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Friday, August 02, 2013

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox Review

Hey!  Being on staycation means I've got lots of free time!  And lucky for me, DC Comics and Warner Brothers released their latest DTV animated movie this week!  Let's take a look at...

Justice League:  The Flashpoint Paradox DVD cover

Justice League:  The Flashpoint Paradox

Directed by Jay Olivia

Starring the voices of Justin Chambers, C. Thomas Howell, Michael B. Jordan, Kevin McKidd, Sam Daly, Dana Delaney, Carey Elwes, Nathan Fillion, Vanessa Marshall, Ron Perlman, and Kevin Conroy.

Backstory:  As I've lamented for the last few movies that DC/WB has pumped out, I'm getting rather sick and tired of all the Superman and Batman stories.  Yeah, I know, they're the only ones that sell well, but give some more of the DC Universe a chance!  Give us another Wonder Woman film!  I've always had a fondness for Captain Marvel...where's his movie?  So when they announced The Flashpoint Paradox as the next film, I was thrilled.  It's based on DC's recent Flashpoint crossover, which led to their New 52 reboot.  And it is very much a Flash-centric story.  I've always had a soft spot for the Flash.  While most DC heroes are getting lost in dark, serious, realistic territory (see Man of Steel and The Dark Knight Trilogy), I've always found the Flash to have that much-lacking sense of fun.  Plus, perhaps the most quirky rouges gallery in the DCU.  So it looked like The Flashpoint Paradox would be the closest we're getting to a Flash movie so far.  Bring it on!

Plot:  Barry Allen wakes up at his desk one day, but the world around him has changed.  Superman doesn't exist, and Cyborg is now the champion of truth, justice, and the American way.  The mugger known as Joe Chill gunned down the young Bruce Wayne, driving his father, Thomas Wayne, to become a darker, gun-wielding version of Batman.  And Europe is currently gripped in a war that threatens to destroy the world, being fought between the Amazons, led by Wonder Woman, and the Atlanteans, led by Aquaman.  Worst of all, Allen realizes that he doesn't have his superpowers, his mother is still alive, and he never became the Flash.  Allen deduces that his arch-enemy, the Reverse-Flash, must have somehow gone back in time and changed history, creating this alternate timeline.   Can the Flash regain his powers, re-unite the Justice League, and set the timeline right?

What I Liked:  Yay, a Flash movie!  Nice to see him taking centre stage.  Justin Chambers, who's apparently one of the sexy doctors on Grey's Anatomy, does a good job of voicing him.  As does his fellow Grey's Anatomy doctor Kevin McKidd, voicing the alternate timeline Thomas Wayne Batman.  And the scale of this movie is huge, as we see the devastated Europe.  Great opening sequence with the Flash fighting his rogues, and a great ending sequence between the Flash and Batman.

What I Didn't Like:  Well, given the stakes in this film, the fun-loving Flash I was hoping for isn't in there.  And at some points, there's almost too much going on to fully process it.  I feel if they cut down on the war stories a little more and focused more on the Flash and his journey, it would have been a little tighter.  And it's bloody!  Ye gods, it's bloody. 

Final Verdict:  A worthy addition to the DC/WB series of films.

3 Nibs

Bonus Features:  Bonus stuff on the Blu-Ray, you get a running commentary with the writers and director, a featurette on the Flash's Rogues Gallery, a featurette on the Flash's use of time travel, four bonus episodes of various DCU cartoons, focusing on the Flash, a digital comic of Flashpoint #1, and a preview of the next film, Justice League: War.

And speaking of the next one, the next trinity of films has been announced:

Justice League:  War - Based on the Justice League storyline "Origin," which the New 52 rebooted origin of the Justice League.

Son of Batman - Based on the Batman storyline "Batman & Son," which introduces Damien Wayne, the long lost son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Guhl, who eventually becomes the fifth Robin.

Batman:  Assault on Arkham - Based on the best-selling line of Batman: Arkham video games. 

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