Jay Oliva's "Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox"

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Jay Oliva's "Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox"

Post by Deviss on Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:15 pm

Deviss wrote:"Told you I was fast."

  • Story: Four Stars
  • Acting: Four and a half Stars
  • Directing: Four Stars
  • Visuals: Four and a half Stars
  • Overall: Four and a half Stars

Let me start out by telling you that I haven't ever been very much of a Flash fan. As a matter of fact, if you were to ask me the character's actual name before the other day, I wouldn't have had an answer for you. I know of the other members of the Justice League, as well as their dual identities' names, but not the Flash. Why? The character wasn't ever one I could "get into". There wasn't any reason, initially, for me to become invested in the problems of Barry Allen, nor his triumphs, or care one way or the other. Until I watched "Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox" that is. Before watching this movie, I thought the Flash was just a superhero that could "run really fast".

---

When time travel allows a past wrong to be righted for the Flash and his family, the event's temporal ripples prove disastrous. They create a fractured, alternate reality where the Justice League never formed, and Superman is nowhere to be found. Amidst a new world being ravaged by a fierce war between Wonder Woman's Amazons and Aquaman's Atlanteans, Flash must team with a grittier, more violent Batman and government agent Cyborg to restore the continuity of Flash's original timeline and bring back everything he loves.

Before seeing this movie, I never would have thought an animated superhero movie could be as dark or as violent as this one was. Of course, this sentiment was had before seeing the two-part movie "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns", which in and of itself is as dark and violent as an animated movie would dare get. At least, that was my thinking as I sat down to watch "Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox" a few days ago. Usually I try and give some light to a reason as to why I saw a particular movie; an actor or actress was cast that I follow; that movie is the next in a series that I love; or the premise behind it was interesting enough to draw my attention. Now that I think about it, I can't really say what drew me to this movie. More than anything, I think it was just a mild curiosity. Or perhaps it was a newfound, long-lasting interest in the character of Wonder Woman.

Whatever the reason was I sat down to watch this movie, I can safely say that I am glad that I chose to do so. Even though I'm not the biggest fan of the Flash, the character coupled with Justin Chambers' relatively enjoyable performance managed to draw me in and keep me interested in what would happen to the Flash in this movie. Let me tell you right now, quite a lot happens to him over the course of this movie's hour and fifteen minutes. Just a few sentences ago I touched on the levels of violence and uncompromising tones of "Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox", and while it has its moments of levity and hopefulness, the bad far outweigh the good here.

In the alternate timeline Flash unwittingly establishes, millions die as a cost of the war between Wonder Woman and Aquaman, which it and of itself it just plain horrible, regardless of the fact that this is an animated movie. Not only that but we see limbs being severed, countless people getting shot, stabbed, strangled, and subjugated to the powers of those more gifted than them. At one point it is even shown, in a thankfully discreet manner, that Wonder Woman herself is not above killing children in this alternate timeline. At another, towards the end of this movie, I was afraid that it was being implied that Flash would have to kill his own mother to reestablish the world he, along with us the viewer, knows and loves.

Thankfully, and I cannot stress that word enough, that was never the case and I was just letting my overactive imagination run rampant yet again. But having seen everything that I had up to that point, one could see how I could make that jump. Having thought about it intermittently from the time of my first viewing to now, I like to think that director Jay Oliva chose to have the dark moments outweigh the good ones in a way to show just how precious those good moments are and how important it is to fight and die and sacrifice not only to attain them but to protect and ensure that they last for countless years to come.

One of the many things I found interesting about the proposed story in "Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox" was the choice to change what member of the Wayne family ended up becoming the Batman. Even though I won't go so far as to spoil whom that person is, any comic book fan worth their salt should know who the likely person is. As the movie played out, I was initially surprised at how even more tragic and almost fatalistic this Batman was. I realize now, of course, that he was created and used as a device to show just how twisted the alternate timeline truly was. Well, him among many others.

While I grew to care about Barry Allen and what would happen to him, there were some characters whose animation style I did not care for. Chief among them were the two superhero's who warred for most of this movie: Wonder Woman and Aquaman. Now, I have nothing against the characters, especially not a properly animated Wonder Woman, it's just this animation style that did not work with me. Wonder Woman looked too... alien. Her eyes were a tad larger than I would have liked and her face ended in too much of a point. Not to mention Aquaman, who more than once looked like he was the Hulk's long lost cousin. I understand that superhero's, especially the men, are supposed to be at the peak of physical condition, but come on. It was just ridiculous at times. The one bright spot in all this was Nathan Fillion's casting as the voice of Green Lantern. Having been a long-time Castle fan, it was a pleasant surprise to hear his cheery voice mocking Flash in the movie's opening moments.

So, even though I am still not much of a Flash fan, I am a tad bit more interested in his character, as well as his abilities once he puts his suit on. If the after-credits scene is to be believed, then I look forward to seeing the next time the Justice League takes to the animated screen.

This was a review by tMG, thank you for reading.

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