If you’ve been following ScienceFiction.com for a while you know when Flashpoint hit shelves a couple of years ago we covered most of the DCU redefining event. While all of the mini-series by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert wasn’t 100% gold, it was a huge shake up of the status quo leading directly into The New 52… better known as the reboot of the DC Comics Universe. So when it was announced DC Entertainment would be making a Flashpoint movie I couldn’t help but get excited for the prospect of seeing how they would take the massive story and condense it into 81 minutes.
‘Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox’ is about what happens when time travel allows a past wrong to be righted for Flash and his family, the event’s temporal ripples prove disastrous, creating a fractured, alternate reality where the Justice League never formed, and even Superman is nowhere to be found. Amidst a new world being ravaged by a fierce war between Wonder Woman’s Amazons and Aquaman’s Atlanteans, Flash must team with a grittier, more violent Batman and government agent Cyborg to restore the continuity of Flash’s original timeline.
I’m going to start with what I liked about ‘The Flashpoint Paradox’, plain and simple The Flash. They nailed Barry Allen, everything about him was spot on from the way he was animated to the wonderful job actor Justin Chambers (‘Grey’s Anatomy’) did voicing the fastest man alive, and hopefully get’s a chance to reprise the voice role in future DC Entertainment films. Kevin McKidd (‘Grey’s Anatomy’) was the other stand out, voicing the Flashpoint Universe’s Batman. He was dark and conflicted and loved killing criminals. Another bit of greatness from this movie was the nod to the identity of the Flashpoint Joker, it was a not so subtle reveal. Lastly, the best part of the movie was the end (which just so happened to be my favorite scene from the mini-series), when Barry returns from the paradox universe with a letter from Thomas Wayne to his son Bruce, it really is heart breaking and probably one of the more touching moments from any of the stories written by Geoff Johns in his entire career.
There are a ton of cool moments in the movie, the introduction of Grifter, Superman finally being brought out on to the board during the final battle and the use of both Aqualads in Aquaman’s army. You read that right, both Garth and Kaldur Ahm are featured in the Atlantean/Amazon war. As usual they did a great job getting the right actors for the right characters, Dana Delaney returns as Lois Lane, Kevin Conroy is the regular continuity Batman and Sam Daly (son of Tim Daly) is the voice of Superman.
Ok, so where did the ‘Flashpoint’ movie go wrong? Well, an 81 minute runtime is a good place to start. When setting up an entirely new universe where nothing is as it seems, with a Batman we don’t know and Superman never existed, you need to give yourself a little more time to get the ball rolling. They spent too much time at the beginning of the movie with the Justice League helping The Flash fight the Rouges and Zoom. Perhaps the greatest offense of this movie is the actual animation, Aquaman has no neck, Wonder Woman looks like some kind of Manga character and the never got the proportions right on any of the regular universe Justice League characters, it really was distracting. The 81 minute run time became an issue with the pacing of the movie as well. There were a lot of really slow moments followed up by very quick action sequences that didn’t really move anything along.
I think with ‘Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox’ you get two things: One, hopefully it will spark the interest of viewers to go check out the comic books and learn more about this crazy, dark and violent world The Flash accidentally created by going back in time to save his mom and two, you get the introduction of the New 52 Universe into the DC Entertainment films, as evident by the scene at the end of the credits and the updated uniforms of Batman and Flash in the final scene. So that’s it, that was ‘Flashpoint’. It is dark and violent and world without hope, but at the end of the day The Flash doesn’t make the world altering change and we end up someplace new.
Is ‘The Flashpiont Paradox’ a movie you need to go pick up today? Probably not, you can wait for it to stream, hit Redbox or borrow it from one of your fanboy or fangirl friends and check it out down the line.
‘Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox’ Blu-ray™ has over three hours of extra content, including:
- A Flash in Time: Are there other dimensions? Can time travel get us there? And if The Flash existed, could he really travel through time? Interviews with experts in mythology, theoretical physics and top DC writers will examine the science and legacy of the storytelling behind the fiction.
- My Favorite Villians! The Flash Bad Guys: Acclaimed DC Comics writer Geoff Johns and others share their favorite Flash villains in this short film that gives viewers a glimpse into the Flash’s world through the eyes of some of the nefarious characters he has encountered over the past 70 years!
- A Sneak Peek at the next DC Universe animated movie:. An in-depth look into the next DC Animated feature film, spotlighting the cast and crew.
- From the DC Comics Vault: Bonus cartoon episodes
- The Flashpoint Paradox Audio Commentary