Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)

justice league the flashpoint paradox poster 2013 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Darker and grittier than many DC animated films

Like the comic just feels like an Elseworld story

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Justice League:  The Flashpoint Paradox

Studio:  Warner Bros. Animation

Genre(s):  Animated/Comic Book/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  July 30, 2013

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

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Hey…I didn’t need a metal pin in my leg!

Barry Allen has regrets in his life.  When he wakes up in a world one day that his mother is still alive, he also discovers that he is no longer the Flash.  The world is tearing itself apart and Aquaman and Wonder Woman are at war in Europe while a strange superhuman who crashed in Metropolis is being held prisoner by the U.S. government.  Barry realizes Eobard Thawne aka Reverse Flash aka Professor Zoom’s hatred of him has led to the world being altered beyond recognition.  Now, Barry must regain his powers and set things right before the war between Aquaman and Wonder Woman leads to the death of the world.

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Hey, Arthur…It’s been fun!

Directed by Jay Oliva, Justice League:  The Flashpoint Paradox is an adaptation of Geoff Johns’ Flashpoint mini-series from 2011 which helped relaunch and reshape the DC Universe into the New 52.  Following the DC Universe Animated Movie Superman: Unbound also released in 2013, the film was met with mostly positive reviews but sometimes criticized for its excess violence.

I read Flashpoint (and many of the New 52 titles after the Flashpoint relaunch).  Despite liking some aspects of the relaunch, I found Flashpoint to be a bit dull and underplayed story.  The comic probably makes a better movie than a comic, but I still find aspects of it lacking.

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Well maybe if you showed up at the beginning of the final battle to help your “friends”, they would have lived!

The reason that the comic is probably a bit better as a movie is that there are so many fewer movies than comics.  Flashpoint felt like what DC calls an Elseworlds story…aka another dimension where the events really aren’t part of the DC canon.  Despite Flash “fixing” things and it actually having an effect on the DC Universe, the whole storyline still felt like an unnecessary, detached story that really had no effect but to restart the DC Universe.  Here at least, that detached nature is less important and the relaunch of the universe isn’t stressed at the end.  Much of the movie feels like darkness for darkness’ sake.

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Billy Batson Vs. Wonder Woman…well that didn’t go too hot

I am always impressed by DC’s animated films which run circles around Marvel animated film (Flash pun intended).  The makers make an effort to have them actually link together, tie in to animated TV series, and create a universe as a whole.  Part of that is getting a lot of recurring voice actors for the characters which does give the characters both a presence and a since of consistency which helps the films.  I wish DC would do this with their big screen stuff and that Marvel would look at DC for their animated outputs.

The animation is strong, but nothing revolutionary.  It is slick and stylish and cleaner than some of DC’s earlier ventures (like the far superior Batman:  The Animated Series…which has rougher animation than you might remember).  The character designs and blocking is smart and solid, but it still isn’t to the level of a big screen animated film.

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Neat trick Batman, I can see you now!

I will point out that this entry is definitely not for kids.  There was a lot of questioning if the movie should have been rated R due to lots of graphic violence.  You have Wonder Woman killing Billy Batson (though not on screen) and Batman (who in the Flashpoint world is Thomas Wayne) shooting Zoom through the head which almost mirrors a scene in the R-Rated Heavy Metal 2000…but the movie doesn’t have nudity or bad words so its ok to have as much violence as it would like (see This Film is Not Yet Rated for a good discussion on this).

Justice League:  The Flashpoint Paradox is relatively faithful to the source material and a different take on the DCU.  I don’t love it, but it still is a good watch.  I almost wish that the movie had made a bit more of a definitive “this leads in to the New 52 animated films” statement at the end of the movie, but you just get Batman and Flash in their New 52 styled clothes…so will future animated films be set in the New 52 Universe?  We’ll have to wait and see.  DC followed Justice League:  The Flashpoint Paradox with Justice League:  War.

Related Links:

Justice League:  The New Frontier (2008)

Justice League:  Crisis on Two Earths (2010)

Justice League:  Doom (2012)

Justice League:  War (2014)

Justice League:  Throne of Atlantis (2015)

Justice League—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Justice League—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Justice League Unlimited—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Justice League Unlimited—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Justice League Unlimited—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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