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Lego DC Comics Super Heroes Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis (2018)

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Disc Released: 7/31/2018

All Ratings out of
Extras: No Extras

Review by Mike Long, Posted on 7/30/2018

Some classic licensed characters have remained virtually unchanged for decades. While they have gone through some stylistic adjustments, icons like Mickey Mouse or Snoopy have maintained a constant look and personality over the years. However, there are others who don't show the same consistency. The DC Comics superhero Aquaman was introduced in 1941, and this character who lived in the ocean and could communicate with aquatic life eventually became a member of the Justice League. For years, he was depicted as wearing a orange and green suit and being clean-cut. Then, in 1993, comics legend Peter David helped to introduce a new Aquaman, who was not only missing a hand, but had a long beard and long hair to match. This more feral incarnation of the character remained in place and clearly influenced the look of the character in 2017's live-action Justice League. Things have now come full-circle in Lego DC Comics Super Heroes Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis.

As our story opens, a "Trouble Alert" sounds at the Hall of Justice, as the renegade alien Lobo (voiced by Fred Tatasciore) is ransacking a military base. Despite the fact that the facility is in the desert, Aquaman (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) arrives on the scene first and is quickly defeated by Lobo, as the rest of the team -- Batman (voiced by Tory Baker), Superman (voiced by Nolan North), Wonder Woman (voiced by Grey Griffin), Cyborg (voiced by Khary Payton), and Green Lantern (voiced by Cristina Milizia) (this being the Jessica Cruz Green Lantern) -- arrive just in time to save him. Aquaman then leads the Justice League to Atlantis to show off his home and introduce them to his wife, Mera (voiced by Susan Eisenberg). But things go awry as Aquaman's half-brother, Ocean Master (voiced by Trevor Devall), makes a play for the throne and unveils his alliance with the evil Red Latern, Atrocitus (voiced by Jonathan Adams). The Justice League suddenly finds themselves on the defensive and scrambling for a plan to defeat these foes.

Most companies have never met a cross-promotion that they didn't like and DC & Warner Bros. are no exception. With the Aquaman live-action movie on the horizon for a holiday release, it's not surprising that we are getting a Lego adventure with Aquaman in the title. (As a bonus, there have been talks of a live-action Lobo movie, so why not go ahead and introduce this cult character to the general public?) But, despite Aquaman being out-in-front, this could have easily been labeled as a Justice League title, as the other members of the super-hero team figure just a prominently in the story (with some cameos by other DC figures as well). Keeping with the general theme, however, the movie smartly introduces Mera and Ocean Master, two characters who will appear in the Aquman film.

That aside, Lego DC Comics Super Heroes Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis offers the kind of fare which we've come to expect from these Lego entries. As noted above, we get a nice mixture of familiar Justice League members here, but the movie is also peppered with less well-known characters. (I'm not a DC person, so I must admit that I was not familiar with the Jessica Cruz Green Lantern.) We get the usual type of humor, but not as many "look at how everything is made of Lego bricks" jokes as seen in some other chapters in this series. The pacing is good, but things do drag a bit in the middle when the movie gets somewhat serious. Following the events in Atlantis, Aquaman really gets down on himself. The movie doesn't get totally dark here, but for those parents watching with children, this could be a good opportunity to discuss believing in one's-self and bouncing back from defeat.

Of course, one of the most interesting things about Lego DC Comics Super Heroes Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis is how its chosen to portray Aquaman. Not only have they gone back to the classic clean-cut look, the movie also portrays him as sort of a goober. Due to his somewhat limited super-powers, Aquaman is often the butt of jokes in popular culture and he doesn't necessarily get a ton of respect in the first half of this movie. But, he ultimately redeems himself and this turns out to be a fun ride. As a traditionalist, I prefer the classic Aquaman look and this was a nice reprieve before we are further inundated with the bad-boy look of the character.

Lego DC Comics Super Heroes Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis does a good job of bringing a cat into the mix on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 26 Mbps. The image is very sharp and clear, showing no grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look excellent, most notably reds and greens, and the image is never overly dark or bright. The level of detail is good and textures can be made out on objects. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 2.8 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The action sequences deliver good surround and subwoofer effects. Some of the surround effects show nice details. The stereo effects do a good job of highlighting sounds coming from off-screen.

The Lego DC Comics Super Heroes Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis Blu-ray Disc contains no extra features.

Review Copyright 2018 by Mike Long