Josh Wilding Reviews: JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE FLASHPOINT PARADOX
Hopefully the excitement surrounding the San Diego Comic-Con has cooled you all down after my scathing review of Pacific Rim, so I thought I would now share my spoiler-free thoughts on Warner Bros. Animation's highly anticipated Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. Is it any good? Well...
...yes it is! I won't lie to you. In general, I'm not a huge fan of these types of animated movies. They just don't appeal to me all that much, and the last one I watched - Batman: Under The Red Hood - failed to live up to the superb comic book series it was based on in my eyes. For that reason, I was extremely reluctant about Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. Why? Well, it's probably my favourite DC event book for a start! However, the latest animated movie from Warner Bros. not only adapts it faithfully, but adds and subtracts enough from it to make an arguably confusing and convoluted story (at least to those not well-versed in DC continuity) easy to understand and even easier to thoroughly enjoy WITHOUT dumbing it down. In fact, it's extremely surprising just how adult this film is. It deals with a lot of hard hitting issues and holds very little back in terms of violence. Dare I say, if this were a live-action movie, it would be Rated-R!
The voice cast is great and there's not a single weak performance to speak of. This is an all-star lineup which includes the likes of Justin Chambers (The Flash), Michael B. Jordan (Cyborg), Kevin Conroy (Batman), Nathan Fillion (Green Lantern) and C. Thomas Howell (Reverse-Flash). That's barely scratching the surface of talent on offer here, but it at least gives you an idea of what to expect from this very good sounding movie. It's just a shame it occasionally doesn't maintain that same level of quality in terms of character design. While most look perfectly fine, some are nowhere near as good. Aquaman and Wonder Woman in particular would have benefited from more attention being spent on their appearance, while others - Cyborg for example - are often ridiculously out of proportion. Apart from that however, the animation is top notch. The action sequences in particular are amazing and the way that The Flash moves is exactly how I hope to see him brought to life on the big screen.
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox's story is pretty much a direct adaptation of Geoff Johns and Adam Kubert's Flashpoint. That's no bad thing of course and they throw in enough from the tie-in's to very nearly cover all the bases for fans. Don't let the title fool you though; this is very much a movie about The Flash. Other heroes get their due (Batman and Cyborg nearly get as much screentime), but it's Barry Allen's movie all the way. Regardless, I'm just glad that they decided to include the best scene from that series - an emotional exchange between Bruce Wayne and Barry Allen at the end of the film - which is just as powerful here. The only area in which it lets itself down is the final battle. As impressive and action packed as it may be, it just doesn't feel big or epic enough. Even just a few shots of soldiers fighting in their hundreds elsewhere would have helped sell the fear and intensity the war between the Amazonians and Atlanteans is attempting to portray.
A combination of great visuals, voice work and story make Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox a must-see, especially for fans of the event it's based on and even for those unfamiliar with it. The ending may just mark a whole new beginning for DC's animated universe as well...
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