Introduction: Addressing Superhero Fatigue and Story Quality
With the entertainment industry grappling with superhero fatigue, it is crucial to acknowledge that the true issue may lie in poorly crafted narratives rather than the superhero genre itself. In this review, we delve into "The Flash" and explore its attempt to tackle the beloved Flashpoint storyline.
The Troubled Production and Casting Challenges
First and foremost, it is essential to recognize the uphill battle that director Andy Muschietti faced in handling this complex property. Following the departure of Zack Snyder and the consequential upheaval of the DC universe, "The Flash" encountered numerous setbacks, including the loss of two directors, script alterations, the removal of a key supporting character (Cyborg), multiple regime changes, and the uncertainty surrounding the actors' return. While these challenges cannot serve as excuses, they provide valuable context for evaluating the film. So in other words as we critique, we must do so with grace.
Andy Muschietti's - FlashPoint
"The Flash" sees the return of Ezra Miller, reprising his role as the Scarlet Speedster after his appearances in Zack Snyder's "Batman v Superman" and "Zack Snyder's Justice League." In this installment, his character re-discovers the ability to traverse not only moments but also days and potentially years within the timeline. Meeting Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), played by Batman, Barry Allen grapples with the profound implications of his newfound power. Bruce delivers a warning, setting the stage for the events that unfold.
Driven by his desire to prevent his mother's death, Barry Allen ventures back in time, inadvertently altering the course of history and creating an entirely new universe. However, meddling with the timeline brings about unintended consequences, resulting in a world devoid of meta-humans and superheroes. To complicate matters, General Zod (Michael Shannon) arrives in search of a Kryptonian, reminiscent of the "Man of Steel" plotline, yet this time, there is no Superman to save the day.
Both versions of Barry Allen enlist the help of Batman from this new reality, portrayed by the return of Michael Keaton. Together, they embark on a mission to locate the missing Kryptonian, only to discover that it is not Superman but Supergirl, Kara Zor-El. The the four fo them unite to stop Zod only to find there efforts futile. In order to change this Both Barry's decide to change the past once again.
Mixed Reception: The Good and the Bad
The Good: Drawing Inspiration from the Source Material
"The Flash" draws inspiration from the Flashpoint comic series, introducing elements from the DC multiverse. While it does not adhere strictly to the source material, it offers an entertaining glimpse into this expansive fictional universe. Ezra Miller's performance in his original timeline is commendable, capturing the character's emotional depth, inner turmoil, and inherent awkwardness. Kudos to Ezra for a heartfelt portrayal.
The Bad: Formulaic and Lackluster CGI
Regrettably, "The Flash" falls victim to a formulaic approach and disappointingly lackluster CGI. The subpar visual effects detract from the storytelling, resulting in a less immersive experience. The film missed an opportunity to create a mind-blowing Flashpoint adaptation, settling instead for a diluted version of the source material. Furthermore, the excessive reliance on 80s nostalgia, which may not resonate with a significant portion of comic book movie fans, fails to hit the mark.
Keaton's Batman, Inconsistent Characterizations, and Lack of Originality
Michael Keaton's portrayal of Batman left much to be desired, lacking the heart and depth that fans expected. His character came across as a deranged individual, desperately seeking an encounter with his own death. Additionally, Supergirl's perpetually moody demeanor throughout the film hindered her ability to shine. Furthermore, Barry Allen's inexplicable dark turn for Kara, a character he barely knew, came across as contrived. The dark Flash ending, with Barry sacrificing himself, felt predictable and lacked originality.
The film's main flaw lies in its failure to present a compelling and coherent threat. The narrative primarily revolves around Barry Allen's desire to return to his respective universes, resulting in a rather lackluster and unengaging plotline. Lastly there we some questionable moments used to illicit humor, like the puzzling decision to fashion a makeshift costume for Barry by disassembling Batman's bulletproof armor with an exacto knife defies logic and deflates the story's credibility.
Conclusion: A Missed Opportunity
"The Flash" had the potential to be great. Unfortunately, it falls short of expectations. The underwhelming CGI, irrelevant cameos, illogical narrative choices, and overall lack of substance hinder its ability to deliver a captivating cinematic experience. Instead of seizing the opportunity to create an epic adaptation, the film settles for mediocrity. Perhaps it is time to listen to the fans' desires for well-crafted narratives and rethink the approach to future DC movies.
Final Grade C-