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The Flash review: A film that perfectly symbolises the chaos at DC and WB

Andy Muschietti’s film features a few standout performances but it fails both as a compelling film and as a vehicle for James Gunn’s new DCU.

The Flash review: A film that perfectly symbolises the chaos at DC and WB

Last Updated: 02.35 PM, Feb 26, 2024


Story: Barry Allen/The Flash makes a last-ditch effort to find evidence to exonerate his father from wrongful imprisonment for the murder of his mother. But as it becomes increasingly evident that his father would continue to remain in prison, Barry decides to use his powers to travel back in time to save his parents.


Review: The hype surrounding The Flash was nothing short of monumental. There were even reports of Hollywood bigwigs like Tom Cruise, personally requested for an early screener and called it a masterpiece. These reports reek of cheap PR, or a very expensive PR stunt, depending on how one perceives it. Regardless, when the film’s trailers were released they were not too flattering, and the CGI in some of the scenes are an eyesore. Fans were nevertheless cautiously optimistic that the final cut of the film would offer better visuals. Unfortunately, the film is riddled with amateurish CGI, and the cinematography is worse than some of the Marvel films.


It is baffling how a studio could fumble with a story and ensemble cast with much potential. Unlike most Marvel films, DC Films had the luxury of being able to adapt one of the most iconic stories from the comics/animated films – Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. Warner Bros may have always intended to adapt some version of the Flashpoint storyline, but the series of changes in both management and the creative department appears to have resulted in a very contrived version of the iconic story. Zack Snyder’s original Snyderverse was possibly heading towards a Flashpoint storyline closer to Geoff John’s original version, considering Snyder cast Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Lauren Cohen as Thomas and Martha Wayne – two very pivotal characters in Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox.


The new film The Flash, has taken a few elements from the Flashpoint storyline, combined it with a few familiar tropes about time travel and multiverses, and has ended up being one of the worst adaptations – not even on par with CW’s iteration of the storyline in the Flash TV series. This does not bode well for James Gunn and his plans for the newly rebranded DC cinematic universe called the DCU. The very least the film could have offered was at least a bit of clarity on what lies ahead for the DCU. The lack of transparency regarding the DCU means that fans would not be invested in upcoming DC projects such as Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom.


Of course, the elephant in the room must be addressed, and it is regarding the lead actor Ezra Miller, who has been involved in several altercations with the law. But if one were to separate the art from the artist, it has to be acknowledged that Miller delivers a nuanced performance as the titular hero. Michael Keaton also has his moment to shine as an older version of Batman. However, Ben Affleck, Michael Shannon, Sasha Calle, and the rest of the cast are under-utilised. Whereas the cameos from other stars ended up being cheap shock value. Even the most ardent of DC fans will find very few aspects to cheer for in the film.


Verdict: Andy Muschietti’s film features a few standout performances, but it fails both as a compelling film and as a vehicle for James Gunn’s new DCU. The comparisons to the animated film Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox are inevitable, and it is quite remarkable how a studio can squander a story with such potential.


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