Ok look, unless you’re a big-time Comic Book fan, you probably don’t really care about ‘The Flash’ that much. Maybe I’m wrong, but I didn’t have any idea who Barry Allen was until a few years ago. All I know is that he could run really fast. Credit to Warner Bros, DC and Zack Snyder for making me more familiar going into this film, but even so The Flash isn’t that high on the super-hero hierarchy for me. If I’m being real honest, the biggest draw of this movie for me was seeing Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman one last time.
That promise was certainly delivered on.
‘The Flash’ is a movie that really doesn’t do too much to separate itself from the dozens of super-hero movies we get every year, but it is one that relies heavily on fan-service to keep you happy.
So, If you’re on the fence about whether or not you should see ‘The Flash’ here are 3 Big Things to consider:
1. The CGI is absolute dog-s#!t.
I’ll go ahead and get the biggest complaint out of the way first. And Director Andy Muschietti can say “it was meant to look like that” all he wants, but there just isn’t any escaping it. This probably has to be one of the worst looking movies of the past decade. It’s always difficult critiquing artists in a harsh way (especially since I wouldn’t even know where to begin when rendering any sort of image), but the visual effects here are so distracting they completely take you out of the movie–sometimes in huge moments.
Not to sound too much like your dad on this Father’s Day weekend, but this is unacceptable. Especially in 2023 where CGI can be used so well you don’t even realize that’s what you’re seeing. This felt more like the CGI from ‘The Matrix Reloaded’ repurposed by Warner Bros. in an attempt to meet a deadline. The truth is that this movie was sitting on the shelf for a bit…plenty of time to polish and get this movie ready for a wide audience. Possibly more evidence of Warner Bros. attempting to save a buck.
2. This isn’t the “game-changing” super-hero movie that we were promised.
After many early and secret screenings coming out of Hollywood, the word on the street was ‘The Flash’ was possibly the best super-hero movie since 2008’s ‘The Dark Knight’. There were even reports of Tom Cruise and Stephen King reaching out to Andy Muschietti to praise him for the work that was done on the film months before release. Momentum seemed to be building and every indication was that this movie would blow us away.
In reality, it seems to fall short of those expectations. It certainly isn’t a bad movie, but I think the expectations were set a bit too high. Perhaps Tom Cruise was really excited about seeing Michael Keaton play Batman again? Maybe Stephen King enjoys a good flying-baby sequence? Who knows, but ‘The Flash’ falls a few rungs short of being considered an top-tier superhero film.
3. All-Star Cameos will ultimately be this film’s lasting legacy.
Fan-service is really what ‘The Flash’ does well and there is no better measuring stick for that than cameos. We wont spoil anything for you here, but there are a handful of fantastic and fun cameos that span the gamut of DC and Warner Bros. It’s truly what makes the movie have those big-pop moments and keeps you invested. While that is a lot of fun, it’s certainly not what you want to build a whole movie around. Unfortunately there isn’t a whole lot more to the substance of ‘The Flash’ than really great surprise moments.
‘The Flash’ for all of it’s faults is still a fun and entertaining movie that serves as a fitting end to the “Snyderverse” years of DC movies. It would feel like a step in the right direction if not for Warner Bros and DC turning over a new leaf and starting from scratch with Peter Saffran and James Gunn at the helm. I would certainly recommend checking this one out in a theater with an audience if you feel invested with the story. If not, it’s certainly one worth checking out when it premieres on MAX in the coming months.
3/5 Swedish Fish
You can also listen/watch the latest episode of the 3 BIG THINGS PODCAST where Austin and I have a deeper conversation on ‘ The Flash” and dive into SPOILER territory. Check it out here: