I've heard only good things about this film and after Sam Hayes suggested the film to me, I decided to give it a watch. Although after being burned by the last Justice League film I watched, Justice League War (which I did a review of here), I went into this film slightly nervous but I was actually surprised by this film.
This review is by someone who has never read the source material of the same name so keep that in mind.
The premise is that Barry Allen AKA the Flash wakes up in an alternate reality where he is not the Flash, his mother is still alive, Bruce Wayne died causing Thomas Wayne to become Batman, and Aquaman's Atlanteans and Wonder Woman's Amazons are waging war against each other and America is a third World War. Now Barry must find a way to get his powers back and fix his world.
Awesome premise concept, right off the bat...man. Lame jokes for the win! Seriously though, I love the idea of alternate universes and realities, it's become a bit overused as of lately but Flashpoint Paradox does it well. Whereas Justice League War had 10% story, Flashpoint Paradox has about 60% story. Is it the greatest story? I'd say I've seen better but it wasn't bad in the least. There are however two scenes in this film that made me tear up a bit and one of them got me close to crying. Yeah...in an animated DC film.
One of them was at the beginning of the film when Barry Allen comes home on his Mother's birthday to find her dead on the floor and he had a card ready for her and everything....okay I usually don't curse on these things but DAMN! That's like something out of Up.
And the other scene features Bruce Wayne receiving a letter from Thomas Wayne in the alternate reality and said letter makes Bruce Wayne cry. THIS was the scene that almost got me to cry. The scene is the beginning made me tear up from sadness whereas the scene with Bruce Wayne made me tear up from happiness.
Since we're talking about Batman and the Flash, why don't we move onto the characters?
Barry Allen AKA the Flash
The Flash IS the main character of the story and this is one of the reasons why I was nervous of the film at first. See, I love the Flash in the comics but again referring back to Justice League War, the Flash in that movie had no character at all and since this movie was directed by the same man, I thought maybe this would be another screw up of the character. Fortunately, that was not the case. Not only was the Flash cool, but he was likable, funny, and actually had some really great dialogue. He's played by Justin Chambers and he does a really good job. He might actually have become my favorite Flash voice actor. Now I don't really know him from anything, I know he's on Grey's Anatomy but...the day I watch Grey's Anatomy is the day I have lost all brain cells.
Thomas Wayne AKA Batman
In the alternate world, when Bruce Wayne died, Thomas became a heavy drinking more brutal Batman who wields guns and wears the design you see abo- OH MY GOD THAT IS HORRID LOOKING! Okay sorry before I actually talk about the character, I have to address this. What was the artist of the book thinking when he came up with that design? The ridiculous shoulder blades, the red eyes and symbol, the gray stubble just...ugh. Okay personal rant over. So the design may suck but the character was actually really good. He's a broken man, he lost his son to a murderer and his wife became a deranged psychopath (in a very disturbing scene by the way. Oh and she became the Joker...yikes.) so you kind of get his attitude and he does change in a believable way. At first Kevin McKidd's voice really bugged me but it grew on me after a while. Not my favorite version of Batman but was a really interesting concept and different from any other version which I enjoyed.
Hal Jordan AKA Green Lantern
Hardly in the movie but I just wanted to mention that Nathan Fillion is freaking awesome as Hal Jordan. His best performance I've seen as the character was in Justice League Doom (no I have no seen Emerald Knights) and he is WAY better than Justin Kirk from Justice League War, maybe he'll do good in Throne of Atlantis.
Victor Stone AKA Cyborg
Michael B. Jordan plays cyborg this time and I actually have trouble deciding who's better: Shemar Moore or Jordan. Moore had an entire arc but Jordan did well capturing the personality of Vic Stone so well. Either way, Cyborg was great in the film. Didn't have a huge role but he had more screen time than Green Lantern.
Eobard Thawne AKA Professor Zoom
C. Thomas Howell plays Thawne and...wow he is a really good villain. The guy is such a sociopath that he's kind of hard to watch without getting creeped out. Not much more to say but decent villain, decent voice actor, and a bit threatening.
Aquaman and Wonder Woman
Or as I'm going to call them for this review: BLAND AND BORING. For the supposed "villains" of the Flashpoint reality, they were pretty underutilized and boring. Cary Elwes is a good actor but you could have put somebody right off the street in Aquaman's shoes for this movie and it would have been the same, but even he had more character than Wonder Woman did. At least she's not War's Wonder Woman, I'll give it that.
For characters, the two main ones are The Flash and Batman and they were great. They had a good chemistry, a good arc, and overall just great characters. The rest of the characters were okay.
Both Assault on Arkham and Justice League War excelled in the animation department but here...the animation was odd. There are times where the detail in characters is great but other times characters look awful. Here is an example:
The Flash looks great, you can see the detail in his muscles, face, and suit...but Batman (Bruce Wayne), looks like they penciled him in at the last second. Sometimes when the animation lets down the characters look...
Wrong. Okay what's with the Tim Burton style spiral on her shoulder pad, plus why only one shoulder pad? What is this a Rob Leifeld comic? Wonder Woman herself looks smaller than Gal Gadot's version. Diana, eat a burger!
The backgrounds all look great though, every single background looked how it should. There are times when they would switch to 3D animation and it looked meh, like when Flash would go extremely fast with the camera following him. Wasn't a fan of it. Not terrible just...not something I care for.
The action was AWESOME. DC animation always makes action look awesome though, but this movie manages to put everything at so many great angles that it feels like a film you'd see in theaters. When Flash and Professor Zoom are going at each other, that is some of the best action in the film.
So [Justice League](movie:401267) Flashpoint Paradox, it is a really interesting, dark, awesome flick that I really enjoyed and even gave me a twist I didn't see coming, along with two two scenes that got me to tear up. Is it one of my favorite animated DC films? I'd say no. It was really good and I'd definitely see it again but I would consider it a classic like Assault on Arkham proved itself to be. I suggest giving it a watch if you haven't. I give Justice League the Flashpoint Paradox a Solid Gold rating (7.5-8/10)
What were your thoughts on Flashpoint Paradox? Let me know in the comments below!
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