Evil Movie Reviews: Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
What’s up NERDS!
The DCAU’s last movie of 2013 is finally here! Based on the Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert mini-series Flashpoint, the animated film shows us a world where one small change can change the course of everything, and like the name says, The Flash takes center stage! Does it match up to the source material? Is this another Dark Knight that you’ll watch over and over again? Or is it a stinker like Superman: Doomsday? You gotta read on to find out, just beware…there will be spoilers!
Okay. Right out of the gate I’m going to say that this is one hell of a good story and the film does it justice. In case you didn’t heed my previous warning, I’m going to reveal some big ol’ spoilers here so stop now if you want to let this unfold for itself. As I stated previously, The Flashpoint Paradox is based on a mini-series of a very similar name by Johns & Kubert from 2011. Previous big DC events had the label of “Crisis” slapped on them for years, so when people first started to hear about this story, I don’t think that anyone realized the ramifications of exactly what The Flash could actually do. Essentially, (and this is one of those big ol’ spoilers :)) this story was the spark that lit the creation of the New 52 and ended to DCU as we all knew it. Going into Flashpoint everything just seemed normal, but when the book hit all of the books in the DCU stopped publishing and a few other mini-series popped up to tag along with the event. This sort of thing has happened in comics for years, so no one thought much of it at first and then word started to get around to what DC was up to. Usually a publisher would do this sort of this with an event for 4-6 months and then everything would go back to being the same, but in our case we came out of Flashpoint and go the New 52 instead. So, point goes to DC for a helluva ballsy move!
Alright, enough of that. Seriously, I could probably teach a college class on the creation of the New 52. Anywho, back to the movie. Flashpoint the comic opened cold, and by that I mean that it just started in what appeared to be a parallel world and the story of how it was created opened itself up to you over time. Instead of that this flick started out in the old-school DCU that we all know and love and opened with Barry Allen at the grave of his mother, thinking back and wishing that he could’ve done something. After that we’re treated to an assault on The Flash by the entire set of Rogues. We get to see The Top, Mirror Master, Heatwave, Cap’n Boomerang, and Captain Cold. Along with that we get to see Flash’s nemesis; The Reverse Flash himself, Professor Zoom! Flash takes on the Rogues and gets a little hung up and then Zoom comes by, double-crosses everyone and puts Flash in a real sticky situation. So he shows them why it’s important to be a card carrying member of the Justice League and gets a little help from his friends. The scene is just great, and although it wasn’t in the original story, it just opens the whole movie up in a really inviting way. It just feels like a Justice League movie…until the next scene that is.
From this point on we get thrown a major curve ball because the rest of the movie is set in an alternate reality, but one in which Barry Allen knows is not correct. Here Barry is not The Flash and his mom is alive, the world is on the brink of WWIII in a battle between the Amazons and the Atlanteans, and Captain Cold is a good guy named Citizen Cold? WTF doesn’t give it justice. Now, like most of my reviews I’ll stay kind of vague because even though I knew the story going in, I still wanted to see how it played out on the screen. But I will say this, nothing is what you expect. Here we have a Batman, but it’s not your Daddy’s Batman. (Flashpoint Bats uses a gun and has no qualms about killing.) As I stated, war has erupted between Wonder Woman and Aquaman and the entire planet has been dragged into the conflict, (sidebar: these roles really solidify Diana and Arthur as straight-up badasses if they are written correctly with respect!) heroes act like villains and villains in turn act heroic, big guns like Superman and Green Lantern aren’t even on the table here. Pretty much, the entire world has shifted and it’s up to Barry Allen to make it right, problem is that he doesn’t have his speed. So he has to try to get his powers back and convince the so-called heroes of this world to help him to make it “right” again! I’m going to let you watch this one to get all the details because it’d just be too fun to spoil and I’ll guarantee that you’re really gonna dig what they give you here!
One detail that I will mention to you though is the graphic nature of this movie. Honestly I can say that I haven’t seen such a violent DCAU movie. There is death, and a whole lot of it. People are shot, disintegrated, blown up, and killed in any way that you can imagine. And I’m not talking about henchmen either, I’m talking about real characters that you’re familiar with. They get away with it because it is an Alt, but just be ready for it and I wouldn’t recommend watching with any kiddies around. After saying that, I’ll admit that I really enjoyed it though, and the scenes I mentioned before were awesome… Trust me, it’s not red vs blue lasers!!!
The ending of this movie has two big reveals, one which I’ll spoil and the other one which is so ironic, that I’ll keep to myself and let you watch it play out. As I mentioned, Flashpoint was the catalyst for the New 52 and at then end of the mini series the world goes “right” and we see Flash and Batman talking about the situation. Both characters look a little different because they are in their New 52 costumes, so pretty much when reality is course corrected the new universe was born. The DCAU did the same thing here and to be honest I applaud them on their efforts. If you think about it they rebooted their books two years ago, but there were still movies being produced that had Superman in the old red briefs that the world recognized him for so their brand strategy was a little off and different messages were being relayed to consumers. By ending the movie in the New 52 universe like the book did it allows all new animated features to be part of that universe and strengthen that brand, which is something they’re going to need if they want to compete with Marvel as an entertainment company. Plus, that final scene is an amazing exchange between Flash and Batman that makes you happy for Bruce!
At the end of the day this was a sound movie that followed the source material closely, cutting or editing things so it could fit into an hour and a half feature, but still being very successful. You do not need to read the books to get what is going on at all. I’d rank this in my top three DCAU movies to be completely honest. I’m a little biased to a point because I’m a big Flash fan, but it’s really a good movie that will entertain the hell out of you. Technically speaking, it’s visuals are amazing and the voice talent is flawless! I’ll say this, between this movie and Dark Knight, Jay Oliva can direct the hell out of superhero movies! You can pick this up in stores on Bluray and DVD today or get it on digital download and never leave the couch! Also, make sure to check out our next episode of Evil Geeks Disassembled: The Animated Show later this week where myself and Greekimus talk this movie up with a lot more details and a lot more spoilers!
Flash Fact: The Speed Force is an electrical energy that exists in every dimension, every universe, and every era. It touches every part of reality.
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