Movies / Animé and Toons

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox

By Hervé St-Louis
September 28, 2013 - 12:10

Not remembering travelling back in time to save his mother from being assassinated, Barry Allen, the Flash accidentally re-engineers the world into a dystopia where Wonder Woman’s Amazons are waging war with Aquaman’s Atlantis, Superman is captive in a government prison, the Justice League doesn’t exist and Cyborg is his world’s major hero. Can Flash defeat Professor Zoom and set the world back to normal?

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox seems like a concerted effort for the animated arm of Warner Brothers to closely corroborated the New 52 reboot of DC Comics’s line in publishing. This movie serves as a transition where all future DC Comics inspired animated films will focus on the same continuity featured in the comics. For a media conglomerate trying to maximize all of its properties in anticipation to a series of movies on the Justice League it makes sense. But for fans of DC Comics’s rich lore, eventually, there might not be enough cool stories to adapt from the New 52 repertoire.

Yet, this direct to video release changes a few things. It is the most violent and gory DC Comics’ inspired animated film that I have watched. Several characters meet gruesome deaths or injuries that would warrant a restricted rating. It seems that Warner Brothers has friends in high places or that the censors at the film rating body were sleeping at the switch. If you are a parent, although this movie is quite entertaining, I do not recommend it for kids.

The animation character designs are based on Phil Bourassa’s work so many characters will feel similar to past depictions in DC Universe Animated Original Movies and series such as Young Justice. Yet, there are many changes to characters such as Aquaman and Flash. Warner Animation still relies a lot on 3D animation but as usual does not always integrate it well within the flat 2D animated world they are working from. For example, the police truck where the Rogues villains are transported was not cartoon shaded. There is a long scene towards the end of the movie where Flash is replaced with a 3D rendered character running all over the place instead of the 2D animated version. It really looks out of place.

I liked the story and thought that that the war between the Amazons and the Atlanteans was rough but rendered on a wide-scale. I wish details of Mera’s involvement had been explained better. If Mera was already married to Aquaman, why was he allowed to be married to Wonder Woman? Why would Amazons allow such a thing as polygamy? I would have liked to see the Martian Manhunter in this film. His absence as a major member of the Justice League since the New 52 is starting to annoy me. I haven’t read the original comic book so it was important for me that the movie serves as a great introduction to DC Comics’ world. On that end, the movie succeeded, even incorporating secondary characters from the Wildstorm franchise such as Grifter.

I didn’t really like Wonder Woman’s character in this film. She seemed more savage and ruthless than her background would suggest. Why was she so willing to kill? The Atlantean army seemed like the typical useless henchmen we see in so many movies. They died easily without putting a fight and all looked the same, unlike the Amazons. Black Manta was as impressive as ever in this film. I really hope that in the future, such as the proposed Aquaman animated film, that they will use Black Manta in combat and as a threatening villain as well as he was in here. While Ocean Master was not spectacular, Black Manta really gave Batman and Grifter trouble. I wish Captain “Thunder” had been more useful against Wonder Woman, although ultimately, I liked the way he was defeated by magic.  The other super star of the film was Professor Zoom, the Reverse Flash. He was what I consider a great villain for a hero.

More time should have been spent on Barry Allen to make him understand the full cost of his actions. What he did by going back in time is what villains do. He should not have been able to escape from Batman’s judgment so easily at the end of the film.

Extras include:
  • 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 Favourite Villains! The Flash Bad Guys: Acclaimed DC Comics writer Geoff Johns and others share their favourite 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

Rating: 9.5 /10

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Last Updated: May 19, 2020 - 12:25

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