Review: Justice League – The Flashpoint Paradox

It was a sad day when it was announced the Warner Brother’s Premiere line of animation was coming to a close, but as time moved forward it became obvious that they were simply changing and rebranding it to better match the new face of the DC Universe. That said Flashpoint was the perfect story to choose as the end cap to the line of animation considering it also ushered the closing of the DCU and brought about the company wide reboot that’s become known as the New 52. The story is a familiar one to any comic fan; something happened in the Flash’s past that changed the future and he awakes one day to find an Elseworld’s inspired world. There is no Justice League and the heroes that once made up the team are scattered and different. Aquaman and Wonder Woman are at war and their battle is threatening to destroy the entire planet. Batman is not who he seems to be and Superman was never known to the world. In fact the world’s greatest hero is Cyborg who up until the reboot was a glorified parental unit for the Teen Titans. Now he’s trying to launch an attack against the Altantians and Amazonians before it’s too late.

Upon discovering that the world has changed, Barry Allen finds that one of those changes in this bleak world is the fact that his mother is alive. With everything the way it is he knows he must do something before his memories of how the world should be faded away. Having no connection to the speed force he finds himself driving to Wayne Manor to find Batman. The problem is it’s not his Batman. In this reality Bruce Wayne was the one that was shot and Thomas Wayne lived to become the Batman while his wife became the Joker. Barry talks Thomas into believing him, but first he needs his help in recreating the accident that connected him to the speed force.

JusticeLeagueTheFlashpointParadox-finalboxartAs far as the story goes it was very strong. There were still quite a few changes to the story from the comic which became the norm with anything adapted that didn’t stand on its own like Superman All-Star. There weren’t nearly as many as there were with Superman: Unbound and the changes that were made didn’t hinder the story as much. The pacing was strong and really the only part the story stumbled is when it took the time to explain the back story for Batman, Aquaman and Wonder Woman. For Batman we really didn’t need to see the scene in which Bruce died since it was already mentioned so many times before. Really it just felt like it was too cool to drop, but it ended up feeling out-of-place because of that.

With Aquaman and Wonder Woman’s story it was changed from a complex political metaphor to Mera’s death at Wonder Woman’s hands. This part actually made no sense since WW and AM were supposed to marry and unite the people, but Aquaman calls Mera his queen several times. Mera tries to kill WW and ends up dead and this creates the war. I don’t think they really fleshed out this part and what they left was very jumbled. Granted no one is going to give a damn in the long run, but I’m sure others noticed as well which just doesn’t show the care with the script that has previously been associated with the animation line. For me the biggest detail overlooked was the fact that Reverse Flash had all of the same memories as Barry which would be impossible with Barry being the key to the change and not Reverse Flash.

The animation had a decent look. Everyone has the same frame which is to say thin torso, broad shoulders and a long face. It works for a few of the characters, but both versions of Superman looked strange and Bruce Wayne Batman was also off looking. Thomas Wayne Batman looked pretty bad ass and though I wanted him to make more sounds of gruffness like he did in the comic, it was still pretty good.

The voice acting was decent, but there were parts where it felt like they wanted to minimize the cast’s speaking roles. Barry and Thomas have the most dialogue and it was definitely for the better as they delivered the best performance. Nathan Fillion reprises his role of Hal Jordan, but its short-lived due to the story. Aquaman’s voice was the most out-of-place due to the fact that the tone and delivery never matched the expression on the character’s face.

In general it was a good movie and it was fun to watch, which is the important thing after all. With a lot of the Premiere line of animations I’ve found the adaptation to be so spot on that it becomes dull to watch them if you’ve already read the series in comic form. I like where this leaves the animation and now DC is in a great spot to adapt stories from the New 52 and having an easier time adapting them. Since there is a cohesive continuity now several animated movies can be released that tie-in to each other and give a different animated experience or they can continue to cherry pick the big stories.

Score: 3/5

Director: Jay Oliva

Writer: Jim Krieg

Produced by: WB Premiere Animation

Price: $24.99 on Blu-Ray

Release Date: 7/30/13