The reviews for The Flash have rolled in, and it’s time to see how the next DC film is going to fare. Lets take a look and see.
The Flash ends on a purposefully open note (and a pretty good joke), so that if the film succeeds at the box office, Miller’s Barry can run again another day. If it doesn’t, the precedent is set for a full continuity reset. Whatever DC movies await us in the future, let’s hope they avoid multiverses. It’s well-trod territory at this point, even for a speedster. Grade: C+
But this is not a movie with any new ideas or dramatic rethinking, and – at the risk of re-opening the DC/Marvel sectarian wound – nothing to compare with the much-lauded animation experiment in the recent Spider-Man films. The intellect in this intellectual property is draining away.
The early word on The Flash calling it one of the greatest superhero movies ever made was pure hyperbole. But in the bumpy recent history of the DC Extended Universe, it’s certainly an above-average entry.
This is what a true talent does with a tailor-made role, and what the star of The Flash does here, twice. That’s not what we’ll walk away from the movie thinking about first and foremost, however. It is not what we’ll talk about when we talk about Ezra Miller. Which, in the same full-circle sense that this tale of superhumans and unfortunate fates operates on, brings us right back to where we began. This beleagured cinematic universe has finally hit upon a winning film, and one that will be forever tainted. It’s not the most tragic thing regarding the person whirling at the center of it all — not by a long shot. But it is a reminder that you can make a superhero movie that seeks to unite all worlds but can’t quite reckon with the one outside the theater. And it’s proof that you can always run as fast as your superhuman intellectual property can manage, but there are things that you simply aren’t able to hide.
TThe thing is, none of it makes a lot of sense. In “The Flash,” the multiverse of possibilities that opens up by toying with the past becomes an excuse to throw everything but the Batcave sink at the audience. Despite the vividness of its star, the movie steamrolls Ezra Miller’s personality as it goes along. The climactic battle against General Zod, with its kamikaze Batplane death zooms, its plumes of black smoke rising from the ground, its overblown sound and fury, is working too hard to engulf us after a story that did a nifty job of beguiling us. For a while, Ezra Miller brings it. But they deserved better, and so do we.
As of publication, the film holds a 73% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Flash is scheduled to hit theaters on June 16, 2023.