Overview: As the Joker attacks Metropolis, the Flash finds himself stuck in a loop where his day keeps repeating, as a greater threat looms in the backgrounds.
Synopsis (spoilers ahead): The film opens at the Hall of Justice the where Cyborg is training on an obstacle course, only to be shown up by Ace the Bat-Hound. Superman and Batman enter with the Atom, with the Atom shrinking away from Ace as he is afraid of dogs. The trouble alert interrupts them and they are joined at the monitors by Firestorm, Plastic Man and Wonder Woman. Lois Lane appears on a screen, reporting that the Joker has come to Metropolis. The film then cuts to the Joker on a rampage, gassing people on the street. The Justice League jets off into the city as the Joker attacks the Daily Planet building. An exploding pie bomb takes down the League’s jet, which crashes in a nearby park. As the League formulates a plan, they realize that the Flash is nowhere to be found. The film then cuts to Barry Allen just now getting out of bed and getting ready in his apartment. The Flash starts his day running through Central City helping out its citizens, largely by quickly repairing LEGO-related problems before going on a Gotham City donut run on his way to meet up with the League in Metropolis.
Meanwhile in Metropolis, the League tries to find a cure for he laughing joker victims. The Atom shrinks down to get a look at the Joker’s toxin on a molecular level. Superman and Firestorm attempt to attack the Joker and are taken down by an exploding blimp filled with laughing gas. An increasingly annoyed Batman wonders where the Flash could be as the Flash exits a donut shop in Gotham and is then attacked by Captain Cold, who the Flash makes quick work of. A police officer casually mentions to the Flash that Star City makes the best milkshakes, peaking the Flash’s interest.
The Joker battles Wonder Woman and Plastic Man, who has turned himself into a missile firing attack helicopter. The Joker tricks Plastic Man into posing for a photo and gases the two heroes, with Batman cursing the Flash’s name. The Flash, leaving Star City with his milkshake, runs across Captain Boomerang in a police chase and defeats him with his own boomerangs. It’s at this point that the Flash realizes that he missed the trouble alert, having left his phone on vibrate.
The Joker makes it to the top of the Daily Planet, setting up a cannon on top of the building. Batman confronts the Joker, but is too slow to prevent the Joker from detonating his “Fun Cannon.” The Atom, still subatomic, finds a cure for the Joker’s toxin, while the Joker’s cannon remakes the Daily Planet building into a giant clown face. The Joker is surrounded by the cured Justice League and a clown version of Batman. The Joker tries to run and is caught by the newly arrived Flash. Batman lectures the Flash on being late, and the Flash explains his busy day and then proceeds to quickly restore the Daily Planet. The Flash states that speed fixes everything and Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman warn the Flash to be more aware of his surroundings and to have a plan, with the Flash barely listening.
The Reverse Flash arrives to issue a warning and then runs off, with the Flash in hot pursuit. The Flash continues to run faster and faster until a portal opens up and they run towards a bright light. The Flash then wakes up back in his apartment to his alarm going off, with a sense of déjà vu as he starts to get ready for his day again. The Flash runs through Central City, again fixing the same problems he did before, wondering why they are all happening two days in a row. The Flash goes back to the Gotham City Donut shop, to again find Captain Cold on the attack, with the Flash still wondering what is going one. The Flash again runs into Captain Boomerang and takes him down.
Meanwhile, Batman again is facing off against the Joker, but this time the Flash arrives and grabs the Fun Cannon remote control from the Joker’s hands and the Joker is locked up. The Flash tells the League about the weird day he is having and the Reverse Flash appears again and runs off, with the Flash chasing him again. The two again run through the same portal, and the Flash again wakes up at home. The Flash quickly runs through the city and arrives at the Hall of Justice with the Joker already in custody. After a quick moment where the League laughs at the Flash for forgetting to wear pants, the Reverse Flash appears again and the cycle repeats its self over and over again, with the Flash continually waking up at home.
The Flash realizes that Batman has tried to warn him every time he goes off after the Reverse Flash and runs straight to Batman and explains to Batman and the League that he is stuck in a time loop. Batman explains that while it might be theoretically possible to break out of a time loop, he doesn’t think that the Flash is fast enough, which offends the Flash as he runs off to prove Batman wrong. The Flash again chases after the Reverse Flash and the Flash succeeds in outrunning the Reverse Flash, appearing in a Central City that now hates the Flash and the Flash discovers he is without his powers.
The Flash makes his way to the Hall of Justice, to find that the League is upset with him for playing pranks on all of them, like repainting Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet. The Flash discovers that five days have passed and he is kicked out of the Justice League for his pranks.
The Flash returns home to find the Revere Flash wearing the Flash costume. The Reverse Flash explains that while the Flash was stuck in his time loop, he turned everyone against him and then tricked the Flash into severing himself from the speed force. The Reverse Flash puts the Flash in handcuffs and states that he will destroy the Justice League. As the Reverse Flash leaves, the Atom appears on the Flash’s shoulder, having heard the whole thing and frees the Flash but his shrinking belt shorts out, making the Atom unable return to normal size, with the Flash unable to hear him.
The Atom uses the Flash’s phone to call Dr. Fate, with the Flash picking up the phone and teleports away. In the meantime, the Justice League splits up to deal with multiple threats, with Poison Ivy on a rampage, only to have the Reverse Flash arrive to stop her. The Reverse Flash then appears to take down Killer Croc, Deathstroke, and the Penguin, showing up the Justice League in the process.
The Flash appears at Dr. Fate’s fortress, meeting Zatanna who takes him to meet Dr. Fate. The Flash explains his problems (in a bluesy musical number) and Dr. Fate explains the Flash’s connection to the Speed Force. Dr. Fate and Zatanna take the Flash to the Speed Force Zone, the source of the Flash’s power.
The Atom struggles to make his way from the Flash’s apartment in his tiny form, chased by a mouse and falls down a sewer grate. Meanwhile, the Reverse Flash is being celebrated as a hero all over the world.
Dr. Fate explains to the Flash that he will have to go through a series of tests to ensure he is worthy to get his powers back before the Flash is sent into the Speed Force Zone alone. The Flash arrives at a temple like structure and has to pass through a field of speeding bricks to reach the temple, which he does by slowing down as Superman had suggested earlier. In the meantime, the Atom manages to tame a pigeon and uses it to fly away back to the Hall of Justice.
Inside the temple, the Flash must climb a series of electrified platforms, and by following Wonder Woman’s earlier advise about being aware of his surroundings, the Flash finds another path away from the electrified platforms.
Back in Metropolis, the Reverse Flash has a televised meeting with the mayor as the Justice League sneaks around behind the scenes. The Reverse Flash is presented with the key to the city as the Justice League come crashing down from their perch overhead. Batman then announces that the Justice League is retired.
The Flash next comes across a maze and begins to feel his powers coming back to him. The Flash discovers the maze is in darkness, making it impossible to speed through it. The Flash remembers Batman’s advise about having a plan and finds a higher vantage point where he can plot his course through the maze. The Flash makes it through to the final door and makes it through by vibrating his molecules to pass through the door. He makes it to the source of the Speed Force power, the Speed Force Nexus, only to find the Reverse Flash, having tricked the Flash into passing the obstacles to the source of the speed force. The Reverse Flash then absorbs the power of the Nexus. The Reverse Flash leaves, trapping the Flash in the speed force.
At the Hall of Justice, the League is packing up their things, with Batman saying that he will continue to investigate the Reverse Flash when the Reverse Flash appears on the League’s monitors to taunt them. The Reverse Flash then appears outside of the Hall of Justice and begins to build a wall around the Hall, trapping the League, encasing them in a statue of the Reverse Flash and unleashing reprogramed training robots against the league.
The Flash discovers that the bricks in the ruined temple are charged with the speed force and uses them to build a sled to escape the speed force zone. The Atom arrives at the Hall of Justice and is joined by Ace and Krypto, who start digging a hole under the statue to the Hall of Justice where they are joined by the squirrel-like Green Lantern, B’dg. The Super Pets and Atom, now restored to his normal size thanks to the equipment in Cyborg’s lab, are joined by Storm, Aquaman’s seahorse who leads the League out through an underwater tunnel.
The Reverse Flash broadcasts a message from the Daily Planet stating he is taking over the world. The League regroups at the Batcave and are joined by the Flash, where they explain that they only fired the Flash to draw out the Reverse Flash. The League uses the speed bricks from the Flash’s sled to create vehicles to face off against the Reverse Flash and the League heads to the Daily Planet. The League destroys the statues the Reverse Flash had erected all over the globe, returning the speed bricks they are made from to the Speed Force and while the Reverse Flash is distracted, the Flash removes the Nexus from the Reverse Flash and becomes supercharged by the Nexus. The Flash and Reverse Flash battle, with Flash taunting Reverse Flash until he breaks his connection to the Speed Force. The Reverse Flash is captured and Flash returns the Nexus to the Speed Force as its too much power for one person. Flash thanks the League for helping him learn a valuable lesson and the movie ends with the League eating donuts and milkshakes while Dr. Fate and Zatanna watch from Dr. Fate’s lair.
Analysis: The movie is, as you’d expect, light-hearted and very much aimed at young kids. All the heroes are at their core, cheerful and optimistic, and the bad guys are more of a nuisance than anything else. It follows a fairly simple formula, where the main character has to learn a valuable lesson before he can defeat the bad guy and save the day. While there is nothing even remotely inappropriate about anything in the film, there’s a sense of irony throughout the story, like the movie is winking at any parents in the room to say “we understand you’re here too” which is a nice touch that makes this movie far more watchable than it otherwise would be. The Barry White inspired Dr. Fate, for instance, is only there to give any adults watching something to chuckle about, for instance.
The movie never lets you forget that it’s the LEGO versions of the characters and has fun playing with the concept. The Joker mechanical plunger walker he uses at the beginning, for instance, is something far too silly to ever work in any other medium but fits right into this movie. The solution to every problem in this story has a character having to build something out of something else, which makes sense as this whole film is, let’s face it, one giant toy commercial for the DC line of LEGO products. I did find that the movie is a tad overstuffed, and there was a clear mandate that a certain list of characters had to make it into the movie in some way. The inclusion of the “Super Pets” is the biggest example of this. There is nothing really for these characters to do in the story and their presence in the story feels like it is there to tie into some playset or merchandise. That being said, its difficult to be too hard on the movie for doing that, as let’s face it, pretty much every cartoon that’s ever been created since the 1980’s can pretty much be accused of the same thing.
Flash is, naturally, the standout of this movie. It’s funny how in a lot of media Flash is portrayed as irresponsible and immature, as that’s not really the core of that character in the comics. The movie quickly sets up the Flash as a super-competent hero, but an easily distractible one and it’s his irresponsibility that leads him to get into trouble in the story. I have to give the movie credit for bringing in some of the headier elements of the Flash’s mythology such as time travel and the speed force and distilling them down to concepts that a younger view could follow.
The voice cast does some solid work here. Veteran animation voice actors such as Kevin Michael Richardson, Troy Baker, Nolan North, and Tom Kenny bring a lot of energy to their performance. Joker voice actor Jason Spisak does an impressive Mark Hamil impression in his version of the character.
The filmmakers of this movie are clearly fans of the source material. There are a lot of nods to various other storylines from the comics, such as the Joker wearing a vacation outfit that calls back to his look in the Killing Joke. The Batman/Joker relationship gets some play in the story with Joker deciding that Batman is spending too much time with the Justice League is a very appropriate reason for the Joker to come to Metropolis.
Final Thoughts: As much as we all like the darker and more mature takes on these characters, movies like this are important. When I was a kid, my introduction to Batman and superheroes in general, was the Super Powers action figures and the Super Friends cartoon. There should always be some sort of content out in the world to introduce the next generation of fans to these characters, and this movie does an admiral job at doing just that, while still making an entertaining 80 minutes that an older audience can appreciate.
Editor’s Note: LEGO DC Super Heroes: The Flash is now available on Digital HD, Blu-ray DVD, and DVD. You can order your copy and help support TBU by heading over to Amazon.