It has taken a long time for Flash to get his solo movie to the big screen. With delays from the pandemic and the much publicised drama caused by Miller himself, it’s now playing in theaters.
The awkward issue of separating Millers behaviour from his artistic talents is there. But as Warner Bros. have decided to push on with its release, we will look at the film as a whole.
Barry Allen isn’t one of DC’s heavyweights with Superman and Batman in their ranks this was always going to have to stand up to them. But The Flash is a solid first solo outing for Barry Allen. Admittedly there is a strong supporting cast, but Ezra Miller is excellent as both Barry Allens and they are wildly different.
Warner Bros. have heavily marketed Michael Keaton’s return as Batman and to those of us old enough it really is a joy to see him in the suit again, Keaton was my childhood Batman.
I was surprised however, to see how underused Sasha Calle’s Supergirl and Michael Shannon’s General Zod are. The latter was a superb antagonist in Man of Steel and Supergirl just joins the party too late.
The film centers around Barry Allens discovery that he can time travel. His desire to travel back in time to save his mother is too strong, despite warning from Ben Affleck’s Batman. He believes a subtle change can save his mother and not cause a ‘butterfly effect.’ Upon his return he doesn’t quite reach his own timeline and accidently encounters his 18 year old self.
The 18 year old Barry Allen is a completely different character to older Barry, immature and hyperactive. Younger Barry is not weighed down by the insecurities that have plagued the Barry Allen we know. Alpha Barry has to almost become a big brother, he has to regularly check his overexcited younger version as he gets himself into all sorts of situations, one of which, ends with him in his birthday suit.
With no meta humans available in this multiverse, the duo track down Batman and much to their surprise they encounter Keaton’s aging and rather cranky Bruce Wayne. It’s been 30 years since Michael Keaton donned the Batsuit and he fits right back in literally and figuratively. His role is more than just a quick nostalgia hit.
Directed by Andy Muschietti who has made an impact in the horror genre after directing both of the recent IT movies, he has transitioned seamlessly into Superhero fiction. The Flash has some great comedic moments and plenty of GCI action. As much as I enjoyed Keaton’s return, Muschietti has not let that overshadow, it’s very much a flash movie.
If I have to be picky there are flaws, I would have liked to have seen more of Sasha Calle’s Supergirl. She fit the role perfectly but was ultimately sidelined by Keaton’s return. It was always going to be hard to shine opposite someone who has retuned to an iconic character after so long.
The film actually has very little jeopardy with the way the plot unfolds and this is what has a knock on effect on Shannon’s General Zod, he is no where near as menacing as he was in Man of Steel.
The Flash was receiving rave reviews after its screening at CinemaCon, but now it has been exposed to a wider range of critics some of who have taken the shine off the initial excitement. The reasons for these maybe varied. Possibly from people who have not looked past Millers incidents, there are those that are already growing tired of multiverse plots, these tactics have freed up studios to do whatever they want.
But I did not feel the so called superhero fatigue, the story is engaging. Ezra Miller was superb in both roles. There’s a great comedy and action balance and I really did enjoy the cameos. This is up there as one of the better DC movies.
The Flash is now playing in theaters.