Monday, January 12, 2015

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox Review with *Spoilers*

Changed a Flash!

At the end of the month, another of DC's Animated Original Movies will be released to the public. This time based on another New 52 story, The Throne of Atlantis, written by Geoff Johns. As we approach this date, I decided it's best to look back on the other 2 films based in The New 52. The first one might be a bit iffy in it, but I consider it apart of the New 52 as it did birth it. This film of course is Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, based on the crossover story arc Flashpoint that gave birth to the New 52 world we know today. To those who read the crossover, one of the things it could be described as is huge. Many different miniseries to ride along with this event that help flesh out this dark world, from Project Superman to the origins of 2 of the 3 antagonists, Emperor Aquaman(Which still sounds BADASS) and Wonder Woman. Along with that, Flashpoint tied in the history between Flash and Prof. Zoom. The near endless conflict between the two speedsters have come to the CW in the new series, so most know what I mean. The issue with that is that the Animated Movies can only be, at the longest, 80 to 90 minutes. So the question is how much stuff did they have to cut to make it that length? Answer: Most of the Mini-Series stuff, and unfortunately some of the history between Flash and Zoom. Despite these cuts, does this make it a bad adaption? Let's find out!
As with my TV show reviews, there will be SPOILERS ahead. ALSO I will be going into something I never thought before, and just to be safe...THERE WILL BE SOME PICTURES OF SOME PRETTY MESSED UP VIOLENCE!


To those who haven't read the Flashpoint crossover, it revolves around The Flash(Barry Allen) as he tries to figure out what exactly happened to the world where he has no powers, Aquaman and Wonder Woman are at war, and his mother is alive. He meets Batman, who is Thomas Wayne in this timeline, and they team up to find the source of the alterations- Professor Zoom. Along their journey, they meet America's greatest hero, Cyborg, and meet a few other altered timeline heroes along the way.

The characters and their voice actors are pretty spot on for the most part. Batman(voiced by Kevin McKidd) sounded older and scarier, as appropriate for the things he does in the movie. He honestly kind of scares me, the voice and his actions don't help with that fear, but it works since it's Batman. Cyborg(voiced by Micheal B. Jordan) kicked all kinds of ass in this movie, just showing why he should have his own solo series. In this timeline, he is now more machine than man, turning him into a talking tank with a sweet robotic human hybrid voice(which to be honest I kinda prefer when Cyborg is more robotic like his new 52 counterpart), and able to take down a fleet of atlantean tanks single handily(I am not even joking, he just activates mega arm cannon and just decimates everything. SO COOL!). Flash(voiced by Justin Chambers) was a great leading character and all, but his voice acting seemed kind of off at times. It was mainly when he was explaining stuff. He just kind of seemed bored sometimes. That being said, when he wanted us to feel depressed, he could hit it to the core. The prime example is when he apologizes to his mom. In the crossover, he spends a few last moments with her, but with one line, the animated form broke my heart just as much. Though there aren't many other voices, there are other characters that make cameos both visually and vocally. Besides Kevin Conroy being the Bruce Wayne version of Batman, we have Dana Delany(of Superman The Animated Series fame) voicing Lois Lane, Ron Perlman voicing Slade Wilson/Deathstroke, and Nathan Fillion voicing Hal Jordan. Though their parts aren't big, it was kind of nice hearing voices of the past in this alternate timeline, as if to unite all the animated series.

The villains of this film are pretty good as well. Professor Zoom has this creepy menacing demeanor about him, thanks to the voice of C. Thomas Howell. He sounds like he always knows something no one else does and he just can't wait to hear the hero beg to find out what it is. He pretty much only had two parts in the movie, but they are very memorable to make up for that fact. Wonder Woman(voiced by Vanessa Marshall), on the other hand, seemed like the weakest of the antagonists. Don't get me wrong, she can get brutal(as you will soon learn), but her reasons for this war in the adaption does not do the character justice. Before the events of the movie, Aquaman had and affair with Wonder Woman, and in jealousy, Mera(which I will forever be dumbfounded by why ANYONE would cheat on her in the DC world.) attacks Wonder Woman and gets killed. By the end of the movie, 2 things stuck out to me in her actions. As she prepares to kill Aquaman, Wonder Woman cries. Why would she cry for her enemy? It was made clear when we see her hold her dead enemy as the world ends. She loved him. She went to war in an attempt to win her love back. What kind of crap is that?! This version of Wonder Woman is supposed to be a brutal warrior queen, but in the last 15 minutes of the movie, she is all sad that she had to kill her ex-lover. Where was this remorse when she hung Steve Trevor with her lasso of truth, or when she KILLED BILLY BATSON?! Are we supposed to feel sympathy for her?! Yeah. Sorry, but no I don't think i'll be feeling any remorse for her anytime soon for the violence she had spread throughout this movie. However, to make up for this misrepresentation of Diana, we have an excellent interpretation of Emperor Aquaman voiced by freakin' Cary Elwes. To those who don't recognize that name, he played Robin Hood in the Mel Brooks' film Robin Hood: Men in Tights and
to heart stabber
From heartthrob

Westley in The Princess Bride. I always enjoy being surprised when I know the actor voicing a character, and its something ENTIRELY different than what you know them from. I know this guy from being kind of a heart throb in his movies, and now he's voicing a ruthless emperor. When he first showed up after the battle against the crew of the Ravager, I was sold on him. He looked as if he was ready to grab every stereotypical thought of Aquaman and impale it on his trident. This version, while evil, shows WHY he needs his own movies, both live-action and animated. Even in the moments where Aquaman was planning and scheming, he kept the interest of his people and his oceans at heart. He is like a knight of the round table, only more shark like. I know this was more of a Flash oriented story, but if the story only had this underwater caesar as it's villain., I would have been entirely fine with it. So while Wonder Woman fell a bit flat, the other 2 antagonists were awesome!


To those who don't usually see my reviews, this is where I would have my section on story. Since the story here is singular in nature, rather than episodic like my tv show reviews, I will also be analyzing the style and a topic I never expected I would need to cover, the violence.

The story is one of the strongest of all the DC animated movies. You are first greeted with an alternate timeline plot, but then it turns more into a war movie. All the pieces are there. The war looming overhead(Atlantean/Amazon War), The young rookie not knowing what is truly going on in said war(Barry Allen), the secret mission halfway through the movie that would tarnish hope(Saving Project Superman), and finally the final battle where it shows the horrors of war. Throw in a dash of comic book violence and heroes you recognize and you have our movie. There are moments of tension littered throughout just like a war movie as well. I think the most tense part for me was actually when Barry was trying to get his powers back the second time. After watching him become

essentially a mummy from the first failed attempt, and knowing he NEEDS his power back to fix all this, I was on the edge. Thankfully when he was hit with the lightning, I was not disappointed. It was beautifully executed in a mixture of 3-d and 2-d and it was able to work as you see the eyes of a man ready to save the world. That being said, while that mix of 3-d and 2-d worked, there were sequences of the Flash that used 3-d models of him, mainly when he ran at super speed. In all honesty, they didn't sit well with me. The 3d model just seemed to make the Flash feel slower. I get he's hindered and all, but even Batman said he still looked absolutely super fast. Maybe it was because the other times with super speed looked so amazing(especially at the end when he's chasing himself in the speed force), but for me I wasn't a fan.

Now we reach the part I never thought I would have a problem with. This movie is violent. Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind violence in comic books and in movies, its what sells. I feel like however, this movie had the violence upped from it's previous movies. We first get a taste of the violence of this dark world when we see Steve Trevor get captured by the Amazons. This scene could easily have been a simple stab through the heart, no big deal, stuff we've seen before. Even in the comics, Steve's death wasn't as dark and violent, and it showed some humanity in Wonder Woman. But no, in this we see not only Wonder Woman using her lasso to hang him, via her flying up, but her ENJOYING IT. It removes any sympathy we have for the villain! Aquaman does violent things as well, like tear apart Cyborg piece by piece until we see his beating heart. YES YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY. We didn't

need to see that! This could have been a simple destruction via explosions. What was the point of ripping Cyborg apart rather than explosions? What is the point of seeing Mera's severed head? Why would we want to see Grifter taken down with an arrow through his head? Why would we want to see blood fly out of Black Manta's exposed helmet? Why would we want to hear Billy Batson be brutally stabbed, then see his cold dead body drop?
                                  V Why change a death like this, into a death like this? V

I believe the reason for this ramping up in violence is because of what I said before. This isn't a superhero movie, it is a WAR movie. War is not pretty. It is violent, it is dark, it is something we could never possibly imagine. This might be a work of fiction, but even in fictional worlds there is war, and times like this we see how much darker comic wars can be. Also to ramp up the war part, it is a SUPERHERO war. Superheroes can be of a very violent nature as we see with darker comics like Watchmen, Lobo, and Deathstroke. So to put them in a war-like scenario, you know the violent natures of both categories will come to a head.

So why did I make this part a particular point? Simply a warning. I watch the DC animated movies with my little brother, who was 7 or so at the time of this release. When we watched this one(to which was both our first time watching it), I felt my future parental side see the mistake of letting him watch. I now need to watch the other DC animated movies ahead of time, just to make sure there isn't stuff that wouldn't be appropriate for any of my younger family members. So to any parents, or older siblings who want to share a DC movie with their younger children, this movie might NOT be the movie for you.


Despite my gripes with the violence, this movie is actually one of the best DC animated movies made. The story does well, despite the cutting of major story points such as the build up to the war. The characters are interesting, even Wonder Woman despite the misdirection of her character. The style might be dark, but still contains that superhero flair needed. If you are an adult(or 13 as the rating says you should), give it a watch, but if you want to watch it with someone younger, you might need to be the judge of that yourself after giving it a viewing.

So since this movie has been out for a while now, and you haven't watched it yet, I just need to ask "WHY?"

That's it for my review! What did you think of this twisted tale of timelines? What did you think of this review? Leave a comment and I'll see you all next time!


  1. Haha Jody I would advise seeing assault on arkham alone or check the parental guide from imdb before letting your brother watch.....

    1. oh trust me i know. Saw a clip of kgbeast getting his head blown up....yeah no chance