- THE FLASH
- Starring: Ezra Miller and Sasha Calle
- Directed by: Andy Muschietti
- Rating: PG-13
- Running Time: 2 hrs 24 mins
- Warner Bros.
I find it tragic that the DC Extended Universe is coming to a halt thanks to James Gunn’s takeover and future reboot. In comparison to Marvel Studios, the DCEU’s releases have admittedly been uneven – who can forget “Wonder Woman” but who wants to remember “Birds of Prey”? Yet, the DCEU brand was often darker than the Marvel slate, which gave its own uniqueness. While “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” is set for launch in December, it will have a hard time not being anti-climatic after following the absolute thrill ride that is “The Flash.” Overflowing with surprises (this review will be spoiler free), “The Flash” is one of the best DCEU movies ever made with a terrific, dual performance by Ezra Miller and great supporting performances by Sasha Calle as Supergirl and Michael Keaton as Batman.
After helping Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) stop a robbery in Gotham City, Barry Allen/The Flash (Ezra Miller) revisits his childhood home where his beloved mother was murdered. Still grieving her loss and dealing with anger of his father being wrongly imprisoned, Barry accidentally travels back in time using the speed force. He tells Bruce who warns him of the dangers of messing with the past. Of course, Barry ignores it.
While attempting to fix his family’s tragedy, Barry is attacked by an unknown assailant and is knocked back to the year 2013 where he encounters an alternate version of himself. When General Zod (Michael Shannon) arrives, the two Barrys try to assemble the Justice League, but it proves futile with one exception. It is at Wayne Manor they find a much older, disheveled Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton).
Our Barry and Bruce learn the Russians are holding who Barry thinks is Superman but turns out to be his cousin, Kara Zor-El/Supergirl (Sasha Calle, TV’s “The Young and the Restless”). Their plan is to free her and find a way to stop General Zod, but time and fate have certain rules as our Barry learns.
Directed by Andy Muschietti (2017’s “It”), “The Flash” is a thrilling experience full of surprises from start to finish. Some of the special effects may not look so special to some, but that’s more a matter of personal taste to a degree. The storyline has a good deal of emotional depth when it comes to Barry’s history and complexities, which are fleshed out with skill by Miller. It is rare for someone to pull off a good performance at playing a double of themselves and Miller succeeds with flying colors. The most enjoyable aspect, and the one that received the most vocal response from the audience yours truly saw it with, is the appearance of Keaton who has a substantial role in the story. It is a joy to say the least to see him on the silver screen once more as the caped crusader.
Is there such a thing as superhero fatigue? Perhaps. I have believed since the original “Blade” that comic movies would become the new Western, a once overly prolific genre. What it boils down to is the writing and an ability to maintain a high creative level that will keep the movie-going public’s interest. “The Flash” may be a victim of that fatigue, which would be disappointing as it is a truly fun summer flick in every sense.
“The Flash” receives three-and-a-half stars out of five.