"The Flash" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
To be completely honest, I was expecting much more from "The Flash". In a film already plagued by numerous controversies, mostly surrounding Ezra Miller and the numerous crimes they committed the past few years, it was interesting how this movie was still greenlit and going to come out in theaters as a major summer blockbuster. For me, personally, I was split on how I felt about this movie; I think most of my excitement for it came from Michael Keaton's involvement as the Caped Crusader once again. However, what Warner Bros. and Andy Muschietti delivers is a very flawed and weak movie, with horrible attempts at comedy, unnecessary plot twists, and not so great performances, especially by Ezra Miller in the titular role.
If you know anything about the Flash, you can sort of guess where this film is going as it progresses. Barry Allen is still haunted about the death of his mother and the wrongful incarceration of his father, forcing him to go back in time to save his mother so he can have a different life. Because of this, he is then sent into another universe, where his mother and father are still happily at home and in love. What he doesn't expect though is to see a version of him in this universe, one completely different than the Barry that the fans know from "Justice League".
When Zod (Michael Shannon) invades Earth, hoping to bring back Krypton, the two Barry's must now assemble their own band of heroes to defeat the evil alien and save Earth. This new team consists of the two Flashes, Batman (Keaton), and Supergirl (Sasha Calle), who must figure out how to work with each other to succeed.
As a whole, the film is just very boring and slow. I found myself struggling to stay awake during the first half of this movie as nothing really exciting happened. This is a very bad thing, especially since we had a whole fight sequence and time travel through this first half. It desperately wants to be a movie like "Back to the Future", but it simply doesn't know how to be as good of a movie like that. In fact, I don't think the film necessarily knows what it wants to be. It bounces around all over, going from over-the-top comedic one moment to being excruciatingly serious the next. The tone is all over the place, and none of them really work here.
At the same time, the story is held on a very weak foundation that Muschietti tries to work around. The idea is great and I think they could have delivered big on this movie, but they want to half-ass it. They don't want to give the viewers what we want, even though the DCEU has been struggling ever since its creation. I think that's DC and Warner Bros.'s major problem; they want to be this edgy and thought-provoking franchise, but they don't know how nor do they want to put in the effort to achieve its desired effect. Not only do I think the character of Barry is insufferable (which I'll get more into when talking about Miller's performance), but the story is cheap and honestly pretty stupid. I won't spoil here, but the ending is absolutely horrendous, especially the message they leave with the viewers.
Miller is abysmal in this role. They are not funny; they're annoying beyond every sense of the word. They play two different versions of the character, and each is awful. There are perhaps a couple of good qualities in each one, but they are outweighed by the negatives. Why couldn't they have gotten Grant Gustin to come back and reprise the role? I do think Keaton is great as Batman once again, and Calle gives an impressive performance as this new hero. However, they are barely even in the film, even though they are promoted as being major players. It's honestly a waste of both characters, and they should have waited to utilize them much better in a future project.
The CGI is also not very good at all. This seems like a very big-budget film, but you couldn't tell with the effects. It's all over the place and horrendous; the special effects team from TV movies might be better than what we received here. If they want this to be a successful action blockbuster, they could at least try a little better in every single department.
I also want to mention here that there are specific cameos towards the end of the film; one, I think, is extremely disrespectful in every sense of the word. They are trying to recreate the same feeling as "Spider-Man: No Way Home" had, and it simply didn't work, nor was it enjoyable. I feel bad for the family of the one cameo I am thinking of, and they should have had more respect for that specific actor than they did. I'll just say this - nobody clapped or cheered or gasped in amazement like they did during multiple Marvel movies I have seen now.
I think this is the final nail in the coffin for the DCEU. For me, it is simply hard to get excited for movies from this universe anymore. They are clunky, messy, and usually extremely disappointing. I mean, take a look at the new Blue Beetle coming out this year; it looks like a crappy TV movie, not a movie you would pay to watch at the theater. "The Flash" is a movie that perhaps should have never been made, but maybe it will show DC what they're doing wrong, so they can improve in the future. It looks doubtful, but one can hope.