Review – Rage of Atlantis (The Movie)
On July 31, the LEGO® Group and Warner Brothers released their latest direct-to-home-video feature, Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis. I can often live without owning these direct-to-home-video films, except when they come with an exclusive Minifigure. That was the case this time around. This movie came with the Jessica Cruz Green Lantern. Being the LEGO® and DC Comics fan that I am, I found myself out shopping that same day to get a copy.
In terms of the movie, Rage of Atlantis is fairly similar in tone to other direct-to-home-video LEGO® releases. Unlike theatrical releases, this film is geared specifically towards a younger audience. It has little of the more sophisticated humor that adults might appreciate. While I was entertained enough to watch Rage of Atlantis through to the end, I felt like it was even more child-oriented than some of its predecessors, and I checked my watch more than once.
Without giving away too much of the plot, Rage of Atlantis is a tale of self-discovery centered on two main characters: Aquaman and Jessica Cruz. Aquaman journeys towards realizing that he is more than just the King of Atlantis, while Jessica develops her self-esteem. Both ultimately realize the heroic potential as members of the Justice League. While I found the character of Jessica Cruz to be a decent enough role model for young minds, Aquaman was fairly annoying. They really didn’t hold back the punches when it came to making fun of the character. While they took a similar approach in other direct-to-home-video films, and even in the LEGO® Batman Movie, I found this to be too over the top. It just made Aquaman look dumb, which in turn speaks volumes about Mera and the other Atlanteans for supporting him. But, that is summarizing the film through an adult’s eyes… Small children might find Aquaman’s antics hilarious. I just wish they had made the character more capable and less of an imbecile.
As with most LEGO® movies, there was some product placement in this one as well. However, I found there was not nearly as much this time around, and it fit better with the story. The only sets I really noticed on my first run-through of the film were Lobo’s Space Hog (from set 76096), and the Creator Ferris Wheel (set 10247, click here to read my review). Both fit nicely with plot points in the story. In terms of Minifigures, in addition to Aquaman and Jessica Cruz, you also got to see Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Mera, Ocean Master, Lobo, Batgirl, Robin, Dexstar, and Atrocitus. I would love to see Atrocitus and Dexstar included in an actual LEGO® set. Apart from Ocean Master, all of the others are available in one form or another as actual Minifigures (though not always identical to what was seen in the film).
Now, on to the reason that I bought this movie to begin with: the Jessica Cruz Minifig! Jessica comes with a fairly common hairpiece, but with a unique double-sided face. She has a passive expression on one side, and an angered look on the other, with eyes glowing green. Her torso also features double-sided, unique printing. She is the first female Green Lantern to be produced after all. Like other members of the Green Lantern Corps that came before her (Hal Jordan and John Stewart), Jessica’s leg printing leaves a little to be desired. I am not really sure why, but LEGO® just won’t give Green Lanterns proper, two-toned legs. Instead, Hal and John had green legs with some black imperfectly painted on the front, while Jessica has the same but on white legs. If the Minnie Mouse Minifigure can have two-toned black and white legs, I don’t see why Jessica Cruz could not. All the same, I am still thrilled to have a new member in my LEGO® Green Lantern Corps.
All in all, the movie was ok, and I really like the Minifigure that came with it. As an adult, it was entertaining enough to watch this movie once. Maybe I will watch it again with my nieces. Have you seen Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis? I would love to hear your thoughts on it, especially if you have kids with a more target-audience take on the film.
Until next time,