After Justice League War was released, I initially enjoyed the movie and looked forward to the next installment. When I learned that DC Comics was going to make an animated sequel featuring Aquaman as the star, I was more concerned as writers seem to have a harder time creating an entertaining story for him due to his past appearances in TV shows and how many people see Arthur Curry as more or less a joke character. Was I right in my concerns with making Aquaman the bad superhero so many portray him to be, or does the movie give him proper justice? Click below to find out.
To start things off, the settings and characters are wonderful to look at. Looking at any given scene, you can easily tell which characters are who as everyone is visually different outside of the obvious costumes. Even when characters are standing still everyone is still dynamic in some way whether it’s Green Lantern’s glow to Shazam’s electricity coursing outside of body. Not only are the characters detailed either, entire areas and backgrounds are beautiful to look at as I was personally in awe of the overhead view of Atlantis. The city itself looked like an actual place I would’ve loved to visit if it weren’t underwater. The animation in general is easily the best thing about the movie.The fighting scenes are great to watch. Each character has their moment to shine in their respective ways with the music to match it. You can feel each blow a character makes whether it’s the Justice League against the Trench or the final battle with the main villain.
The story itself is where it becomes a bit iffy. Even though the movie is meant to have Aquaman at the center stage, it feels like a great chunk is more dedicated to the Justice League itself, or rather Cyborg himself. While the movie starts off underwater, it quickly turns to Cyborg and his attitude about his cybernetics and investigation. Arthur Curry (not counting the bar fight) doesn’t begin his story until twenty minutes in and it seems like the rest of his origin is rushed when later he just tells Mera he had just discovered his powers without going through any means of discovering them. And with that matter, Arthur doesn’t get any formal training (that we’re shown as the audience) that he can fight others that aren’t just common thugs with brittle knives. But the sequences with Arthur himself are great to witness because he is a likable character who’s able to overcome his issues to become a better person. Arthur Curry isn’t the only likable character either, every hero or “good” person you meet each have their own great personalities albeit Batman’s brooding and almost hostile (passive aggressive-wise) attitude becomes a bit grating at times.
I wish I could say the same of the villains however. As much as they build up to Black Manta and Orm, you never really learn what Black Manta’s motivations are, his origins, or how he discovered Atlantis himself. When I finally reached the third act, Black Manta was almost just tossed aside as he’s quickly defeated. At least the ending is somewhat satisfying to watch as the villain is defeated and Arthur becomes King along with joining the Justice League.
As much negative as I’ve had to say about Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, I actually enjoyed the movie quite a bit. I wish we could had seen more of Black Manta’s intentions or origins outside of a sentence in the third act. I feel like if they gave more time to work with Arthur Curry’s story instead of trying to re-establish the Justice League as a whole, this would’ve been a much better origin story for Aquaman. But with the time they did have and shared with the other characters anyways, they still did a fairly good job giving Aquaman the spotlight and showing how great he can be. Whether you liked the previous animated movies or wanted to start off with this, I would recommend this movie to anyone who likes superheroes.