Kyle and I have talked a bit about covering some movies from DC’s Animated Universe (DCAU). Now, with Arrow and The Flash finishing up with their respective seasons, I figure there’s no time like the present. If you haven’t checked out any of these movies in the past, you’re missing out. We’ve been hard on DC’s live action work, but the DCAU has given us some really high quality material. In the spirit of getting back to the positive things we like within our fandoms, let’s celebrate that.
Since we mentioned the Flashpoint event with this week’s write-up on The Flash season 2 finale, I decided to start with Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013). As with a lot of the DCAU, it’s sort of a repackaged, slightly condensed version of the comic book event. Just so it’s said, I won’t necessarily cover these in any specific order, so if I take some time to get to one of your favorites, don’t worry.
Ordinarily, I’m not crazy about “elseworlds” stories. By that, I mean stories that depict an alternate reality, but Flashpoint Paradox does it well. The story envisions what would happen if Barry Allen were to go back in time and prevent his mother’s murder. The answer is sort of a classic butterfly effect that sees Barry wake up in a dystopian future where not only does The Justice League not exist, but some of its members are at war.
If I were to hit the story with anything negative, it’d be to mention that the fates of members of the league are very drastically changed, but for unclear reasons. Actually, the characters themselves are entirely different, and there’s no real explanation for how Barry’s interference in his mother’s murder caused those changes. It’s addressed in a peripheral sort of way, but there isn’t much of an effort to sell the audience on that. In the end, its for the best, because it allows the story to move quicker and focus on the more interesting plot points.
The animation here reminds me a little more of the anime style. Now, let me say I’m not really an “anime guy.” I’m extremely far from being an authority on any of it. All I mean to say is the action and movements remind me of that style. It’s something I’ve seen the DCAU lean more toward in the last few years. It’s not a negative exactly, it’s just a slight change from what I’m accustomed to with earlier titles like Justice League: Doom, or Under the Red Hood (both of which I’ll cover in time).
If there’s anything else to dock this movie for, it’s that the voice acting falls flat in parts, not so much with the central characters, but in the supporting cast. There are moments, both in the buildup to the final confrontation and during it, that it got a little distracting.
This isn’t the ideal movie if you’re looking to dive into a typical Justice League story. The focus, and most of the run-time is on the alternate universe. Except for the very beginning, and a scene with Bruce Wayne toward the end, the only traditional Justice League-er you spend time with is Barry Allen, but it’s an entertaining movie, and worth your time on Netflix.