Warner Bros. Animation has been on quite a roll lately. Seems almost every core member of the Justice League has gotten their time in the animated DC film spotlight. From Green Lantern: First Flight, Wonder Woman, Superman: Unbound, and Batman: Year One (just to name a few), have all been exceptionally well-directed and produced. Enter in the latest to join the DC animated party…Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox. Now let me share a confession with you, while The Flash is easily one of my favorite characters in the DC universe, he is also one of the characters I know the least about. I have never even read a Flash comic. That being said, I always thought of him as one of the coolest of the Justice League. From his sarcastic humor, his hot red superhero suit, and of course his super sonic speed ….he’s just a very cool and different super hero. So when news hit that Warner Bros. Animation was finally giving the Flash his own film inspired by the graphic novel Flashpoint by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert, I was pretty excited to get to know more of this character that has thus far, simply been known to me as the Justice League member, The Flash. Flashpoint Paradox delivers just that at super sonic speed.
Without spoiling any key plot points for those who like me have never read the graphic novel and have no clue just what insane adventure they are about to jump in to, let me begin with this…this film is hands down the most bloody and violent DC animated film to date, and it just very well may be my favorite! The film begins giving a mini origins story of Barry Allen, a ten-year old boy who encounters a tragic event in his life who years later would become The Flash (Justin Chambers). So much a tragic event in fact, that it would continue to haunt him so much years later that he would attempt using his powers of super sonic speed to time travel decades back in time to prevent the tragedy. What you the viewer and The Flash don’t know however is how that will affect the entire world and it’s time lines. Our hero awakens the next morning to find his plan may just have been more destructive than his arch nemesis, Professor Zoom (C. Thomas Howell) had ever hoped when he baited Flash to attempt the time travel early in the film.
After a heartfelt reunion with a past loved one, The Flash begins to realize just how “different” things are. For starters, the entire world is on the brink of destruction thanks in part to a triangular war between Wonder Woman (Vanessa Marshall) and her Amazon sisterhood against Aquaman (Cary Elwes) and his Atlantean army which have pretty much already left most the western world in ruins. Not to mention the group known as “The Resistance” who may or may not be helping the matter in their effort to bring peace between the two armies. When The Flash looks for help from his fellow Justice League members, he soon finds that his nightmare has only just begun when he heads towards a very dark and abandoned Wayne Manor in an effort to recruit help from Batman (Kevin Conroy), only to find out that in this universe, Batman is not Bruce Wayne, but Thomas Wayne (Kevin McKidd)!
Again, as usual I won’t spoil this fun little animated gem for you, but rest of this adventure has our hero speeding by a “who’s who” all-star DC cast that includes a very humble and weak Superman (Sam Daly) as a lab rat government prisoner, an epic fight scene with Deathstroke (Ron Perlman), and frankly too many DC characters to list in an attempt to regain his powers and go back in time to right his wrongs and bring peace back to the world…even if it cost him the one person he feels he can’t be without. I am going to go out on a limb and say that this film just might have the most DC characters ever in one film. As I mentioned earlier…this film is graphically bloody and violent. Like Frank Miller violent, and it is awesome. From decapitated heads to cut off limbs and just to make sure it earns every bit of its PG-13 rating, a nice hole though the head courtesy of Batman’s 45 pistol. Also, be sure to check out the teaser Easter egg at the end of the credits for DC’s next animated film, Justice League: War.
The voice acting and production as well as the plot pacing are accomplished and executed phenomenally. While watching the Blu-ray copy, I literally thought to myself that the colors of the hero costumes were practically oozing out of my HD television. The action plays out like a fight scene from the video game DC Injustice: Gods Among Us! The Special Features are actually pretty awesome in this the 17th release in your DC Warner Bros. animated library. They include a very cool pair of featurette’s titled “My Favorite Villain”, The Flash Bad Guys and A Flash In Time, a digital copy of the New 52 “Flashpoint: Issue #1″ comic, and 4 cartoons from the DC comic vault. If these DC animated films continue to one up its earlier release, I may have to change my review score charts.
I give this, my favorite animated DC film to date, a super sonic fast score of 4 out of 4 throwing stars!