Another smash hit from DC animation!
WARNING SOME SPOILERS AHEAD. A part of the magic of this movie is finding the hidden Easter eggs and references in this movie so if you're a minor spoiler purist... Anyway, you've been warned.
I somehow luckily managed to get to see Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox early and I have to say, I couldn't be happier with this movie. I know that many people disliked the Flashpoint event for being somewhat, "scattered", but, like with Under the Red Hood; DC animation has turned an ok comic story into a cinematic masterpiece. The voice direction was much better than the initial trailers had me believing.
Justin Chambers (Barry Allen) and Kevin Mckidd (Thomas Wayne) deliver particularly intense performances. Some old favorites like Dana Delany (Lois Lane), Ron Pearlman (Deathstroke/Slade Wilson), Nathan Fillion (Hal Jordan) and Kevin frickin Conroy (No introduction needed) return to deliver their stellar performances. While some of their performances are brief, they capture your attention and captivate you as a viewer with their usual charm. Sam Daly replaces his father Tim Daly as Superman and delivers a performance that can stand up proud against his father's amazing work with the character. Kevin Conroy will move you if you are a true Batfan (Those who have read Flashpoint could probably guess which scene I'm referring to).
The movie has cut out some of the side stories but, not all. For those expecting to see the final encounter with Martha Wayne or Dick Grayson dawning the helmet of fate or even Jason Todd as a pastor may be disappointed yet, the exclusion of some of these side stories gives this film a more uniform structure and makes it feel less scatter brained than the comic counterpart.
The trailers do not emphasize this but; this movie is absolutely the darkest DC animated film to date. The movie has the most blood spilled, third degree burns, headshotting, child killing, finger breaking, limb chopping, hanging, maniacal laughter, decapitation, brain spewing , and dead body count of all the DC animated films to date. While the animation is colorful and lively, this movie doesn't hold any punches so if you have a young kid watching with you, be cautious, this isn't Justice League Unlimited. For you adults out there, it's glorious and just what one would think an all out war between DC heroes and villains would be like on a global scale.
The plot is solid and every hero had their role to play. I enjoyed having a big DC animated film being told from a perspective other than the collective Justice League's or Batman's. Watching from Barry Allen's perspective created a unique experience for me as a viewer. It pumped me up in a different sort of way which was refreshing. Hopefully I can someday experience more DC animated films from the perspective of underused characters like Aquaman, Cyborg, Grifter, Deathstroke and *cough* *cough* NIGHTWING!
The final battle takes place in an underused area in comics, the United Kingdom (now dubbed New Themiscyra) and is really fleshed out in this movie just as well as cities DC is used to working with like Gotham or Metropolis. Seeing English architecture reduced to mere rubble for heroes, Amazons and Atlanteans to hide behind was diorama worthy.
This movie also has one of the largest minor casts in animated history. Characters like Aquagirl, Icicle Jr., and a certain breakout character from the hit show Young Justice, make cameo appearances that have you get giddy with excitement. The soundtrack was just what you'd expect from a DC animated movie. Memorable and download worthy.
This movie has unexpectedly won me over and pushed its way into my top 5 DC animated movies list. I haven't seen an adaptation between mediums executed this well by DC since Under the Red Hood and I couldn't be happier. If you like DC animated features and want to see some batSHI- crazy awesomeness, this movie is for you. Again, if you're a parent and are going to be watching this with your young kids, be sure that they can handle some serious violence. After the credits, be sure to stick around for a teaser and interview about the following DC animated movie, Justice League: War!
Edit: For anyone wondering, my favorite scene in this movie was when Bruce reads the letter. That scene is one of Conroy's best performances ever and will become an instant classic.
One more thing guys, be sure to pay close attention to Batman and Flash's costumes at the very beginning of the movie and at the very end ;)