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Movie Reviews

The Flash ★★★★



Director: Andrés Muschietti

Cast: Ezra Miller, Michael Keaton, Ben Affleck, Sasha Calle

Released: June 14th 2023

*Warning: This Article Contains Spoilers*

The Flash is the latest superhero in the interminable DC universe to win their own movie. Taking his place alongside really famous heroes like Superman and Aquaman, and the more specious ones like Shazam and Green Arrow, The Flash has ascended to the hallowed CGI action movie stratosphere.

Aside from the perennially incongruous time-travel quandaries, where the end of the movie would make the beginning of the movie impossible et al., there were some really fun moments in this film. The introductory scene setting is brief and well-done, teaching us that The Flash, muggle name: Barry Allen, is an awkward, perpetually late and constantly hungry virgin who self-identifies as ‘the janitor of the justice league’. 

There were some great puns and some self-aware moments of comedy about how the justice league is famously terrible at offering mental health support to the many thousands of collateral damage NPCs they leave in their wake. The quote of the film has to go to Batman, who, finding himself entangled in Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth, concedes that if he really wanted to eliminate crime, he should eliminate poverty. I love feeling the Millennial-ness of the writers through the script. 

The film was let down by its overreliance on CGI. It’s just so much more difficult to connect with characters when the uncanny valley ick is distracting your attention from the (super)human struggles they are supposed to be going through. They could have saved a few quid from their reported $220 million budget and swapped in more live-action instead of Spenny and unsatisfying CGI. An insipid nuclear family flashback vignette also turned my stomach in its over-the-top attempt to remind us that death is sad. 

The Flash won me back through the arts and crafts suit-making montage. I also enjoyed Supergirl’s (Sasha Calle) inexplicably luscious graduated bob haircut, assiduously maintained throughout her decades of incarceration inside a kryptonite sphere prison. Ezra Miller is so good at crying; they give ugly snot face crying, pensive single-tear crying, and everything in between. Miller did a convincing job of portraying the two different Barrys, and I was impressed with the charisma and energy they brought to the roles, given how difficult it must be to act the two lead characters.

The soundtrack was energizing and fun, and there were some laugh-out-loud moments that me and the one other guy in the cinema enjoyed. Michael Keaton as Batman was understated and pleasingly gruff. Ben Affleck, as Batman, was suave and functional. Secret surprise guy as Batman was surprising and funny. And the gratuitous cameo from CGI Nicholas Cage felt like Goldilocks porridge; just the right level of poking fun at the entire DC universe, meme-riven pop culture, and the superhero genre. 

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