Warner Bros. Pictures and DC’s The Flash has finally hit the big screen. Before its release, the film staggered out of the gate due to its lead actor, Ezra Miller’s legal actions. Still, it regained its posture when the first trailer was released and revealed Michael Keaton’s Batman and Sasha Calle’s Supergirl in action. The film has Miller and Ben Affleck, who starred as Barry Allen/The Flash and Batman, respectively, in Zack Snyder’s Justice League film returning along with Michael Keaton, Sasha Calle, Michael Shannon, Ron Livingston, Maribel Verdú, Kiersey Clemons, and Antje Traue.
This film was inspired by Geoff Johns 2011 Flashpoint limited comic book miniseries, which follows Barry Allen as he wakes up in a timeline where he is no longer the Flash and superheroes like Superman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, and Aquaman are vastly different from their main timeline counterparts.
The story in the film differs and remains the same as the story that it’s inspired by in that it follows Barry traveling back in time to prevent his mother’s death and becoming stuck within this new timeline where there aren’t any metahumans. He meets a version of himself in this new timeline. Barry from the main timeline has some issues returning to his main timeline, but that isn’t the only problem he has. Zod invades Earth looking for the Kryptonian that fell to Earth years ago, which pushes the two Barrys to try to piece together a new Justice League to stop Zod.
Don’t let your familiarity with Flashpoint make you think you know where this story is going because you’re in for a ride. However, as should be expected, the film relies heavily on emotions, which is excellent. Unlike the other recent DC films, The Flash introduces a well-balanced and well-paced story. The combination of comedy, action, and emotional settings paints a film that shines brightly among its predecessors. Andy Muschietti was a great choice to helm this film. He brought a bit of horror and despair to the story. John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein, and Joby Harold did a good job with the story, although it lacked some flavor.
Miller is more grounded and less awkward in this film. Not only has the character grown, being that the film takes place years after the Justice League film, but Miller has a tighter grasp on the character he’s portraying, making him more likable. What we see here is a broken Barry. The scenes with Miller and Maribel Verdú (Barry’s mother) were heartwarming. The chemistry the two shared on the screen shined bright. The heaviness of losing his mother has been reopened due to his father’s upcoming trial. We see Barry’s wound fester throughout the entire film and see how not treating that wound correctly can affect people in and out of Barry’s life.
Seeing Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne and Batman was a dream come true. It was like he never left the role. However, Keaton’s Batman stands on his own. Although his appearance comes later in the film, the time we spend with him is satisfying. Affleck’s time in the cape and cowl was short but also excellent.
Sasha Calle’s Supergirl was solid, but I hope we get to see more from her Supergirl. We spend little time getting to know her character, so a standalone Supergirl film in James Gunn’s new DC universe is necessary.
The Flash stands on its own as a good film, but it feels like this should’ve been the last film in The Flash trilogy, not the first. Also, the film relied heavily on its cameos to move the story forward, especially toward the end. I won’t mention the cameos here because it’s spoiler territory. Were the cameos worth the hype? You better believe it, but I would’ve liked to see a more Barry-centered story instead of the Flashpoint story as his first standalone film. In a way, it felt like the cameos they tossed in were placed there for damage control.
The Flash is worth going to see. It has a well-balanced story, surprising cameos, and tear-jerking moments. It’s the best DC film since Zack Snyder’s Justice League.