Filmhounds Magazine

All things film – In print and online

The Flash (Film Review)

3 min read
Test

Multiverse has been a concept that many films have started to obsess over. Marvel incorporated it into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness while critically-acclaimed Everything Everywhere all at Once went on to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. So, with the craze now in full force it was only a matter of time before DC adapted their Flashpoint storyline for the big screen.

 

follows Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) as he uses his power to run back in time to save his mother from being murdered. In doing so, he accidentally creates a world without heroes and General Zod (Michael Shannon) has returned. To defeat him, his only hope rest in the hands of a retired Batman (Michael Keaton), another Barry (also Ezra Miller) and an imprisoned kryptonian (Sasha Calle). 

After Zack Snyder's Justice League, it was safe to say that many were looking forward to seeing The Flash return and the opening action sequence in this film proves why. The film shows the titular character working with his teammate, Batman (Ben Affleck), to stop a robbery. This gives us a glimpse at the action for what would take place in the film and as the movie progresses, the action gets bigger in scale mixed with an abundance of CGI.

 

Ezra Miller is also excellent here; delivering not one but two great performances. They're able to play the Flash we met in Justice League while also playing an alternate version of the character which comes across as incredibly well done in the final product. Both characters are given lots of time to develop both of their arcs and the relationship between the two of them on screen is incredibly well done. 

 

Michael Keaton is also great here, playing an older Batman that plays really nicely into the story and themes that the movie has. Sometimes the rubbery suit doesn't gel with the locations of the scenes but at least Keaton hasn't skipped a beat as the character. 

Sasha Calle is definitely the standout here though. While not having lots of screen time, she chews up every moment she is in and is very imposing and convincing when going face-to-face with General Zod (as seen in the trailer). 

However, the main issue with The Flash definitely is the visual effects. Most scenes in the latter half of the film look extremely fake and will certainly be a head-scratcher to many when the film cost approximately $220 million. They are similar to PS3 cutscenes and when they're using Man of Steel (a film from ten years ago, notorious for brilliant VFX) as the groundwork for the story, this looks horrific in comparison. 

The cameos are also extremely questionable in the movie. While there is one that is quite effective and amusing, the rest are either coated in shoddy CGI or are downright insulting. What makes them even more bizarre is that they're completely pointless within the film and could have easily been cut. Thankfully, they're mostly contained to just one scene but, nevertheless, it seems insulting that they even made it into the final product.

 

Another problem is that compared to other Multiverse movies, The Flash doesn't offer anything new. The film follows similar story beats as Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse which is a much more refined and polished film. That film also digs deeper into the themes and consequences of disrupting the Multiverse too which makes it the more compelling story. However, it is a vast improvement on last year's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which unlike the title suggests, barely utilises the Multiverse concept.

 

Overall, The Flash is far from one of DC's best movies but it's a fun two and a half hours of escapism. The film has some great moments and a lot of heart but falls short of greatness due to poor visual effects and feeling all too similar to Across the Spider-Verse which only released a few weeks ago. Nevertheless, it's a fun time and feels like a great swansong to this DC Universe. 

The Flash is in cinemas now.