“One of the great lessons of time travel is that many things cannot be changed. Time wants to happen.” - Rip Hunter
Although entirely too early to outright say as a fact, it would at least appear that the mere presence of James Gunn in the now dubbed DCU is a kind of good luck charm. Of course credit must go to director Andy Muschietti and his talented team of writers and creators behind and in front of the lens. I guess what I’m saying, or hoping for, is a turn in the right direction for DC. They’ve had their flukes in the past like the first Shazam! or Wonder Woman so to claim everything is fixed suddenly after one movie is premature. But since the guidance of Gunn has taken hold we have The Suicide Squad and now the release of The Flash. Call me blindly optimistic but after so many years of subpar at best releases I would say it’s time for things to turn around. I hope The Flash is that spark. I hope it’s that much needed turning point.
If you couldn’t tell by all that I think The Flash is good. In fact I’d say it’s damn good. It seems like there was one day when superhero movies weren’t viable or commonplace and then almost overnight they became the hot ticket in Hollyweird. We are at a point when the argument that there may be too many superhero movies is being discussed daily. According to Google we are at fifty-five live-action superhero movies. That’s a lot. And as we all have discovered long ago, Hollyweird runs out of fresh ideas quite often. The superhero genre is no exception to this unfortunate rule. Black Adam is a prime example of what has already become a formulaic storyline replete with genre tropes at every turn. There’s a reason Dwayne Johnson is returning to the Fast & Furious franchise when he swore up and down he would never go back. Black Adam failed and for good reason.
The people behind The Flash have thankfully avoided the trappings of repetitive, safe and monotonous superhero clichés. Instead they have made something ambitious and clever and undoubtedly hilarious. Yes The Flash is a comedy if I ever saw one. What makes it feel natural or rather appropriate is the integration of humor, drama and action to form together one first-rate movie that just happens to feature superheroes. If the storyline can function without the entire focus being on heroes v. villains but rather includes it in a story that is primarily about family and the lengths we go to for that family I think it’s a winning formula. The Flash aka Barry Allen is a young man plagued by the death of his mother. In the process of losing his mother, his father was placed with the blame and is staring down a future of life in prison. Can Barry save his father? Not as the Flash but as the young, aspiring forensic chemist intent on proving his father’s innocence. He is a son in pain trying to prove what he believes to his very core and he just so happens to be one of the fastest humans alive with an ability to alter his very timeline simply by moving faster than the time barrier. And this is where the troubles for Barry truly begin.
Say what you will about the actor as a person, as Barry Allen and The Flash, Ezra Miller is a star capable of humor and dramatic emotion that he carries confidently and brilliantly. At his side is the amazing, dream worthy addition of Michael Keaton as the one, the only (in his timeline) Bruce Wayne aka Batman. And when I say the man hasn't lost a step as the Caped Crusader I mean it. He is aged and grizzled and without purpose when a young Barry Allen enters his life and bestows upon Bruce the burden and gift of purpose. At first reluctant but remembering a time when those who needed help called for him and he would come running, or flying in his Batwing or hauling ass down the highway in his coveted Batmobile, Bruce once again dons the cowl and serves up massive amounts of justice to those earthbound and beyond. I promise his presence in this movie is far more than just a glorified, hyped up cameo. He is a pivotal, glorious aspect to Barry’s success or failure.
Many of the best parts of The Flash I simply can’t tell you about. I went in knowing only the basic idea of the story and let me say that is the best way to experience all of the fun this movie is ready to provide. It’s flashy (pun), epic and grand in just about every way. It may overreach at times taking the levels of implausibility off the charts but it’s about a man faster than literal time and light. Implausible is sort of its bread and butter. Needless to say, I’ll say it anyway, suspension of belief is an absolute necessity. But if you don’t already know that going into a superhero movie I can’t help you, no one can. The Flash in a nutshell is just fun as hell and entertaining in equal measure. It’s the first time in a long time I can say without trepidation or hesitation that a DC live-action movie is everything it promised it would be. I hope it is that spark DC has long been searching for because I am more than ready for more awesome stories about fast superhumans, Dark Knights and flying residents of Krypton and beyond.
Rated PG-13 For: sequences of violence and action, some strong language and partial nudity
Runtime: 144 minutes
After Credits Scene: Yes
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Starring: Ezra Miller, Michael Keaton, Sasha Calle, Kiersey Clemons
Directed By: Andy Muschietti
Out of 10
Story: 9.5/ Acting: 9/ Directing: 8.5/ Visuals: 10
Buy to Own: Yes
Check out the trailer below: