Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013, 81 minutes)
Plot: The Flash finds himself in an alternate universe where Batman is Thomas Wayne after Bruce Wayne was killed, Wonder Woman and Aquaman are at war, and Superman was captured by the government upon landing on Earth
Source material: Based on the 2011 miniseries (not graphic novel) by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert. The mini led to the poorly received DC reboot, a fact unreferenced in the ending. Despite that, this is a very faithful adaptation. A few changes here and there but if you’ve got a checklist of things to see from the comic, it’ll get filled up.
Animation: This is a wildly mixed bag. The character designs are frankly dreadful with a slightly anime vibe contrasting with the western comic feel. The film’s lower budgets does evidence itself a bit in other ways during scenes of conversation. However the action is really dynamite. The film has a giant scope with virtually every DC character showing up. This makes the battles really something to behold. And while the character designs and poor facial animation are annoying, there’re more than redeemed in the next part.
Script: This is where the film really shines. While this is the only DC Animated film writer Jim Krieg has done, he’s a veteran of the tv line and he really gets this material. The dialogue is excellent. It’s also a very dense film. Again, virtually every character shows up. This definitely feels like a full, satisfying experience. A bit truncated due to the length but on the upper end of feeling like a complete movie. Very solid, eell paced story with a few nice subplots to make it feel epic.
Voice acting: It’s funny, while Justin Chambers is only so-so as The Flash, that doesn’t really hurt it on this level because everybody else is so good. This is a fairly solid cast Kevin McKidd is great as Thomas Wayne, creating a very different Batman but one that fittingly sounds like his dad should. C. Thomas Howell is deliciously evil as Professor Zoom, giving the film a great villain. Cary Elwes is an awesome choice for Aquaman and in his youth would’ve been almost typecast in the role. Michael B. Jordan is also quite good as Cyborg, even if I’m not sure the part needed an actor of his level. There are very brief appearances by Ron Perlman and Nathan Fillion as well as Kevin Conroy once more delivering the definitive Batman. Really strong cast well used.
Final rating: Honestly, this one comes so close to being a bit more. The acting and writing are very good but the limitations hurt. 10 minutes more and a more decisive tone might’ve gotten this to more. However, what it is is very entertaining. Fittingly, we start this series right in the middle with a very solid 3. Definitely worth your time if you’re a fan.