First things first. This is not a ‘Batman’ film as many people have assumed it to be. This is truly a ‘Flash’ film which does feature the Batman in a limited screen time sort of appearance.
Andy Muschietti has created something which DC fans thought they would never get to see. An almost perfect blend of action, story and humor which almost all DCEU movies have been devoid off. Zach Snyder’s Justice League got the story and action right but was extremely gloomy (not that I am complaining) for the most part. With ‘The Flash’, we end up getting an older MCU style film which not only entertains but also gives us a peak into how future DC films could look like. It answers the question “What if someone does get it right and make a DC film to rival some of the best MCU films?”
Barry Allen aka The Flash (Ezra Miller) is going about his boring non-superhero life until he is called on by Alfred to help teammate Batman (Ben Affleck) with a rescue mission. The rescue mission itself is quite funny but after that he bumps into Iris West (who seems to have forgotten their chance encounter in Zach Snyder’s Justice League) who reminds him of his dad’s court hearing. Barry figures out a way to go back in time but after warnings from Bruce Wayne not to mess with time, he still decides to go ahead with his plan to save his mother.
Barry ends up in a time where his mother is alive, his dad is not in prison but he has to deal with another version of himself who is a spoilt slacker. While everything seems fine at first, he soon realizes that him messing with time had created big repercussions like Zod attacking earth looking for Superman which was a problem as the Justice League did not exist at the time. Barry reaches out for help to the only other Justice League member he knew existed in that timeline which leads us to Michael Keaton‘s Batman who had been living in his mansion as a retired older Bruce Wayne. Barry does meet other characters like Supergirl (Sasha Calle) along the way to get back to his original timeline. There are some great cameos and surprises which is best to be left out of this review.
Ezra Miller definitely deserves a lot of praise for his portrayal of two different Barry Allen’s who are polar opposites of each other. Although the storyline relies heavily on the incidents preceding Justice League, if someone watches this movie as their first DCEU film, they should be able to follow it pretty easily. The rest of the cast did an excellent job.
Muschietti did a great job with all the action sequences. Personally, my favorite scene in the film is when Barry approaches Bruce Wayne and tries to convince him that he can go back in time and not only save his mother but also Bruce’s parents. The expression and Bruce’s reaction to Barry’s thinking is one where he knows that it is not possible and he has learned to live with it, being the older and wiser of the two. It also shows that Barry is not mature enough to think at that level and hopes more than he should. There were small action scenes where the CGI did not look completely polished but for the most part, it was solid. The background score is the one area where they could have belted out some heavy tunes but it seemed to take a second fiddle to everything happening visually on screen which was a huge letdown.
‘The Flash’ is the DC film that fans have been waiting for years. Although it had gone thru production issues and took many years to be made, it is definitely a good step in the right direction. This movie does a lot of fan service which is great to see. It would be interesting to see how the new heads of DC films use any success they get out of this film to kickstart the new DC universe.