Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Intense and Shocking

Spoiler alert – this review contains unspecific spoilers, things that happen, but not directly to who. So there are things that I say that will only half-surprise you while watching the film. Keep that in mind.

You never know what to expect when watching a PG-13 cartoon with DC Comics characters. It can be tame or it can be intense and throw you for some serious loops. There are PG-13 cartoons for many Batman and Superman movies, and even some great Justice League films.  There is one film starring the Justice League that is just going to be unforgiving with the surprises, and that is Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. This film, of course, is Flash-centric, but so many characters show up in this film, you just have to see it for yourself.

It is clear that this film is about The Flash by the first fifteen minutes of the film, which introduces you to The Flash, explains some back-history, and has multiple Flash villains, including Zoom, or…Reverse-Flash. Then something happens, and Barry Allen is sent into an alternate universe of types where everything has gone bad. Aquaman and his home crew of Atlantis creatures are at odds with Wonder Woman and her crew of Amazonians. In the process of fighting each other, they are brutally murdering innocent people, and I mean brutally. There are graphic scenes including a decapitation involving a major character at one point. The Flash must regain his speed and work with Batman and the rest of the depressed heros, including a super-skinny Superman to stop Aquaman and Wonder Woman, and set the course of history back on schedule.

Man oh man, is this film intense.  You could almost expect Joss Whedon to have a hand in the writing of this film, given all of the unexpected twists and turns. Major characters flat out die, some that should die stay living, and you would be astonished to see how dark this movie really gets. While watching, I literally said out loud, “holy crap” a few times. I love it. The amount of DC characters that show up will have you amazed. Versus all of the other Justice League films, this has to be one of the movies with the most players, scene by scene will have you pointing out characters that you know, and even have you looking up unknown ones.

The PG-13 era of cartoons are definitely made at least half-geared towards those who grew up with the 90’s Saturday Morning Cartoons. The animation is actually strikingly similar to what you would expect to find out of the kids cartoons, the only difference is that it’s darker, visually striking, more serious, more violent, more language…and well…I guess it’s not very similar after all. It is true, however, that it is expertly written. The first fifteen minutes are breathtaking, and will have you on the edge of your seat, it really is written very well, and the visual team knew exactly how to make it look.

The Flash isn’t a very active player in DC, and he should be. Superman and Batman seem to suck in all the glory, and the Flash is typically found somewhere in the background making quick comebacks, but little focus is actually centered on him and his background. The way that this film did it was very smart, and it actually made me want another live-action Flash film, it’s been too long. It showed how relevant his character can be, and how much he can add. Not only to a Justice League team, but on his own as well, as the intro sequence proved. He is a cool character, plain and simple.

As far as PG-13 cartoons go, this is one of my favorites, personally, and it may just be the first one on my radar to warrant a “buy”. So the next time you have the chance, check this one out, I really don’t think you’ll regret it!

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