lanter) in the DC Universe continuity, as he discovers his destiny and comes into contact with the Justice League.

Throne of Atlantis is a good follow-up to War, an entertaining sequel that features some great interactions between the various Justice League superheroes, particularly the sparring between Batman (Jason O’Mara) and Green Lantern (Nathan Fillion), and a budding romance between Superman (Jerry O’Connell) and Wonder Woman (Rosario Dawson).

On the other hand, Ocean Master is almost too effective a villain, at times seemingly able to take on the entire Justice League by himself, which strains credulity a bit in the film’s efforts to elevate Aquaman as the only hero who can defeat him.

This focus on the bad guys extends to the Blu-ray’s primary featurette, “Villains of the Deep,” which equates the story of Aquaman and Atlantis with that of an underwater Camelot, and takes viewers through the various comic book iterations of the characters over the years.

Another featurette focuses on scoring the music for the movie. There’s also video from the 2014 New York Comic-Con panel about the film.

The Blu-ray also includes a preview of the next DC Universe movie, Batman vs. Robin, a sequel to last year’s Son of Batman. To further tie these movies together, the Blu-ray includes a bonus sequence, sort of an ad hoc Throne of Atlantis deleted scene, featuring Nightwing and Robin battling Scarecrow after Batman is called away to deal with the Atlantis threat.

Hardcore fans of Aquaman can get more of a fix with four episodes focusing on the character from various DC-based animated shows over the years.

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