The Flash is probably one of the most anticipated movies of this year, as it is said to mark the end of the era for the DC Extended Universe or DCEU and will begin the franchise reboot under the direction of James Gunn. And while there had been doubts regarding whether or not the movie would be good, I can unequivocally say that it’s actually one of the best live-action movies based on DC comics to date, with the perfect balance of humor, drama, and action that you would want from any superhero film.
The Story and Writing
Without going into spoilers, The Flash movie is based on DC’s Flashpoint Paradox storyline, which also served as a reboot for the DC Comics storyline that ushered in the New 52. It follows the story of Barry Allen, who, though he has long been working as a superhero, is still grieving the death of his mother, Nora Allen, and his father, Henry Allen, who is currently spending time in prison after being wrongfully accused of Nora’s death. Just like in the comics, he contemplates going back in time and changing events to stop her death. But when he actually does so, time goes haywire and many key events in history are changed, which brings both some ridiculous events and some not-so-happy ones.
The movie itself is written pretty well and does follow in the spirit of the comic, though with some key changes to fit the limitations of the current story in the DCEU. The first part of the film is a bit of a nostalgia trip as it reintroduces us to some pre-established characters in the Justice League, such as Ben Affleck’s Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, both of whom are pretty iconic in the current DCEU timeline.
Ben Affleck, in my opinion, captures both the feel of who Batman is and some of the old-school Bruce Wayne. He even dons the old-school blue and gray costume for which Batman was known in the early animated series and live action. Gal Gadot, on the other hand, is, as always, great as Wonder Woman, and it will be sad to see her relinquish that role in the future.
Ezra Miller, who plays the titular Flash, is actually amazing and did a stunning job as both our prime Barry Allen and the alternate timeline Barry Allen, which we see in the trailers. He is actually playing off both characters to a degree where the two are the same and yet different at the same time. As the younger Barry, he is impetuous, overly eager, somewhat immature, and, in my opinion, even annoying compared to his portrayal of the older Barry, who has had some experience as a superhero.
Though he’s still rather talkative, he’s wiser, more mature, and overall understands the gravity of his situation. I was pleasantly surprised with his acting skills, and though it could have been silly all the way, Miller does a fantastic job balancing the comedy with the drama and the gravitas of being the Flash.
Your other supporting actors also do a great job of propelling the plot of the movie, such as the return of Michael Keaton as Batman, somewhat reprising his original role in Tim Burton’s 1989 The Batman. There were many nods to that movie, such as the Batcave, the Batmobile, and the Batplane. We also get to see several of this version’s Batman’s costumes over the years, including the iconic first costume. Keaton, despite his age, does a fantastic job as Batman. He really was one of my favorites growing up. He even gives a line that is a nod to the 1989 film, if you’re able to catch it.
Sasha Calle does a great job portraying the alternate universe Supergirl, and I wouldn’t actually mind if she were to continue on with that role in the new DC reboot. Though she’s a departure from previous iterations of Supergirl, she does carry the role well, albeit as a more jaded and less hopeful version of this character.
Let’s also not forget Michael Shannon, who reprises his role as General Zod from Man of Steel. As seen in the trailers, he is one of the major villains in this film, except now in a universe where there is no Clark Kent/Kal-El of Krypton. He is still delightfully evil, and you will definitely root for his demise in this movie.
The action in the movie is pretty top-notch, from the opening of the movie that re-establishes who the Flash is and what the Justice League has been doing so far in this universe, to the gritty final battle with General Zod displaying to us what the two Flashes can do with their speed and what both Supergirl and the alternate timeline Batman can do. It’s a real roller coaster of events that does culminate in a plot twist that I did not expect.
The comedy was also spot on as you would expect in any film or TV series that stars Barry Allen. It’s peppered here and there without sounding too ridiculous or over the top. This film knows when to be funny and when to dial it down for the more serious scenes. I personally enjoy the banter between the two Barrys. There are also many nods to past films, including one about The Shawshank Redemption, and, of course, Back to the Future, though it’s a different version of the movie *wink*.
Though they have small roles in the film, it was nice to see Jeremy Irons reprising his role as Alfred from Batman v Superman and Zack Snyder’s Justice League, as well as Kiersey Clemons reprising her role as Iris West, The Flash’s love interest. Sadly, due to scheduling conflicts, Billy Crudup, who played Henry Allen, was replaced by Ron Livingston.
My Only Problem With the Movie
If there was any gripe I really had with this film, it was probably the graphics. While the graphics aren’t too bad, they aren’t great either. It feels a bit dated and unfinished, and there are many scenes where it even feels cartoony even. Director Andy Muschietti explained in an interview that he meant to do that to play on the Flash’s more childlike and whimsical nature.
Though many agree, it feels more like they were rushed and were not really able to fix up the graphics in time due to timelines. Again, it’s not bad, but we have seen what DCEU has done in the past, so I know they can really do better.
The Flash movie is DC’s attempt to reboot the franchise, and it attempts to go out with a bang. I think, for the most part, they have achieved their goal. It has excellent writing and great acting from the cast, including Ezra Miller, despite your personal thoughts on him. There’s a good balance of comedy, drama, and action, and it’s a fun movie overall.
There are so many plot points I want to even talk about, but it’s already dipping into spoiler territory, so I suggest you go watch it to find out. This film is highly recommended, and I would give it probably 8 out of 10 stars. I would definitely watch this movie again, given the chance.
Reader Rating0 Votes
Great acting from all the actors, specifically Ezra Miller.
Excellent writing and direction
Good mix of comedy, drama, and action.
Mediocre graphics at best.
The ending was okay, but it could have been better, in my opinion.