Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
Music Composed By: Frederik Wiedmann
Distributed by: La-La Land Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Adapted from Flashpoint, the DC Comics crossover series, the animated movie Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox drives home the backlash of altering history to change one's fate. After the death of Barry Allen's (Justin Chambers) mother, he travels back in time to right the wrong that resulted in her death. Unfortunately, in doing so, the man also known as the Flash has created an alternate timeline in which the Justice League was never formed and the world is on the verge of destruction thanks to a war between the forces of Wonder Woman (Vanessa Marshall) and Aquaman (Cary Elwes). Flash teams up with Batman (Kevin McKidd) and Cyborg (Michael B. Jordan) in an attempt to set things right, but is it too late to restore the original timeline?
The musical score of Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox was created by German composer Frederik Wiedmann. Frederik Wiedmann realized the importance of film scoring at a young age, crediting this realization to the Dances With Wolves Soundtrack in an interview with www.examiner.com. According to Wiedmann, John Barry's musical score for the film was the first soundtrack he owned and he credits the score for turning him into an immediate film music fan. Meeting German composer Nik Reich and seeing him work on scores in his studio also helped pave the way for Wiedmann's career choice. He traveled to the United States to study his craft at the Berklee College of Music and moved to Los Angeles to begin his professional career as a film composer. Since then, he has created the musical scores of such horror films as Return to House on Haunted Hill, Hostel: Part III, Mirrors II, Hellraiser: Revelations, and The Hills Run Red. He has also created the musical scores for two seasons of Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Beware the Batman.
Recorded in Los Angeles with a thirty-piece orchestra conducted by Hyesu Yang, the Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox Soundtrack is intense. As a child, I loved watching my favorite DC Comics characters come to life on the Justice League and Super Friends cartoon series. As an adult, I have seen a dramatic change in the Justice League cartoons. They're darker and more dramatic with storylines, dialogue and action that will blow you out of the water. The storylines are grittier and more intense, calling for a much more elaborate musical score to back them up.
This story, in particular, is one of the darker tales in the DC Universe. According to Wiedmann, "When I first set down with the producer and director for this DC film, they told me how incredibly dark this story is. Musically speaking, we really anted to give the alternate Universe a very dark, unpleasant and electronic vibe...our superheroes aren't what they usually are, the world is coming to an end..." Such a dramatic story begs for a dramatic score and Wiedmann delivers, creating a score that is nothing like what I've heard from other DC Comics animated films.
The score begins with The Incident, a dramatic track that leaves the listener understanding that something tragic has just taken place. The superhero themes in this soundtrack are nothing that you would be used to. There is no dramatic fanfare when it comes to Superman and, although the regular Batman theme appears in Redux, it is slightly altered to represent a Batman from an alternate timeline. Wiedmann even went out of the way to create a different sound for the warring factions in this film, using Turkish and Greek guitars for the Amazons theme and electronic and ambient sound for Aquaman's forces. The action in this film is represented by fast-paced mixes of orchestra and electronic sound and I loved the metal on metal sound of World's Collide, giving the listener the picture of opposing forces meeting with devastating force.
With over almost an hour's worth of music, the Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox is a dramatic and exciting album that reminds us just how far animation based on comic book series have come. The industry has matured and become grittier. The need for more powerful musical scores have brought composers like Frank Wiedmann to the forefront, creating soundtracks that sound as if they belong accompanying a full length feature film in the theaters, not an animated film featuring comic book characters. A job well done by Wiedmann and definitely a soundtrack worth checking out.