In a loose adaptation of the 2011 Flashpoint comic book, The Flash gives us Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) as he decides to go back in time and save his mom (Maribel Verdu) from dying and saving his dad (Ron Livingston) from being wrongfully accused for the death of Barry’s mother. In doing so, Barry creates a world where metahumans don’t exist, but an older version of Batman (Michael Keaton) does as well as Supergirl (Sasha Calle) instead of Superman.  

The Flash is a solid entry and a good closure for the old state of DC Comics on film. What started with 2013’s Man of Steel directed by Zack Snyder ends with Andy Muschietti’s film about our favorite Scarlet Speedster. This movie serves as a reboot for the new DCU slate of films led by James Gunn.

We Have to Learn to Let Go…Of the DCEU

As I was watching this movie, some moments were displayed on the screen that I thought were just wonderful and some that were very questionable choices. One of the best things this movie does is show how fast The Flash is and features some of the best uses I’ve seen displaying a character moving faster than the speed of light and the way the director chose to display the world around The Flash distorting and bending but also remaining still and in place was a great choice. There is even a scene where The Flash is running low on calories and must fuel up on food to continue to move fast and as he gets hungrier, the world around him starts to slowly move at a normal pace until he finds food again.

Some of the more questionable choices were some of the CGI or visual effects that are in this movie. There are some scenes that, as I mentioned above, are just stunning and visually amazing, and then there are other segments or choices that make you want to scratch your head. When Barry is standing next to his younger self from 2013, you can easily tell that it’s just a stunt double with a visual head replacement and it can kind of take you out of the experience simply because it doesn’t look human at all. There are times when it does work and there are times when it doesn’t work all too well.

Ben Affleck also makes his return as Batman in the movie and is much more of a mentor type of role than a vigilante, even though we get a pretty good action sequence with his Batman. Ben Affleck has gone on record stating he’s finally “nailed” Batman in this movie and I gotta agree with him. His Bruce Wayne is used more as a shoulder for Barry to lean on when he needs it and I think the scene we get of him as Bruce Wayne offering advice to Barry Allen is one of the best scenes for both characters as it shows how they have both matured in this franchise. It’s a shame that this is likely the last we’ll see of Affleck as Batman, though we should get a scene with him as The Dark Knight in Aquaman: The Lost Kingdom due out later this year.

You Wanna Get Nuts?

One of the biggest welcome returns to this movie is Michael Keaton as Batman. Returning to the role after Batman Returns premiered 31 years ago, Keaton is back in the cape and cowl and you can tell he had fun with this version of Batman, it’s kind of like he never even left, even though this version of Caped Crusader retired some time ago after Gotham City finally became a perfect city to live in. Michael Keaton’s role in the flick is to help Barry and 2013-Barry find Superman that’s locked in a Russian prison, though when they get there, they find out that it’s not Kal-El under lock and key.

There’s not much to not like about Keaton returning as Batman. As Batman fights goons and henchmen, the classic Danny Elfman theme swells throughout and you kind of feel like a kid again watching Batman take out bad guys left and right. As Batman scenes go in a DC flick, it’s one of the most entertaining scenes in the movie.

Supergirl Shines

Despite a minimal role, Sasha Calle as Supergirl has some of the best moments of the entire movie and as a fan of the Kryptonian family, I’d love to see her continue in James Gunn’s DC Universe as the Woman of Tomorrow. In the movie, she’s been locked in a prison in Russia for years, presumably since she arrived on Earth, and has formed a hatred for humanity. With this hatred fueling her, she’s reluctant even to help after Barry, 2013-Barry and Batman rescue her. Though after she witnesses Zod and Faora decimate a whole platoon of the military, she discovers that there is only one way to stop Zod and his henchmen.

The Flash 2023

Zod and Faora are once again played by Michael Shannon and Antje Traue, respectively and their role in this movie is more of a plot device than that of an antagonistic force for our heroes. After all, this is a movie about The Flash, not Superman. This sequence leads to something I didn’t really see playing out like it did. Usually in these big tentpole event films, in the 3rd act, we get huge CGI fights and there are explosions and, well it’s an event. Though in this movie, it ended with more of our Barry Allen realizing his mistakes and coming to terms with reality and that he can’t fix things that are fixed points in time because of the ramifications they’ll have. Ending this movie on essentially an argument with his younger self and the realization of his choice is a bold way to end it and I honestly thought it was a great way to wrap it all up.

It’s a Pretty Fun Time

I have to hand it to Ezra Miller in this movie, they proved that they can lead a blockbuster film. There are some really good touching moments with Barry and his mom and in one scene in particular towards the end, it’s almost a guaranteed tearjerker. Every actor in this movie did a great job, especially Sasha Calle as this was her cinematic debut in the film, and what a character to debut as.

The Flash certainly isn’t the best of all the comic book movies but it’s also not the worst of them all either. It’s a fun summer flick that I can recommend others to see and I’m sure you’ll have a good time watching it, though I have to say that it could shave off a few minutes to help with pacing. The Flash wraps up a journey that started with Man of Steel in 2013. While it’s not the perfect end of that era for DC Comics on film, it’s an ending that does a fine job of wrapping things up and the way the movie ends will definitely leave you with a surprise.

The Flash is out now in theaters.

Ezra Miller shows they can lead a film on their own.
Some of the best Batman sequences on film. 
Supergirl is a nice addition to the pantheon of DC Films
A touching/heartwarming story about a boy trying to save his mom and dad.
While the CGI is great in most spots, it’s rough in others and noticeable
Drags a little bit with its runtime.

Review Summary

It’s not a perfect film by any means, but strong performances by Ezra Miller and Michael Keaton make The Flash a lot of fun.

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