Accept the things you can't change - Animated Interpretation of Geoff Johns Flash Story
I wanted to review something for quite some time so I decided to review one thing I'm currently in the mood to talk about and that is the first DC Animated Universe Movie based on the story called Flashpoint written by Geoff Johns in 2011. Before I get into the review I want to point out something you should know reading this. There are rules when it comes to review stuff and is not the same as if you are making a blog about it.
These are the rules you need to follow then you are making a review so I'll make sure to talk about the movie itself. When it comes to my personal opinion, I will bring it up, especially when it comes to things that are totally relative like is the difference between movie interpretation and the original comic a good thing or a bad thing. I will point out stuff that are good and bad (again, in my opinion) and will go through the plot of the movie without going into the details (unless I go over differences between comics and the movie which I will). Everything else that you need to know about this review is explained on the rules section. Keep in mind, the movie does contain spoilers as I will explain what happened in the movie.
Before you read this, know that what you will be reading here are not only spoilers for the movie but spoilers for Flashpoint Story as the movie is not that different from the story. If you never read Flashpoint and you want to read it without spoilers, don't read this review. If you want to know how good of a movie it is without spoilers, just read the Summary section. It explains everything without spoilers. Just don't look at the image at the end.
The movie starts something like this. Barry's mother's car gets trashed and he tries to ask for help but gets pissed because nobody is stopping by. His mother is trying to tell him how he needs to accept the things he can't change and have the courage to change the things he can change and have wisdom to know the difference. Barry of course does not understand what is she talking about. The next scene shows us Barry going back home and the only thing he sees is his mother getting murdered. Then we see Barry as an adult visiting his mother's grave talking about how he could save her. Then he runs to the Central City to stop the Rogues from breaking in the Flash Museum. It turns out that Eobard Thawne, the Reverse Flash or the Professor Zoom set a trap for the Flash using the Rogues and his plan is to kill Barry along with thousands of innocent people of Central City by implanting bombs on the belts worn by ever member of the Rogues in an blink of an eye to. Barry stops the bombs with the help of Justice League and his own intellect. At the end Thawne is arrested but he mocks Barry on how he is not able the save the ones that matter to him no matter how fast he runs.
The next scene Barry wakes up on his desk and not only he sees a lot of weird stuff like Captain Cold and Captain Boomerang and his boss James having no idea what he is talking about when he mentions the Rogues and the Flash. Barry runs to suit up but not only he is not moving very fast but he does not have his ring. On top of that, Barry sees his mother coming to visit him which does not make sense because she should be dead.
In Gotham Cyborg meets surprisingly brutal Batman who is chasing the Joker asking him to help him in this war whole introducing him to all the meta humans America has. It turns out that Atlanteans and Amazons are at war and over 100 million people died when Aquaman attacked Western Europe and 32 millions were killed when the Amazons took over United Kingdom and renamed it New Themyscira. Cyborg asks for Batman's help because their greatest weapon, Captain Atom has vanished on his last mission. Batman refuses, claiming the war is over and everybody lost.
Meanwhile Barry tries to find his wife Iris but before he even has a chance to talk to her he sees that she is married and has a daughter. Barry decides to visit Batman but and enters in his cave but instead of seeing large Batcave full of advanced tech, he sees a desk with a gun and bottles of alcohol. He gets attacked by the Batman and it turns out that this is not Bruce Wayne. It is his father Thomas.
In the New Themyscira, Steve Trevor gets killed by Wonder Woman after he told her about Lois Lane gathering intel about Amazons for few months. What is weird is the fact that Steve Trevor was originally Diana's boy friend and here she kills him in cold blood. Then she orders the Amazons to find and kill Lois Lane.
While Barry tries to convince Thomas that he is from an alternate timeline he shows his suit in his ring an the found when Batman kicked him. However, the suit he found in the ring has reverse colors. It was Thawne's suit. When Barry explains how the Speed Force works, they both come to the conclusion that Thawne changed everything with the use of time travel and giving Barry his uniform only to make Barry know that he is responsible for everything that happened. When Barry told Thomas that he knows his son who is alive in Barry's timeline and he is Batman, Thomas decided to help Barry repeat the accident that turned Barry into the Speedster.
Government send Lex Luthor to locate the location of Aquaman's doomsday device (yes he has a doomsday device). He had help from Captain Slade Wilson and his crew. Yes, in this altered timeline Deathstroke is actually a pirate. While they were able to locate the device, Luthor, Slade and his crew were killed by the Atlanteans. Unfortunately, The President did not allow Cyborg to sent his Squad is Meta Humans to stop the war because Luthor already died and he has no Batman to lead his team.
Back in Gotham, when Tomas repeated the accident and Barry was struck by lightning, he set him on fire instead. While he was able to save him in time, Barry was badly hurt and is lucky to be alive. While sleeping he starts to lose memories of his former life and starts to remember everything from this timeline. A rocket that feel from space directly into Metropolis, Aquaman killing innocent, Bruce getting shot instead of his parents as well as the reason why Aquaman and Wonder Woman are at war in the first place.
It turned out that Martha Wayne became insane after seeing her son getting murdered but she also became the Joker. The reason why Aquaman and Wonder Woman are at war was because when Arthur's wife Mera found out that he and Diana are in love with each other, she tried to kill Diana but Diana killed her instead. As a result, the war started.
When Barry woke up he told Tomas they don't have time because soon he will forget everything. His mother's murder, Bruce, his wife, becoming the Flash. He will forget everything. Once they repeated the accident again, it worked and Barry's speed healed his third degree burns in minutes.
Eventually Lois was trapped by the Amazons and when she was about to get killed, A Yellow Blur killed all the Amazons and at that moment she was met by the members of the Resistance and when she asked what speedster saved her, Grifter replied that they have no speedsters on the team.
After Barry changed his costume from reverse into original Flash colors, he was ready to break the time barrier and change things back to normal. For some reason tho, even at top speed he wasn't able to do so. Barry's theory is that Thawne is consistently accessing the Speed Force. So because the two share the same power, Barry can't move fast enough to break the time barrier. So they decided to try to find Superman. While Batman said there is no Superman in this reality, Barry mentions the rocket he saw in his vision which actually crashed into Metropolis the same year Superman's Rocket crashed into Smallvile in Barry's timeline.
Tomas called Cyborg and decided to help but only if he helps them track down another meta human. Eventually they found the secret base where they saw Clark Kent who is not only extremely confused and scared but he looked extremely weak. This was because he was locked in that base for 30 years since he was a baby and he never had any contact with the society.
Although they were able to get him out, they were attacked the soldiers of US who were stopped and killed by Superman who gained his powers because of his first contact with solar energy. However, when Superman find out he killed people without controlling his powers, he just flew into the sky but while leaving, Barry loses more of his memories, including The Justice League, his wife Iris and his life without his mother (although he still remembered her murder and he still remembered Bruce).
Hal Jordan, the pilot for Ferris Air was sent on a mission to destroy Aquaman's doomsday device using the ship from dead Green Lantern Abin Sur who is the Green Lantern who original died AFTER giving Hal his ring because of his ability to overcome great fear. But in this timeline he never became the Green Lantern. Still he had a lot of willpower and wasn't afraid of attacking Aquaman. Despite his bravery, he was killed without before he could destroy the device.
With Hal Jordan dead and their only hope to win gone (Superman), heroes just decided to give up and Batman was about to leave. Barry however inspired everyone to continue to fight and they were ready to New Themyscira and take down both Aquaman and Wonder Woman. While going there, Tomas showed Barry a picture located by Lois Lane at the time she was saved. It turned out that the yellow blur that saved Lois is actually Eobard Thawne.
Finally they arrive on the New Themyscira. Their plan, take down Wonder Woman and Aquaman. At the start of the fight between Atlanteans and Amazons, Lois Lane, US Government Soldiers, The Resistance and other heroes join the fight against both sides. Diana and Arthur start to fight but their fight is quickly interrupted by the arrival of Flash, Batman and Cyborg who attacked Aquaman while Wonder Woman is attacked by Captain Thunder who in this timeline is actually Captain Marvel but he is not Billy Batson who transforms into an adult version of himself but rather 6 kids who all say the word SHAZAM at the same time who turn into Captain Thunder when they are struck by lightning.
While the plan seems to work, Aquaman escapes and attacks Cyborg while Batman is deadly wounded. Grifter is rescued by the Flash while Barry tries to help Tomas. Tomas tells him to forget about it and find Thawne and change the timestream. Barry refuses to let people die but the next moment, Batman disappears and Eobard Thawne comes face to face with Barry who starts chasing him.
But while fighting, Arthur almost kills Cyborg by tearing his body apart. He was about to pierce his heart but he was stopped by Superman who cut his arm of with his heat vision and stayed with Cyborg while he was dying. Wonder Woman uses her Lasso to make Captain Thunder speak the word SHAZAM and killed Billy Batson in his human form.
As the two fastest men alive fight Thawne admits he allowed Lois to see him only to break Barry. They run on the top of the building where Thawne stomps Barry and hurts his leg by piercing it with a bar. As he watches everyone die including Grifter, Barry asks Thawne what did he do to the world. Thawne says he did not do anything, claiming it was Barry who did all of this. Barry remembers traveling back through time to save his mother and Thawne explains how by doing so, he shifted the timeline, changing events just a little bit but enough to cause all of this chaos. As he watches everyone die, Barry gets consistently beaten by Thawne at Super Speed over and over again.
Arthur sees his comrades killed by the Amazons and he gets pierces by Diana's sword. She is about to kill him, saying she is doing it for the good of all. Arthur says "as do I" and activates his doomsday device. Which turns out to be powered by Captain Atom himself, who is one of the most powerful beings on Earth. In the process, Cap unleashes a blast so powerful, it destroys everything on it's path and it about to destroy the world.
Barry tells Thawne he will die too if this blast reaches them but Thawne only replies "totally worth it". Thawne started to mock Barry about not being able to fix the timeline. There is just not enough Speed Force with him around. However, he got shot in the head by Tomas Wayne and killed him. Tomas falls on his back, giving Barry a letter and says "RUN!"
Barry runs as fast as he can, ignores his injuries and breaks the time barrier. As he enters in the Speed Force, he sees his past self running to save his mom. He tries to stop him but he won't listen. As they go further and further back Barry sees his mother moments before her murder and is able to stop his past self from saving her.
Barry wakes up and visits his mother grave, saying he now understands what she was trying to tell him all those years ago. He sees Iris and kisses her, saying everything is alright now. That night, he meets Batman (Bruce Wayne) and explains what happened. He is trying to find out how does he remember his life a the Flash while at the same time remembering everything that happened to him when his mother is alive, where he is not a super hero and is not married. Barry gives Bruce a letter Tomas gave him. It turns out it was actually for Bruce. Bruce reads the later and actually starts to cry, saying "Thank you". The final scene shows Barry running across the city.
Difference Between the Movie and the Comic
The first thing you need to know is that nothing that happened during the intro of the movie happened in Flashpoint Event. The Flashpoint story starts with Barry waking up and seeing things change. That intro was there just to introduce Eobard Thawne as the main villain and also introduce The Justice League and The Rogues.
Then there is that thing with Lois being saved by Eobard Thawne. As I said, in the movie it was confirmed that Eobard is there when Batman showed Barry a screen shot of Thawne saving Lois while going to the New Themyscira. In the comic Thawne never saved Lois. Instead Barry saw Thawne at the very beginning of the story when he was moving like a blur telling Nora (Barry's mother) how nice it is to see her alive and well.
When it comes to things that are changed, a lot of stuff has been left out and I think the reason why is because there is no reason to put them in the movie. Things that are left out is, how Martha Wayne became the Joker and how she fought her husband and also, what happened to Hal and his relationship with Carol. Those things are removed probably because they were never explained to us in Flashpoint story and is show in tie ins. There are few differences as well. In the movie Martha started to laugh right after she stopped crying after seeing her son murdered. But in comics she did not became insane right after he died but it took some time.
Also the reason why Wonder Woman and Aquaman are in love with each other was never explained to us but it was in the comic. The war was way more complicated than Diana and Arthur being in love, Mera being inraged and trying to kill Diana but getting killed herself. In the comic, it actually involves Diana and Arthur knowing each other for years. I am not gonna get into that. It is too long to talk about it.
One more thing. Flash and the others never stopped the fight between Diana and Arthurt and Superman did not come at the end of the fight. When he came to the scene in the comic he attacked Aquaman and Wonder Woman right at the time they were fighting and it looked like a War Zone during Marvel's Civil War, not like Post Apocalyptic city. And Aquaman did not active his doomsday device when he was beaten but when he and Diana were attacked by Clark and he had enough. The device did not unleash and explosion. it looked more like the energy coming out of the planet.
Those are minor differences and I may be forgetting some but the reason I'm forgetting something is probably because those other differences are even less important than the ones I already mentioned. The only large difference between the comic and the movie is Eobard Thawne.
Following contains spoilers for Geoff John's story Flash Rebirth.
Besides the fact that Thawne showed up on the battle field and not away from the battle field and that he fought Batman and Flash at the same time, it is clear as water than Thawne did not kill Barry's mother.
During the story Flash Rebirth which focuses on Barry Allen returning to the DC landscape, Geoff Jones tried to make Barry more interesting character by retconning his history with Barry being a boy who's mother Nora was killed and his father was blamed for the act of murder. Introducing Eobard Thawne as the main villain of the story, Geoff Johns explained how it was Thawne who killed Barry's mother by traveling through time and hurting those he cares about even when he was a kid, to torture Barry as much as he could.
As a result, when Barry finally met Thawne and started to fight him, Thawne was explaining how by preventing him from killing Barry's mother by traveling through time and shifting the time stream, he turned Thawne into the living paradox which means he exists outside of the time stream. For those of you who don't know, Thawne became Reverse Flash by replicating the same accident that turned Barry into the Flash in order to travel back through time and meet Barry. However he found out about his future on turning into Professor Zoom so he started to believe he is Barry Allen but came to his senses eventually and became Professor Zoom. Barry on the other hand became the Flash by getting struct by lightning while being covered by chemicals when he was working. The only reason why he became Forensic Scientist is became he wanted justice, to clear his father's name and find the real killer but he would never do that if his mother wasn't killed.
In other words, Flash and Reverse Flash can't exist without each other. Barry needs to become the Flash in order for Thawne to have the reason to repeat the accident and Thawne needs to kill Nora in order for Barry to become the Flash. Because he prevented Thawne from doing so, Thawne became a living Paradox because of shifted time stream. He no longer needs Barry. Previously he tried to kill Barry before he became the Flash or just prevent him from being the Flash but he does that he would never become Reverse Flash. He needed Barry to be what he is.
So in the comic he was mocking Barry on how he did not need him anymore. He is free and exists beyond him and can kill him if he wanted to.
In the movie it is not that way. In the movie a random crock killed Barry's mother and Thawne had nothing to do with it. In the movie he wasn't talking about being free from Barry. He was talking about Barry acting irresponsible for saving his mother and starting the war that ended the world. Also as I said, in the movie Thawne was killed by a bullet in the head but in the comic he was killed by getting pierced through his chest by a sword.
The last difference between the movie and the comic is that it does not mention the Universes merging. The reason why is because this is just a movie interpretation of an awesome story while Flashpoint was created to be an awesome story but also a second reboot to the DCU. Because there is nothing canon to this continuity before this movie, there is no need to bring that up as there is nothing to reboot. This was also proved when Barry kissed Iris at the end which, if you read the Flash comics, in the New 52 after the reboot, not only Barry and Iris were never together but they never dated. Instead Barry is with a girl called Patty who works with him.
Everything Good about the Movie
The story is what it is. It is based on Geoff Johns Flashpoint Story which is not one of the best Flash stories (if not the best) but it is also one of the best stories in Comic Book History (not just in my opinion). If you make a movie almost identical to the story like Flashpoint, there is no mistake about the plot. You will either like it because you liked Flashpoint or you hated it because you hated Flashpoint. In chase you don't know, Flashpoint is one of my favorite stories ever and Barry Allen is one of my three favorite super heroes. Therefor there is no reason for me not to like this movie. Mostly I want to focus on stuff that can only be shown in a movie and differences between Comic and the Movie.
Those Minor differences are something I don't mind and not focusing more on Batman, Hal Jordan, Wonder Woman and Aquaman is something I don't mind either. I'm only gonna focus on Thawne not being the one who killed Barry's mother.
In truth, this change is not something I want to see for a comic book version of Thawne. But for this particular movie I actually liked it. The reason why is because while I liked the scene when Thawne beat up Barry and claiming how he is free, I actually preferred the scene of Barry looking at everyone getting killed one by one while he is helplessly defeated by Thawne and Thawne mocking him about what he has done.
"I just wanted to save her."
"A hero. How noble. Oh wait, you didn't stop JFK from getting assassinated. Or made sure that Hitler stayed in art school. You saved you mommy. You missed her. And in pure act of selfishness, shattered history like a right amateur. Turned the world into a living hell moments away from destruction. And I'm the villain?"
This is my favorite part of the whole movie and it wasn't even mentioned in the comic. I also liked the beginning of the movie when Barry gave Thawne no choice but to shut down the bombs or he will blow up with him but he was ready to die if that is what it takes to "shatter Barry's golden history". Or when he refused to stop the destruction of the world to prove even further how irresponsible he was despite the fact that Thawne will die if he doesn't do anything. It really shows what kind of a villain Thawne is.
I also liked the scene of Barry receiving memories from this timeline. I don't know why but something about that scene was pretty cool to me. Barry becoming the Flash again was cool as well. My second favorite scene is probably him traveling back through time to stop his past self from saving his mother. It was so emotional and exciting at the same time. The music in the movie is pretty cool as well. It works good for the actual scene, especially the one I just mentioned.
The voice acting is pretty good and the voice actors are awesome. When I read comics with Barry and Thawne, I imagine their voices to be the same as they are in this movie (I don't remember how I imagined them before). Hal's voice actor is awesome as well. Cyborg's was perfect and Tomas's voice works as well.
Everything Bad About the Movie
Despite the fact that Barry was wearing Wally's costume and Thawne was wearing Hunter's costumes (which a lot of people probably missed) and Diana wearing a modified version of her classic costume (which I didn't like) instead of her Flashpoint Costume, what I didn't like about this movie is the Animation. The Animation looks, weird. The face of every male has so many lines going around (well besides Cyborg), even Barry. Not all the time but there are times when it looks weird, especially with Thawne and Aquaman. Superman at the beginning and at the end of the movie looked weird. His head was too small and few minutes later it was ok in size but his face is like he was on steroids or something. In his Flashpoint version, there are few scenes when I looked at his face and he did not made any weird expression but the way he looked, it literally made me LOL.
Also I know he was drawn that way in the story, but in the movie his arms and legs are just too long it is funny. When Barry and Thawne run their bodies look extremely weird. It looks like they have no control over their legs and you are starting to think their armors are gonna fall of if they swing a little harder, like you are having an old Super Hero Action figure with loose damaged joints. It also looks like they have no control over their muscles and momentum and are trying so hard to keep up but mass is moving them to the side. That is just how I saw it and I saw this movie more than once, looking at those scenes, pausing and it still looks the same to me.
The women also look weird. They don't have any special features going on. It looks too pale and they do not look pretty. When I look at Wonder Woman I only see an evil douchebag. When I look at Iris I want to ask her what is wrong with her face. I know the rules say don't write something dumb but I'm serious.
While I spend these few minutes ranting about the animating I have to say it is not pissing me of as it seems. It is nothing that will make you not liking the movie unless you really hate it it for some reason. It is definitely easier for the eyes than Batman Brave and the Bold Cartoon Series.
The other thing I did not like is the violence and darker tone. When I was reading Flashpoint, the concept of the story was dark but the comic overall wasn't. When I was watching the movie I felt almost the same way as I was feeling when I was reading Venom Dark Origins or the Killing Joke. Ok it is not coming close to those two but for the Flash story it is too dark. I'm not saying Flash can't have stories that are dark but this one is too high up there.
When it comes to the violence in the Flashpoint comics, it is on the same level as the violence see in the Civil War Comics but it people killing each other which does not look as bad as it sounds. In the movie the violence looks like something right in between Civil War Comics and the Walking Dead. Although to be honest, the violence won't be as nearly as noticeable as it already is without the darker tone of the movie and the animation which looks similar to anime.
The only other thing I did not like were the voice actors who gave voices to Arthur and Diana. Their acting is pretty good but I didn't like their voices. That is not how I imagine Diana and Arthur talking.
Just a minor nitpick, I would prefer if Tomas killed Thawne with a sword instead of the bullet because not only it looked badass but I don't like how the bullet killed Thawne. It pierced through his skull but it left such a large whole that you could see Batman's head through the whole in his skull. Which is not only unrealistic but disgusting. And it does not look badass. At least not as nearly as much as this:
In the end, Justice League Flashpoint Paradox is a great movie as it is based on one of the best stories ever. The only differences between the movie and the comic are there for right reason and some of them are giving us scenes that are better than the ones in the actual comic. At least in my opinion. The acting, the voice actors and music is almost if not perfect. The only problem is more violent fighting than necessary and the animation which won't turn you down from the movie. While this movie is 5/5 for me, I'm gonna give it 4 out of 5 stars because I think people will have problems with the animation and darker tone more than I did. Plus if you are not a huge fan of Flashpoint, you won't like this movie as much as I did. I rank movie based on how it is IMO at least, not how much I liked it. If I would review Spider-man 3 I would give it 7.5/10 it I rank it based on how I enjoyed it. If I ranked it based on how it is, I would give it 3-4/10.
This is my first review. Hope I was good enough and I hope you enjoyed reading it. If you already watched Flashpoint Paradox let me know what you think about it and if you have any questions feel free to ask.