WPR Reviews – Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
The events that led to ‘The New 52’ have finally been tackled in the DC Animated Universe. Question is, did they do this Flash-centric story justice?
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
Based on: Flashpoint by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert
Directed by: Jay Oliva
Release date: July 30th, 2013
Price: $19.98 (DVD) 24.98 (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital)
Justin Chambers as The Flash
Kevin McKidd as Flashpoint Batman
Michael B. Jordon as Cyborg
Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern
Cary Elwes as Aquaman
Ron Perlman as Deathstroke
Vanessa Marshall as Wonder Woman
Reviewers were provided a Blu-ray copy by Warner Home Video.
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox brings to the small screen the events of Flashpoint, the major comic crossover event that brought together DC, Vertigo, and Wildstorm universes and ultimately resulted in the 2011 merger relaunch known as The New 52. This relaunch is where my journey into DC Comics began, so impressions from this point on are based around aesthetics, plot, and overall quality rather than canon faithfulness.
Perhaps the greatest compliment I can give to Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox is that the story made me want to leave the comfort of my sofa and pick up a copy of Flashpoint right then and there. In just under an hour and a half, the animated film masterfully established the alternative universe as a character itself, rather than taking the easy “Bizarro” route of making every character the opposite of their Earth-1 counterpart. In a new universe situation, it’s very easy to bloat the story giving each counterpart their own lengthy back-story, but Flashpoint Paradox doesn’t underestimate the viewers ability to piece together the “clues” for themselves.
If the plot doesn’t blow you away, then the cast certainly will. As much as I hate to admit, the first two voices I recognized in this film were that of The Flash and Flashpoint Batman, voiced by Justin Chambers and Kevin McKidd of Grey’s Anatomy, respectively. Though at first I questioned the two’s ability to drop their stethoscopes and play pivotal superheroes in this story, both pulled it off with minimal hammyness. In fact, every big name (yes, even geek diety Nathon Fillion) keep their egos in check and bring in solid performances.
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox sets the bar very high for not only future DC Animated Films, but the superhero genre itself. Whether you can recite the Green Lantern oath in your sleep, or you thought The Dark Knight Trilogy was pretty decent, Flashpoint Paradox should find a cozy home in your movie collection.
Ryan Thomason’s Take
Wow, Flashpoint Paradox.
Ok. Let me just start off for any other parents out there, this movie is PG-13 tilting toward an R-Rating no doubt, if it had a couple of swear words. With that being said, this movie is simply another jewel in the crown that is DC Animation movies. I am not familiar with a large majority of DC characters beyond the big ones that well, everyone knows. I think probably 75% of the characters I saw on screen that wasn’t strictly Justice League affiliated, the closed captioning told me who that person was talking. (Benefit of being hearing impaired) After watching Flashpoint Paradox, I fully intend to acclimate myself more into the DC Universe. On the subject of closed captions, for those of you like me that wear hearing aids, the text doesn’t get in the way of the movie at all, and you don’t miss anything because you’re trying to read what is being said. It truly adds to the experience.
I am going to keep anything involving the plot out of this discussion. The basics of what you can read off the cover is The Flash changed the time stream, and these are the effects, can he fix what he’d done? The movie is simply too good that it would pain my heart to know that I ruined it for anybody. Let’s start with the basics. The animation is superb, it’s so clean, and clear, yet the gritty scenes in Gotham and across some of the ravaged cities were a beautiful contrast of what can make an animated movie work so well that live-action simply cannot. I understand that the big motion pictures are the bread and butter profit centers. Flashpoint to me though, deserves just as much recognition, love and attention as Man of Steel and The Dark Knight. Yes, I think that this movie, with the right exposure, could have done just as well as those billion dollar ones in the theater. Flashpoint sucked me in and held me tight, I was invested, the musical score entranced me and the gigantic shift in the characters that I thought I knew was so great that I couldn’t help but know that this movie would get a second viewing. And a third, possibly fourth. There is just so much in Flashpoint that I know I can learn from that would make me a better nerd that I want to study it, learn from it, use it to my advantage in geeky conversations.
Flashpoint Paradox, like Superman: Unbound, gave me more respect for the DC Brand’s characters. They make me want to learn more, damn them, because that involves opening up my wallet. Smart, they are. After spending my whole life neutral in the Comic Book Fanboy realm, I’m starting to lean toward DC and that is only because their animated movies continue to blow me away, continue to make me get tingles of anticipation for the next one, continue to make me want to open up my wallet. Flashpoint Paradox does not disappoint, your money is very well spent, you will most likely watch it multiples of times. Enjoy it, because coming next is Justice League: War. I’ve got tingles already.
JUDGE FOR YOURSELF