DC has not had the best track record as of late. Marvel, whether I liked the films or not has been dominating the superhero film sphere for so long, that it probably hasn’t been since The Dark Knight where DC has made a huge splash. I think that is going to change for better and for worse when it comes to The Flash. With that in mind let’s address the elephant in the room which is obviously Ezra Miller. With this review, I’m going to review the film for what was put in front of me. It’s important to judge art for what it is and not based on aspects not related to the film. However, I will at the end discuss it from a consumer view and whether Ezra affects that part of the film-going experience.
The Flash follows Barry Allan as he struggles to balance their work life, superhero life and personal life. His Dads appeal hearing is fast approaching and one day Barry wonders, what would happen if he went back and time and changed it so that his mother doesn’t die. At its core, the film is about loss and trauma. It explores the idea of does trauma make us who we are. How horrific events can alter our lives forever and what it’s like to lose loved ones. All those things I’ve listed are the film’s biggest strengths. No matter the fan service that is shown, no matter the musical call-backs that occur the film always goes back to those key themes of loss and trauma. Don’t get me wrong is it rad as hell when the 89 Batman theme plays, and Michael Keaton’s Batman is kicking ass. Yeah, it is but we build to those moments, so they felt earned and not just simply oh look he said the line. Even then everything links back to its core messaging and themes which are simply refreshing to see.
Even how it tackles the multiverse which is slowly becoming a boring subject matter at this point, feels refreshing. While certain aspects have been touched upon in other projects. The Flash approaches these aspects from a new perspective that leads to an overall story and lore that is simply gripping to watch. Which is helped by the great acting. Ezra Miller is excellent as Barry Allan in this film. The 2 Barrys we follow don’t feel and act the same. So your never watching the film and going but which is Barry from the previous films and which is the new one and that all comes down to Ezra’s performance. Everyone else is also great. Michael Keaton is just rad as Bruce Wayne/Batman it feels like he just slid back into an old outfit he hasn’t worn in years, and it fits perfectly. Ben Affleck continues to prove that he is a great Batman and Sasha Calle is decent as Supergirl. To be honest, she was the weakest member of the cast, but I don’t know if that’s because of her performance or because of how the character was used.
From the opening moments, the momentum is at 100mph, we go from a silly comedy scene involving the slowest sandwich order in history, straight into a fun and exciting action scene within seconds. The action throughout is very solid. Everything is shot clearly so you never feel lost or confused about what is happening. But the CGI can be noticeable at times and while some moments are forgivable some feel like old PS3 graphics and the usage of the bad CGI at certain moments feels more in bad taste than something to be excited about.
The Flash is a spectacle, it’s a superhero film that in a very saturated market feels refreshing. I hope DC keeps up the quality going forward as, to be honest, I would love to see DC on top of the superhero genre.
I was lucky enough to attend a press screening of this film in London so in essence, I didn’t pay to see this film. We can be pedantic and say that because I went down to London and spent money on the trip, I did pay to see it. However nothing I spent will be going into the film’s box office. So, when it comes to you the consumer it is your choice if you want to go and see this film. If like myself, you think Ezra Miller is a legit terrible person and you don’t want to support the media they are in. Then don’t see this film. If you can overlook the terrible person aspect, then maybe go see this film. Being a consumer of media means you can vote with your wallet and if you believe the £15 plus depending on the location and format you will see the film in is too much support for a person that has committed horrific acts and has suffered no consequences then I respect your decision. But at the same time, I’m not going to shun or act like people are terrible for going to see this film. While Ezra Miller might earn a lot of money from this film, it’s not my place to judge what media someone consumes and if the real-life issues Ezra has caused have not affected your excitement for this film then I’m happy for you and I hope you have a great time. It is not my job in theory to say if you should see a film or not. It’s mine to critique the film I saw, whether you as the consumer want to see it is your decision. Vote with your wallet.
By Robert Drever