I didn't care much for it.
Wow, Kevin, thanks for that stellar and concise review.
Well, I for one think there's a lot more to say here. First and foremost, let us immediately bring to the forefront that Joss Whedon was one of the writers for this film/ TV-show-hopeful. I can't personally say much this way or that about it because I really don't know a whole lot about Joss Whedon's body of work. With the exception of Toy Story and Dr. Horrible, he doesn't mean a whole lot to me. However, I'm not so far gone from society that I don't recognize his name and know that it relates to a number of other outstandingly popular science fiction series. Atlantis itself feels to me like it would have been a fabulous TV series and here's why:
Atlantis is stuffed full of interesting characters with presumably rich backstories. The downfall in my opinion is that it was in fact stuffed full. There just isn't enough time in a film with this much exposition to dedicate to all the side characters. Had this been a TV series from the start, there would have been no need to force character arcs into a quick set of 12 second bedtime stories.
Atlantis involves an entire society heretofore unknown to the rest of civilization. This of course leaves a great deal of room to expand on the history, culture and way of life of the society to which we've been introduced. A nice big handful of episodes would have been great, but as a movie it felt like the 4 minutes of cramming before a high school class that was having a big test.
Atlantis included a lot of pop culture-y stylistic choices such as "hippie," "steampunk," and "Victoriana" which could easily have been used to death in hypothetical conventions in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.
But most of all, Atlantis had a rich, potentially interesting story with a lot of detail and it just didn't come across in the final film. There just plain wasn't enough time to build up the kind of suspense that was needed for such a heavy piece of work. You need a lot of time not only to tell the story in the first place but also for the audience to allow all that information to sink in. I for one don't remember any of the names of any of the characters outside of Milo and Kida. What I do remember: Fast Talking Black Guy, Dirty Man, Jim Varney, TNT Dude, Grandma Smokes, and Holy Freaking Huge Freaky Lips Latina. Even the villians had potential considering for most of the film, you're kept mostly in the dark as to who is going to turn on the group. It's pretty obvious, to tell the truth, but had this been a series, I suspect that it would have been a huge, ground-breaking, surprise in the season finale.
Shoot, you know what? It all went by so fast, I don't really remember what DID happen! Something about flying fish cars and a lava pit and Kida was God? Bah, it's all a wash.
Favorite Character: I guess Milo, because I don't remember enough about the others. I liked Grandma Smokes though. She was just cliche enough to love.
Least Necessary Character: For the sake of a series, they all were pretty necessary. For the sake of just one movie, All of the nick name side kicks could have gone and it wouldn't have affected the plot in the least little bit. Seriously, anything they did could have been reassigned to the two villians. Anything.
Overall: I mean, it looks pretty, and it was a cool premise. It just didn't gel. All it boils down to is what Kevin said earlier.... I didn't care much for it.
BONUS: For the record, Blind Chief of Atlantians was voiced by Leonard Nimoy.