Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox is one of the best animated superhero movies ever.
An event in The Flash’s past has been changed and the present of the entire DC Universe is brutally altered. Directed by Jay Oliva and starring the voice talents of Justin Chambers as The Flash and Kevin McKidd as Batman, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox brings together DC Comics’s superheroes together in an alternate timeline where best friends are bitter enemies.
Flashpoint hits the ground running with fun face-off between The Flash and his infamous Rogues Gallery. A greater threat is revealed in the Reverse Flash and the Justice League steps in to aid the scarlet speedster. The next morning Barry Allan wakes to find himself in an alternate timeline in which his long deceased mother is still alive. That is his first introduction to this new world where somethings are familiar, but drastically different. Batman is not Bruce Wayne, but his father Thomas. In this world Bruce is the one that died in Crime Alley instead of Thomas. In this world, Barry was never in the accident that gave him his Flash speed. The powerless hero nearly kills himself trying to recreate the occurrence that gave him access to the speed force.
Meanwhile, this world’s Amazons are at war with the Atlanteans. Aquaman, having sunk Western Europe continues to advance while Wonder Woman has led the Amazons in conquering Great Britain. Both factions are heading to their inevitable confrontation, with a captured Captain Atom is being held as Aquaman’s ultimate weapon.
The newly re-powered Flash is unable to break the time barrier as another speedster is syphoning the speed force in this timeline. Without that ability to stop this Butterfly Effect, Flash, Batman and Cyborg seek out this world’s Superman for help. Except in the Flashpoint timeline, Kal-El crash landed in the middle of Metropolis as oppose to Kansas and has been contained under an artificial red sun for 30 years.
With the war coming to a head, the real reason for the timeline is reveled and in the midst of the world’s end The Flash is left to save everyone at the sacrifice of a loved one.
The voice actors were all on point. Aquaman’s ferocity comes though, as does The Flash’s sorrow for his mother. Brilliant casting, including the return of Ron Perlman as Deathstroke, Dana Delany as Lois Lane and Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne.
Thomas Wayne Batman is the stand out character here. Just when you thought Batman could not get any grim and grittier, Thomas Wayne shows up to takes you to darker places. Imagine the Batman you know, but very, very pissed off.
Wonder Woman and Aquaman are really given their due in Flashpoint, especially the King of the Sea. While Wonder Woman has always been considered a bad ass, Aquaman really shows just how much of a threat he can be. When these two lock up, it’s brutal.
There is a nice post-credits nod to the upcoming Justice League: War movie to look forward to as well.
Making full use of it’s PG-13 rating, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox pulls no punches; the world is at war and there are plenty of casualties. Heroes and villains fall but still within the context of the movie. The violence and deaths are not gratuitous and really add to the sense of danger in this world. Anything can happen and no one is safe.
While I have recently re-read the Flashpoint DC Comics series, one doesn’t have to be well versed in the source material to enjoy the movie, but it does make it a far richer experience delving in to that world; especially the origins of the Amazon/Atlantean war.
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox is a full throttle thrill ride from beginning to end. You don’t want to live in the world of Flashpoint, but it’s one hell of a place to visit.
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.