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‘LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis’ (review)

LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis is the eighth in the co-branded animated movie series. This is as much a Jessica Cruz Green Lantern movie as it is Aquaman’s.

The alien Lobo is attacking a warehouse when the Justice League are called in. Aquaman (Dee Bradley Baker) is defeated by Lobo in the landlocked fight, enter the League. The characterization of Aquaman in this LEGO movie is not that of bumbling idiot, but more of a guy that just gets no respect. Thankfully by the end, he is offered a chance to be more heroic.

The whole movie is also a learning experience for Jessica (voiced by newcomer Cristina Milizia) as her Green Lantern ring is training her on this Sector. The voice of her ring demotes or rewards her with Green Lantern points based on heroic or cowardly behavior. This is really just a secondary storyline in a LEGO movie for kids, but I thought this was a cute introduction to a Lantern that I’m not that familiar with myself. Plus, she zings Batman (Troy Baker) about his “cute little pouches!”

Aquaman returns to Atlantis with Justice League for a feast on seaweed and Mera demonstrates her hydrokinesis powers! The threat down there is lead by Ocean Master who has pointed out a technicality in the Atlantean Constitution that states you need to have to be purely Atlantean to rule. Who would have thought Orm was a Birther? What makes matters worse is that Red Lantern Atrocitus has brainwashed the people of Atlantis, hence “Rage of Atlantis”.

These LEGO movies seem to like portals so at some point, The Seagate transports the League out of this world, where we get a LEGO Red Lantern cat Dex-Starr and an evil dolphin named Fishy. Perhaps a highlight for me is the use of Aquaman’s Super Friends call to the ocean creatures sound effect. Aquaman claims to ‘speak some cat’ as well.

As far as life imitating art, recently more water was found on Mars and in this feature, Aquaman is used as a human divining rod toward water on this barren red planet.

Atrocitus has a multilevel plan that includes a giant bendable straw and his S. L. U. R. P. device and he has also been controlling Mera in Atlantis.

A battle between Orm and Aquaman concludes Rage of Atlantis that directly references the Atlantean version of Excalibur by way of Poseidon’s trident. Topside, Batgirl and Robin are called in for reinforcements.

Aquaman gets to show his strengths by channeling Shatner, and the brotherly connection with Orm eventually is pulls off of a Spock/Kirk vibe.

Narrator Lois Lane and pal Jimmy Olsen serve as our eyes and ears as the threat of a giant straw dehydrating the Earth is stopped! Scary stuff, all of you giant straw deniers out there!

As peerage is restored to order and Aquaman has made his uneasy alliance with Lobo, the League snaps it together once again for the end of another chapter.

Sometimes these movies (and especially the video games) focus on building and bricks but besides the look of the Lantern constructs and one great joke about being all of the same mini-fig height, there isn’t too much LEGO. That’s by no means a complaint, merely an observation on how some different writers and directors deal with the literal toy chest they are dealt.

This was another fun one directed by Matt Peters of LEGO DC Comics Superheroes: Justice League Gotham City Breakout fame. There was a fair amount of building in that one, as I recall.

As far as licensed properties are concerned, this is another one on the assembly line, complete with some hardcore DC Easter eggs to be found. I should say, that I always have a good time here to take a break from all the cussing of Deadpool and the sadness of Infinity War!

My harshest criticism of this particular movie is that they didn’t push Aquaman’s characterization too far, I could use a little Batman: The Brave and the Bold Aquaman voice here by just a couple of notches. But, I understand that this is something different, for kids, and I already have to compete with that live-action Aquaman for attention in my house!

 

LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis
is now available on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD!

 

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