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REVIEW: Justice League: Throne of Atlantis

Written by Nick Doblovosky

From what I have read on this site not many of my fellow writers on here are fans of DC. They are…technically entitled to their opinions, though I wholeheartedly disagree. Most of the DC animated films that have been made since Superman:Doomsday have ranged from good to excellent. Justice League: Throne of Atlantis does…not fall within that range.

This film serves as an adaptation of the popular “Throne of Atlantis” storyline from the New 52. The New 52 has some great books that are easy to get into: Batman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Swamp Thing, and Animal Man, to name a few. The problem is that these are such recent stories that do not need to be made into animated films. Many fans want older and more iconic stories to be adapted, myself included. It just seems like DC cares a bit more about pushing its new stories than honoring the old ones.

So how did DC decide to adapt one of their best new epics into a film? I want to say it is by bastardizing it, but I am not sure if that if the right way to say it. Oh well, it’s already done. To be fair, this film serves as a sequel to Justice League: War, which I have not seen.

Anyway, there are many changes between this film and the comic. For starters, Arthur becomes Aquaman in this film, while he had already been him for years in the comic. Shazam (former Captain Marvel) is a member of the team in this film. Arthur’s mother is not only alive but also the reigning Queen of Atlantis. Dr. Shin, a very important character in the books, is killed off early on in this film and is barely noticed. Mera is an Atlantean in the film, while she was from the city of Xebel in the comic and was considered an outcast by Atlanteans. Arthur’s father dies at the beginning of the film instead of long ago. Black Manta goes from being a true menace and a formidable adversary to a thug that is easily defeated. There are plenty of others. The biggest change, by far, is the way the Atlanteans treat Arthur, as well as their attitudes in general. In this film many Altanteans want peace with the surface world and are eager to embrace Arthur as their leader to lead them into a new world (that is almost a direct quote). This one change waters down the depth that the books had, and fundamentally changes Arthurs character, thus drastically changing the feel of the story. In the comic Arthur is a man that is torn between two worlds, and both of those worlds do not want him. He struggles with finding himself while trying to prevent war between his two homes, and he does not even win. Even after taking the throne the Atlantean people still do not care for him or his thoughts, while the film ends with a stadium of tens of thousands of Atlanteans cheering for him.

Much of what I have said has been explaining how the book was better than the film (pretentious much?), but the fact that I enjoyed the comic does not cloud my judgement here. If I had not read the book then I would still feel the same way about this film. I would have said that it seemed like a revamped version of the Justice League two-part episode “The Enemy Below,” and that the episodes were better than this film.

The dialogue in the film is generic, boring, and uninspired. Not only that, but the animation of the characters is stiff whenever they speak to one another. The only voice actor that I enjoyed was Sean Astin as Billy Batson/Capt— I mean Shazam, and his character was not even supposed to be there. In the comic Aquaman was the most interesting character, yet he is the most boring one in this adaptation of the same story. They changed too much and the character, as well as the film, suffered for it.

Did you like the film? Were you planning on watching it, and if so did this review affect your decision to see it? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!

About the author

Nick Doblovosky