Flash tries to fix the timeline and breaks the world instead
Who hasn’t wanted to go back in time to correct something we felt damaged us in some way? Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, based on the massive DC crossover event, shows us why that is a monumentally bad idea.
Things begin innocently enough with Barry Allen (Justin Chambers) as a child getting an object lesson in knowing when to leave well enough alone. Of course, to a child, the lesson is lost.
Fast forward to adult Barry, better knowns as The Flash, handing out a can of Mach 1 whup-ass on the Rouges. Mirror Master, Captain Cold and Boomerang get slapped silly until the time jumping Reverse Flash (C. Thomas Howell) steps in and stops Flash in his tracks. Thawne threatens an explosive endgame, resulting in the rest of the Justice League having to step in.
Reverse Flash is being a Thawne in Flash’s’ side
Barry wakes up to find himself in a world very much like his own, but for minor yet major differences. His mother is alive and there is a war between Wonder Woman (Vanessa Marshall) and Aquaman (Cary Elwes). The war itself becomes a catalytic backdrop for Flash’s quest, rounds out a very complete film.
Barry is powerless in this world since events both forward and backwards in time, were changed. Needing them back to correct the problem, he recreates his original experiment with the assistance of this timelines Batman, (Kevin McKidd), fries himself in an effort to gain his powers back.
Most wars are the result of misunderstandings. In The Flashpoint Paradox The cause is legit, but both Wonder Woman and Aquaman are equally responsible. Still, their moral failings do not prevent them from committing even worse atrocities against each other and against humanity, who are merely in the way. Proof positive to my saying: Guys, don’t stick yer wick in crazy and ladies, don’t ever spread ’em for a felon.
Aquaman & Wonder Woman argue over splitting the bill.
I for one, am consistently impressed with the efforts coming from WB’s Animation Studio, and Flashpoint is no exception. The cels are clean almost to a fault, with more time dedicated to the little details like folds in clothes and wrinkles in faces. Japanese animators sensibilities are clearly rubbing off on their US counterparts. It is much appreciated.
The story itself is already well established in the comic book realm, and the screenplay by Jim Krieg from the original Geoff Johns storyline has few issues distilling the essential beats and establishing the who, what why and where. We care about what happens to the characters. Even the amoral ones in the correct timeline. Pretty much every subplot gets touched on, though I would have liked to have seen more concerning Batmans’ other half. An opportunity was missed there, but then again, this is called The Flashpoint Paradox for a reason.
While Marvel films are king at the box office, DC Comics consistently kick their kiester in the animated feature department at home. Their formula is childishly simple: Adapt already established story lines and cast accordingly. Andrea Romano is now legendary for her voice direction of a very solid cast and Jay Oliva proved that he is more than capable of directing a sweeping yet intimate tale.
I would gladly run back for second helpings.
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox is available on BluRay and DVD from Warner Bros. Home Video.