Cinematic Considerations: The Flash

Plot: “Barry Allen uses his super speed to change the past, but his attempt to save his family creates a world without superheroes, forcing him to race for his life to save the future.” -IMDB

Review: The Flash deserved better. It deserved a star whose off-screen antics did not spell disaster for the hero he represented. It deserved a studio that was less concerned with the competition and more focused on telling great stories. It deserved to be told methodically, independently, and with an unflinching desire to tie rich characters to a broader world. It deserved leaders who understand what the story and all the stories spanning the DC Universe mean to the audience.

On its own two feet, it is a fine film with an interesting plot and a unique take on the established world. But its cameos and introductions to new characters feel dirtier than fan-service. They can feel like an apology for everything the studio got wrong. Seeing Michael Keaton reprise his role as Batman or the introduction of Super Girl feels like an olive branch I am not ready to receive.
I adore the stories and characters of DC. These comic books were foundational to me. They unlocked my imagination and made me fall deeply in love with the written word. The opening scene of this film, which features The Flash, Batman, and Wonder Woman working together, is the joy I should have been feeling when we were first introduced to Superman all those years ago. The emotional weight of Barry Allen’s (Ezra Miller) origin story and reason for being is something that should have been ever present. This has not been the case. Since the introduction to the Snyder-verse, the films have felt like knock-off handbags mimicking the best of Marvel.

And the timing could not have been worse. After years of disappointment and Marvel seemingly stuck in a phase without direction, DC introduces us to their version of the multiverse in this film. Flash tries to undo the loss of his mother by going back in time, but the concept doesn’t feel as nuanced as when it was read on the page. Once again, DC could not get out of their own way.

Like I said, The Flash deserved better, and it is apparent to me that fans are punishing it because of past mistakes. I hope the leadership at Warner Bros. and James Gunn are paying attention. If you want my unsolicited advice, slow down, make thoughtful decisions, pull this world together with joy and emotional weight as a centerpiece. Also, treat your fans with respect.

Be good to each other,  



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