Thursday, August 1, 2013

Laid Back Comics Watches Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox

It is hard to believe it has been almost three years since the New 52 has come into the DC World starting at the very end of Flashpoint mini-series. I can still remember hanging out at my comic shop ready to pick up the final issue.  And in that short time, the mini-series has not transformed into an animated feature. This is one of the quickest turn around for an animated project of DC, and one that even though mentions in the title of Justice League, this is a Flash mystery movie.

One of the biggest tricks of taking something like the Mini-series Flashpoint and turning it into a movie is trying to fit in all of the story threads. There were several mini-series and side stories that tried to fully explore the world that Flashpoint was. In movie form it could only handle small doses of it, it give a background to the changed events that are leading up to the war currently being fought and short side pieces, but that is far as it can go story wise before dragging on for too long. The main story is with Flash and this worlds Batman, Barry having to re-connect with the speed force and the hopes of going back and changing all that has happened to the world around him.

The world of Flashpoint is a brutal in animation as in comics, while the impending war that is waging between Amazons and Atlantans is shown to be ready to destroy it, there is a lack of urgency with the story and characters as it speeds closer to the conclusion. By no means is the movie slow in any fashion, which Flash being title character would be ironic, but because of the quickness for the 80 minutes we get, characters and stories are quickly introduced and not too much longer quickly ended.  That has always been a major downfall of the direct to DVD movies DC has made, more often the time is cut so the story suffers from it. Here that same can be said as we didn't know the world as we knew it. And the mystery of who changed time is well laid out so when the reveal hits you sit and nod your head with the movie and saying, “Yeah got it.”

This is also something of a comics fan movie, anyone who may pick this up out of curiously might, no wait change that will be confused by the sudden motivations and characterization changes between timelines. But, a nice touch that is they animators threw in some cameos from Young Justice Show that was a treat to see.

There is also a big change to the animation style with this movie, a much broader and exaggerated look to
many of the characters, massive muscles to the super strong. The look is not one that many would say is pleasing to the eye, it is a distraction at times. But, there may been a reason for some, as Superman first seen (As pictured to the right) is compete opposite from the Flashpoint version it is staggering and standing next to Cyborg and Batman he seems so frail. Showing the world is harsh to even the most super of heroes. One must also bring up the CGI Flash that shows up every so often making it very noticeable at times. But, the action, the chase of Flash and Professor Zoom go through in the final battle makes up for it. The sense of speed and the way they flow back and forth though the shots is amazing to watch.

And of course I must finish on the voice work, which always a stand out on these movies and here they work out wonderfully. And while it may be sad to know Kevin Conroy only has a few lines as Batman to be replaced by his father Kevin McKidd, who brought the weathered Thomas Wayne to the screen and stole a few scenes. For the Flash Justin Chambers did a good job, but in key scenes his voice sounded more forced than I am sure he would have liked. Though he is welcome to be The Flash again at any time. I also think it is fantastic the Daily family is now passing down voice work for Superman and Sam Daily is a excellent addition to the cast.

In the end, this was a solid movie put together with only a few bumps along the way in the story and animation. This of course is the first in a two part story as the end reveals that the second pass through time changed a few more things, much in the same way the first one did. As the next movie Justice League: War is a direct sequel to this movie in the same way when Flashpoint ended the New 52 began.

OVERALL: 7.5 out of 10

Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox is available on DVD, Blu-Ray, and Digitally now.

Bryan "BAC" Clendening writes for The Broken Infinite. Follow him on Twitter @BAClend

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