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Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox Review

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It's time for DC's most famous speedster to step into the spotlight.

DC has a really solid track record when it comes to their animated movies, so going into one of their flicks with fairly high expectations is pretty understandable. The latest story they're tackling is Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert's FLASHPOINT. Regardless of how you feel about the story's execution, there's just no denying it's a super creative alternate timeline which is packed with loads of potential. While the latest DC animated film doesn't bring the same kind of emotional punch or grand scale Johns delivered, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox makes up for that with some really impressive action and tight pacing.

In case you haven't read the event, Flashpoint is all about Barry Allen aka Flash ending up in an alternate world -- a world where things have gone terribly wrong. Aquaman and Wonder Woman are at war, and the battle between Atlanteans and the Amazons has absolutely devastated Europe. But that's hardly the only change to be found in this twisted reality. First and foremost, Flash doesn't exist here (meaning he needs to get his powers back) and his mother is still alive. Additionally, everyone from Batman to Superman to Cyborg have undergone rather massive changes from their New Earth versions. If you haven't read the story, I imagine you'll find some of these twists to be rather cool.

By now you should realize they're not going to simply do a direct translation and that's totally understandable. They're going to put their own spin on it and yes, that means plenty of changes. Sure, they've kept a good deal true to the source material and there's plenty of lines stripped straight from the issues, but there's also quite a few and rather big changes as well. For example, Element Woman isn't in it and instead Black Manta, Aqualad and a few others are given more prominent roles (I can hear you cheering from over here). Additionally, the Resistance members are given more love (Grifter rocks) and Deathstroke has a seriously awesome action sequence. Really, it's rad. Without diving into spoilers, Superman's handling is sure to be polarizing. It's a pretty shocking scene and visually impressive. I think it makes sense given the context, but like I said, opinions are sure to be divided with it and understandably so.

This movie thrives on the big brawls and it absolutely delivers in this regard. Aquaman and Wonder Woman have an epic encounter that reaches a jaw-dropping point. Clayface's role is short yet sweet and Shazam even gets the opportunity to throw some massive punches (but despite some superhuman slams, Billy Batson's role is really toned down). There's also a really neat (yet brief) moment where Flash attacks numerous gunmen and we're treated to some slow motion as Barry runs around the bullets. I understand they didn't want to overload us with slow motion, but I would have been more than happy to see this a second time. They also did an excellent job when it comes to presenting how insanely fast Flash's combos can be when he encounters Aquaman. As for Flash and Zoom, watching the two speed around is a good time, but their fight isn't all that grand compared to all of the other madness going down between other characters.

This movie definitely earns its PG-13 rating. There's plenty of blood during battles and even dismemberment, so if you're looking for an animated movie to watch with a youngling, this may not be the best choice. For everyone else, the violence works and serves to further illustrate how vicious this alternate world is. The final conflict may not feel as big and frenetic as the one in the comics, but it's downright brutal stuff.

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradoxputs forward some great action, but it somewhat misses the mark when it comes to throwing a firm emotional punch. One thing I dug about Johns story was his ability to convey some strong emotion behind the relationships, and while they do attempt to duplicate that here, it never really hits home or reaches a point where the waterworks will potentially turn on. I get they can't include everything from the event, but a key scene is left out which really brought some heavy feels from the source material, so I'm surprised they didn't find a way to work it in.

It's a huge story, so naturally there's going to be a lot of exposition, but unfortunately it sometimes doesn't come off in an organic fashion. There's a few moments where it's delivered in a kind of bland tone and thrown out there just to catch up people who don't know about the alternate timeline. It's totally necessary to drop this knowledge, but it every now and then it feels forced. Lastly, I wasn't the biggest fan of the animation. Characters have massively bulky upper bodies and immensely lean and rigid torsos -- the anatomy just didn't work for me in most cases and the characters ended up feeling stiff in the less frenetic moments.

Is DC's latest animated effort worth adding to your collection? Yes, I believe so. It doesn't have the same level of emotion as the event which inspired it and I do have my complaints about some of the animation and voice acting, but these criticisms are mostly outweighed by the sheer awesomeness of the action scenes and solid pacing. Furthermore, there's a surprising amount of comedy thrown into this bleak world, and that's always something I'll greatly appreciate as well. DC has created yet another enjoyable animated movie, but given their track record, that really should come as no surprise by now. It may not be the best animated project and I do have my gripes, but it's one I'll definitely add to my collection and I can see myself enjoying at least a few more viewings over the years.

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Edited by iceslick

Great review!!! I just saw it the other day and I had the same views you had and I liked a lot! It's definitely worth buying.

Posted by Trevel8182

This is probable my favorite under Red Hood this was exceptional my only real complaint was the really really bad cgi.

Man after watching this and re-reading Knight of Vengeance id much prefer A Thomas Wayne Batman mini then a Damian mini series.

Posted by Mahzian

I thought this was great, they packed a hell of a lot of story into this and hit most of the right notes. I did feel that they didn't explain the War that well though, I was watching it with my wife and had to explain to her why it was happening. It was a lot more violent than I was expecting, that wasn't an issue for me but it makes it hard to recommend to parents with kids to watch together

Posted by lilben42

Was it really that good? Good. I need something to do.

Edited by MysteriousUsername

Nice review, I didn't read Flashpoint so I might check this out when it's on Netflix.

Posted by dondave

This film was amazing; definitley one of my favourite DC Animated Movies

Online
Posted by Drewyetti

The movie was amazing, however the character designs could have been better, thought the animation is good quality. (Remember, animation and character designs are different) I'll give this an 8.5/10 if it had the same or similar character designs as justice league doom or crisis of two earths, then it would be a 9 or 9.5

Posted by longbowhunter

Cool. I'm not too hyped for this one but I'll definitely give it a look.

Posted by Michael_Moran

Love the stoey hate the effect of the story we have all had to.kive with since the storyline resolved.

Posted by The Stegman

The movie was great!

Posted by Phaedrusgr
Edited by OutlawRenegade

Is this good?

Only if you like needless, graphic depictions child murder, bullets leaving holes in peoples heads that you can see through, severed limbs, decapitations, exposed organs, brutal hangings, and ridiculously depressing visions of the future.

It tries to be adult in all the wrong ways and comes across as childish rather than mature. It's downright disgusting at times. The first half of the film is better than the book (by a lot) and has some cool cameos, but it really tries to cram too much in. The last half is terrible in its immature bask in levels of violence that belong more in a Tarantino film than a DC superhero film. You definitely can't show this one to children or significant others. And I'm not a prude about violence either. I was fine with all the stuff in the DKR films, Under the Red Hood, and the Batman Beyond film, but this is just--wrong. It's like a fourteen year-old's wet dream, but in the worst way possible. The violence isn't fun and doesn't amount to anything. It left a really bad taste in my mouth--and this is the first time I've said that about a film.

The animation looks rushed. The character design is ugly--hard to believe the same guy who did design for Young Justice, Crisis on Two Earths, and JL: Doom did this, but it's true.

Batman's dialogue is WORSE than the original story, and there is no heart to the actor's performance. In fact, there's less heart here than in a Zack Snyder film. (*Oh, snap!) I mean, some of the only emotional scenes in the original book are completely removed, which make the emotional stuff they do fall flat.

And while I like Flash's New 52 design, when it shows up here--it looks really, really bad.

2/5 at best.

http://www.bleedingcool.com/forums/front-page-comic-news/72500-dc-teases-animated-justice-league-war-5.html#post620565

Posted by jesusdisciple001

i liked it i also understand a character said someone was a female dog and did anyone see the teaser at the end

Posted by LordRequiem

I thought it was very mediocre, but I have not yet read Flashpoint so I really can't yet make judgement.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Is this good?

Only if you like needless, graphic depictions child murder, bullets leaving holes in peoples heads that you can see through, severed limbs, decapitations, exposed organs, brutal hangings, and ridiculously depressing visions of the future.

It tries to be adult in all the wrong ways and comes across as childish rather than mature. It's downright disgusting at times. The first half of the film is better than the book (by a lot) and has some cool cameos, but it really tries to cram too much in. The last half is terrible in its immature bask in levels of violence that belong more in a Tarantino film than a DC superhero film. You definitely can't show this one to children or significant others. And I'm not a prude about violence either. I was fine with all the stuff in the DKR films, Under the Red Hood, and the Batman Beyond film, but this is just--wrong. It's like a fourteen year-old's wet dream, but in the worst way possible. The violence isn't fun and doesn't amount to anything. It left a really bad taste in my mouth--and this is the first time I've said that about a film.

The animation looks rushed. The character design is ugly--hard to believe the same guy who did design for Young Justice, Crisis on Two Earths, and JL: Doom did this, but it's true.

Batman's dialogue is WORSE than the original story, and there is no heart to the actor's performance. In fact, there's less heart here than in a Zack Snyder film. (*Oh, snap!) I mean, some of the only emotional scenes in the original book are completely removed, which make the emotional stuff they do fall flat.

And while I like Flash's New 52 design, when it shows up here--it looks really, really bad.

2/5 at best.

http://www.bleedingcool.com/forums/front-page-comic-news/72500-dc-teases-animated-justice-league-war-5.html#post620565

Wow whoever did that review likes to exaggerate a LOT

Posted by The Stegman

@jesusdisciple001: I saw the teaser, and I think I know which female dog you mean lol.

Posted by Baberaham_Lincoln

@michael_moran: We all have to live with? not everyone's on the same boat as you... many seem to enjoy the New 52. Not all hate change right? -_-

Edited by Trevel8182

@outlawrenegade said:

Is this good?

Only if you like needless, graphic depictions child murder, bullets leaving holes in peoples heads that you can see through, severed limbs, decapitations, exposed organs, brutal hangings, and ridiculously depressing visions of the future.

It tries to be adult in all the wrong ways and comes across as childish rather than mature. It's downright disgusting at times. The first half of the film is better than the book (by a lot) and has some cool cameos, but it really tries to cram too much in. The last half is terrible in its immature bask in levels of violence that belong more in a Tarantino film than a DC superhero film. You definitely can't show this one to children or significant others. And I'm not a prude about violence either. I was fine with all the stuff in the DKR films, Under the Red Hood, and the Batman Beyond film, but this is just--wrong. It's like a fourteen year-old's wet dream, but in the worst way possible. The violence isn't fun and doesn't amount to anything. It left a really bad taste in my mouth--and this is the first time I've said that about a film.

The animation looks rushed. The character design is ugly--hard to believe the same guy who did design for Young Justice, Crisis on Two Earths, and JL: Doom did this, but it's true.

Batman's dialogue is WORSE than the original story, and there is no heart to the actor's performance. In fact, there's less heart here than in a Zack Snyder film. (*Oh, snap!) I mean, some of the only emotional scenes in the original book are completely removed, which make the emotional stuff they do fall flat.

And while I like Flash's New 52 design, when it shows up here--it looks really, really bad.

2/5 at best.

http://www.bleedingcool.com/forums/front-page-comic-news/72500-dc-teases-animated-justice-league-war-5.html#post620565

Wow whoever did that review likes to exaggerate a LOT

The violence seemed very appropriate for hopelessness of what are hero's where facing and how dark this world was and come on where else are you gonna get to see Superman blow Aquaman's hand off. This review you just posted is terrible and like the guy above me says it's over exaggerating the details and Kevin McKidd was AWESOME as Batman.

Posted by NightCrawler358

Seeing some footage here and there, this doesn't really interest me. However, if this now leads into movies based on the New 52, I'll be excited.

The actual print of Flashpoint was okay, but the end became a rushed mess and didn't feel like a proper sending-off of the 'real' DC Universe at all. At least Brightest Day was awesome, and hopefully a future crossover event brings back the classic incarnations of these characters. (If not just for a final hoorah)

Posted by TheAcidSkull

it was good, not great but good.

Posted by sinestro_GL

3/5 from me

Posted by Timotheus316

Wonder Woman and Aquaman were a bit OP or are they really, they just tone it down? The animation was pretty good except for Superman's face. Even in the "real world" his face looked all jacked up. I couldn't get around that. Was surprised that people die in this. I guess I'm used to Thunder Cats and the old GI Joe cartoon. Over all I liked it and would give it a 4/5 too.

Edited by ImagineMan16

Wonder Woman and Aquaman were a bit OP or are they really, they just tone it down? The animation was pretty good except for Superman's face. Even in the "real world" his face looked all jacked up. I couldn't get around that. Was surprised that people die in this. I guess I'm used to Thunder Cats and the old GI Joe cartoon. Over all I liked it and would give it a 4/5 too.

Wonder Woman and Aquaman are both pretty powerful. I haven't seen the movie yet so I can't say whether or not it was an accurate representation, but I seriously doubt they were overpowered in the movie, these characters are almost always toned down in animation

Posted by Falconer

I watched this not more than 24 hours after watching Superman/Batman Apocalypse. Suffice it to say I enjoyed that movie much more.

The animation was really good, but the character designs were WAAAAAAY too anime for me. Not that I don't like anime, I just don't want my capes looking like that. Also, Aquaman looks terrible, and I'm pretty sure Superman's head is too small for his body. The first time, not what happens later.

I also think a lot of the voice work was really bland, and in general miscast like half of the characters. I immediately felt like Luthor and Slade should have had their voices switched.

3/5 at best in my opinion.

Posted by dondave
Online
Posted by OutlawRenegade

@outlawrenegade said:

Is this good?

Only if you like needless, graphic depictions child murder, bullets leaving holes in peoples heads that you can see through, severed limbs, decapitations, exposed organs, brutal hangings, and ridiculously depressing visions of the future.

It tries to be adult in all the wrong ways and comes across as childish rather than mature. It's downright disgusting at times. The first half of the film is better than the book (by a lot) and has some cool cameos, but it really tries to cram too much in. The last half is terrible in its immature bask in levels of violence that belong more in a Tarantino film than a DC superhero film. You definitely can't show this one to children or significant others. And I'm not a prude about violence either. I was fine with all the stuff in the DKR films, Under the Red Hood, and the Batman Beyond film, but this is just--wrong. It's like a fourteen year-old's wet dream, but in the worst way possible. The violence isn't fun and doesn't amount to anything. It left a really bad taste in my mouth--and this is the first time I've said that about a film.

The animation looks rushed. The character design is ugly--hard to believe the same guy who did design for Young Justice, Crisis on Two Earths, and JL: Doom did this, but it's true.

Batman's dialogue is WORSE than the original story, and there is no heart to the actor's performance. In fact, there's less heart here than in a Zack Snyder film. (*Oh, snap!) I mean, some of the only emotional scenes in the original book are completely removed, which make the emotional stuff they do fall flat.

And while I like Flash's New 52 design, when it shows up here--it looks really, really bad.

2/5 at best.

http://www.bleedingcool.com/forums/front-page-comic-news/72500-dc-teases-animated-justice-league-war-5.html#post620565

Wow whoever did that review likes to exaggerate a LOT

In what way? I agree with him.

Edited by Azndragon

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this yet, but there's an after credit scene. For those of you who have seen the movie, but missed it, I highly suggest going back and watching that scene.

Posted by ptigrusmagus

Flash is my favorite character and I barely finished this. Just don't like the animation, why is everyone super jacked with TINY heads? I almost shot soda out my nose laughing when I first saw Supes. Flashpoint is what it is and I'm not a fan of this art style.

Edited by laabitres

the movie is very unexpected i liked that and it followed the main idea but i wanted pandora lol

Posted by Lone_Wolf_and_Cub

I'll be picking this up

Edited by DCVibe

I surely enjoyed the movie. What I enjoyed the most is that the main character is the Flash and really he was the only character I wanted to follow because he was the only character that wasn't different. While I read main Flashpoint issues I find the film's story attempting to involve every aspect of the Flashpoint which can get confusing if you were not a DC fan. My cousin had to keep asking "who is that?" throughout the changes. I didn't enjoy the designs as much as the bodies for everyone seemed off for characters that didnt deserve big bodies (especially Flash). I also don't mind the minor changes (such as no Element Women and Captain Atom's involvement in the war.) as it can be easily understood why they were made for film purposes.

Overall, I give it a 3.5/5 for a movie to sit back and enjoy. Voice actors do a sufficient job, can't complain.

Also, I am hearing that after Justice League War the next two adaptations will be Batman related. I believe they were called Batman Assualt on Arkham and Son of Batman. Not too happy about back to back Batman movies. He just had that with Part 1 and 2 of the Dark Knight Returns! (Yes I do understand they were really one film)

Posted by OutlawRenegade

@dcvibe said:

I surely enjoyed the movie. What I enjoyed the most is that the main character is the Flash and really he was the only character I wanted to follow because he was the only character that wasn't different. While I read main Flashpoint issues I find the film's story attempting to involve every aspect of the Flashpoint which can get confusing if you were not a DC fan. My cousin had to keep asking "who is that?" throughout the changes. I didn't enjoy the designs as much as the bodies for everyone seemed off for characters that didnt deserve big bodies (especially Flash). I also don't mind the minor changes (such as no Element Women and Captain Atom's involvement in the war.) as it can be easily understood why they were made for film purposes.

Overall, I give it a 3.5/5 for a movie to sit back and enjoy. Voice actors do a sufficient job, can't complain.

Also, I am hearing that after Justice League War the next two adaptations will be Batman related. I believe they were called Batman Assualt on Arkham and Son of Batman. Not too happy about two back to back Batman adaptions.

Here is the preview to Justice League: War

Looks good except I'm flabbergasted as to why Aquaman was replaced with Shazam. I gueess we needed another jokester. I guess we needed another flying brick with jet-black hair. They definietly couldn't have chosen a female replacement like Mera, Vixen, Element Woman, or Zatanna. -_-

Edited by The Stegman

@dondave: WW isn't pleasant in this film.

Edited by Mucklefluga

I'm guessing they don't include THAT Batman scene.

Edited by RulerOfThisUniverse

I loved it.

Online
Posted by comicfan11

Aquaman was somewhat nerfed, stripped of some of his best moment from the comic and his final fate totally changed, but apart from that this is one of DC's best movies ever easily.

Posted by apg103

I liked the film.

The war btw Aquaman and Wonder Woman was interesting.

Flash, Batman, Cyborg all had great roles.

The animation could of been better.

Hal Jordan and Superman both sucked

Posted by w0nd

I wanted superman's final entrance to be the same as the comic, they toned it down completely. I also was not feeling the new 52 suit. it looked odd to me, maybe the yellow lines were too thick,

Posted by THE_FLA5H

It was a great movie. It's the first comic movie I made my dad watch with me he actually liked.

Edited by Wattup

Barry Allen still sucks.

Posted by Justthatkid

It should say comic books most recognized speedster. Only problem they took off a underrated Geo-Force for Captain Atom.... I liked Aqualads and Tula's appearance. :)

Posted by frogdog

Is this good?

Only if you like needless, graphic depictions child murder, bullets leaving holes in peoples heads that you can see through, severed limbs, decapitations, exposed organs, brutal hangings, and ridiculously depressing visions of the future.

It tries to be adult in all the wrong ways and comes across as childish rather than mature. It's downright disgusting at times. The first half of the film is better than the book (by a lot) and has some cool cameos, but it really tries to cram too much in. The last half is terrible in its immature bask in levels of violence that belong more in a Tarantino film than a DC superhero film. You definitely can't show this one to children or significant others. And I'm not a prude about violence either. I was fine with all the stuff in the DKR films, Under the Red Hood, and the Batman Beyond film, but this is just--wrong. It's like a fourteen year-old's wet dream, but in the worst way possible. The violence isn't fun and doesn't amount to anything. It left a really bad taste in my mouth--and this is the first time I've said that about a film.

The animation looks rushed. The character design is ugly--hard to believe the same guy who did design for Young Justice, Crisis on Two Earths, and JL: Doom did this, but it's true.

Batman's dialogue is WORSE than the original story, and there is no heart to the actor's performance. In fact, there's less heart here than in a Zack Snyder film. (*Oh, snap!) I mean, some of the only emotional scenes in the original book are completely removed, which make the emotional stuff they do fall flat.

And while I like Flash's New 52 design, when it shows up here--it looks really, really bad.

2/5 at best.

http://www.bleedingcool.com/forums/front-page-comic-news/72500-dc-teases-animated-justice-league-war-5.html#post620565

Aww somebody doesn't like violence in a comic book movie.

Posted by doordoor123

Is this good?

Only if you like needless, graphic depictions child murder, bullets leaving holes in peoples heads that you can see through, severed limbs, decapitations, exposed organs, brutal hangings, and ridiculously depressing visions of the future.

It tries to be adult in all the wrong ways and comes across as childish rather than mature. It's downright disgusting at times. The first half of the film is better than the book (by a lot) and has some cool cameos, but it really tries to cram too much in. The last half is terrible in its immature bask in levels of violence that belong more in a Tarantino film than a DC superhero film. You definitely can't show this one to children or significant others. And I'm not a prude about violence either. I was fine with all the stuff in the DKR films, Under the Red Hood, and the Batman Beyond film, but this is just--wrong. It's like a fourteen year-old's wet dream, but in the worst way possible. The violence isn't fun and doesn't amount to anything. It left a really bad taste in my mouth--and this is the first time I've said that about a film.

The animation looks rushed. The character design is ugly--hard to believe the same guy who did design for Young Justice, Crisis on Two Earths, and JL: Doom did this, but it's true.

Batman's dialogue is WORSE than the original story, and there is no heart to the actor's performance. In fact, there's less heart here than in a Zack Snyder film. (*Oh, snap!) I mean, some of the only emotional scenes in the original book are completely removed, which make the emotional stuff they do fall flat.

And while I like Flash's New 52 design, when it shows up here--it looks really, really bad.

2/5 at best.

http://www.bleedingcool.com/forums/front-page-comic-news/72500-dc-teases-animated-justice-league-war-5.html#post620565

Bleeding Cool is really bias. They have a relationship with Marvel so they try to dig on DC.

Posted by ccraft

I really enjoyed the film, I haven't read the comics yet.

Edited by Sleepbutnodream15

Anyone else notice that the Aqualad looked exactly like the Young Justice version of the character, aside from the clothes being a little different. I appreciated that.

I would kinda like to see the YJ animation used for a DC movie one day.

Posted by Justthatkid
Posted by Sleepbutnodream15

DC animated movies always feel like such a fan service. I appreciate these films so much.

Posted by w0nd

Anyone else notice that the Aqualad looked exactly like the Young Justice version of the character, aside from the clothes being a little different. I appreciated that.

I would kinda like to see the YJ animation used for a DC movie one day.

same with tula and garth. it's little things like that that i appreciate

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