The Flash is a 2023 American superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. The film is directed by Andy Muschietti from a screenplay by Christina Hodson and stars Ezra Miller as Barry Allen / The Flash alongside Sasha Calle, Michael Shannon, Ron Livingston, Maribel Verdú, Kiersey Clemons, Antje Traue, and Michael Keaton. In the film, Barry travels back in time to prevent his mother’s death, which brings unintended consequences. (Wikipedia)
If The Flash is intended to be the final entry in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) – which began with Man of Steel – then it is a fitting ending for an era that started brightly but due to studio interference and numerous ownership changes, was never ever given a chance to fulfil its promise. The movie is not perfect, by any means, but it is largely entertaining and certainly more enjoyable than most of the movies in Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
There are a few things that The Flash gets absolutely right. Including a 2013 version of Barry Allen as a counterpoint to our Barry was a masterstroke. Ezra Miller does a masterful job at enlivening both characters, managing to make each Barry distinctive and relatable in their own right. No mean feat. That, we would argue, is the core reason why The Flash succeeds. Barry’s character arc can be witnessed not just in one, but TWO characters – a remarkable achievement!
The rest of the movie – the quickening plot, the cameos, the nostalgia bait – is simply gravy to an excellently crafted meal. Michael Keaton is a hoot as the 1989 iteration of Batman, though to be honest, DC Films missed an opportunity to make the character Thomas Wayne instead, and thereby truly echoing the source material. The other characters are rather hit or miss. Calle’s Supergirl is forgettable, Michael Shannon phones in Zod, Ben Affleck’s Wayne and Jeremy Iron’s Alfred bow out with aplomb, while the cameos maintain the novelty factor.
The Flash, ultimately is about a man who has to carry the burden and ride the conflict of having the power to bring back his beloved mother but embracing that hole in his life as a sacrifice for the well-being of the universe. As previously mentioned, if this is the final hurrah of the DCEU, then it finished on a relatively high note. No real hints of what the future DC Universe might look like here but if James Gunn can carry on the good work evident in this movie, then we can look forward to more enjoyable DC superhero movies. Highly recommended.
Now showing in cinemas.
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