The day before yesterday, my Facebook feed popped up with a memory of my post about the excitement I had for watching Man of Steel. 10 years after the release of Man of Steel (June 14th, 2013), we are pretty much witnessing the end of DCEU with their latest film, The Flash, which is trying to reset and divert things for a James Gunn lead DCU era. I started off my review with a nostalgic memory because the only reason why The Flash feels entertaining beyond its generic structure is the way the film taps into the memories of every DC fan. With humor, multiverse concepts, and some relatable sentiments about loneliness and motherly love, Andy Muschietti’s The Flash is that “not bad” DCEU film.
After helping Batman and Wonderwoman in a superhero mission, Barry Allen goes to his childhood home, and he is reminded of the events that led to his mother’s tragic death. An enraged Barry discovers the fact that with his superhuman abilities, he can actually do time travel. Even though Bruce asks him not to do that, the desire to live with his mom makes Barry do the time travel thing again. How that messes up the timeline and what all happens to Barry after that is what we see in The Flash.
In the initial sequences of the movie, the DCEU’s Spiderman-like treatment of the character makes it look like a lazy inconsequential film. But as soon as the movie enters the multiverse space, we get to explore the character a lot. The Shazam-like humor, along with the whole time travel thing that brings back Michael Keaton’s Batman and the entry of Supergirl, makes the premise exciting for the viewer. But in the third act of the movie, which usually has all the good guys assembling against the bad forces, the typical DCEU problem pops up, and the fights start to look exhaustingly long. It was actually that interaction scene between Barry and his mother in that store that kind of brought back the movie to an exciting space. The philosophical aspect of that scene actually makes you ignore those stretched-out fight sequences.
Ezra Miller as Barry Allen delivers a great performance. The dual role had him play the same character in different timelines at different ages, and the guy was able to make both of them distinguishable in terms of the way they behaved. Michael Keaton, who reprises the role of Batman, was a fun addition to the cast, and the man’s charismatic screen presence helps the movie a lot as he, by default, looks like a mentor figure. Sasha Calle as Kara Zor-El, aka Supergirl, has pretty much nothing to do here, and similar was the case with iconic villain General Zod played by Michael Shannon.
The Flash might be the first DCEU movie to feature the concept of the multiverse. But with MCU already using that element, there is no wow factor when Bruce Wayne uses the noodle metaphor in this movie. The multiverse concept was fun in the beginning, but when it started getting repeated in every story, even the MCU content started looking lazy. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse was a great success only because of the effort they took to reinvent the idea of the multiverse, and SPOILER ALERT, The Flash’s pre-credit scene might remind you of Across the Spider-Verse. The nostalgia element is a crucial ingredient Andy Muschietti, and his writer Christina Hodson has used in the film to compensate for the generic nature of the story. From black-and-white era films to shelved projects, there are a lot of surprising cameos that will make you scream. And frankly, when you are watching a superhero film from a theater full of people, this kind of packaging works. The visual effects quality in certain portions, especially the very first major set piece, was really poor.
I think the reason why The Flash feels more eventful and entertaining is that it was able to include so many characters from various phases of the DC films. When you have multiple Batman and Superman in a single movie with numerous other cameos, the chances of you dissecting the screenplay or the craft will take a backseat. In terms of instant popcorn fun, The Flash is entertaining. But it doesn’t give you the impression that it will age well in the long run.
In terms of instant popcorn fun, The Flash is entertaining. But it doesn't give you the impression that it will age well in the long run.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended