Barry Allen uses his super speed to change the past, but his attempt to save his family creates a world without super heroes, forcing him to race for his life in order to save the future.

Chuck says:

In the end, it’s all about a can of tomatoes.

That’s what you realize once you get to the end of Andy Muschietti’s “The Flash,” a lark of a superhero film that takes the viewer not only back in time and to the future but across plains of reality to other universes.  A long time coming to the screen, this is by far the most fun of the DC Comics movies, one that bends the knee to the fans, giving long-time sufferers of the “almost-not-quite-good-enough” productions featuring Warner Brothers’ stable of heroes what they’ve wanted all along. Featuring one throwback after another to Zack Snyder’s version of the characters as well as others before that, this is a crossover film that wisely delves into the history of these pop culture icons, the movie populated by a variety of iterations, even some that never existed but were meant to be.

Though at times it may seem like an inventory of the studios’ properties, at its core this is a belated origin story as the circumstances revolving around how Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) became the Flash is finally told on screen. However, this comes after the first act is completed and when the Scarlet Speedster commits a monumental mistake. Discovering he can go back in time, Allen decides to return to the day his mother (Maribel Verdu) was murdered in order to prevent her death. Just as Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) warned him his actions could have a profound ripple effect, Allen soon figures out something is amiss when he meets another Barry Allen, who has no superpowers, and realizes he never returned to his own timeline but is trapped in another where everything is the same, but different.

Miller proves to be the linchpin to the entire film as he creates not just one sympathetic character but two, the actor gleefully bringing to life the small but key differences between the two Barrys. Juggling the mature version with the goofy one, and then through digital trickery, filming each scene twice when the dual Flashes are together, this allows the actor to display their range to great effect.  These performances are so convincing and nuanced that you forget you’re watching the same actor, the two characters rendered so distinctively.

Perhaps the biggest piece of news surrounding this production is the return of Michael Keaton as Batman. The actor’s presence is far from a stunt, his gravitas grounding the film, as he gives us a weary Caped Crusader who’s hung up his cape and cowl.  He’s convinced to don his iconic costume once more when the Barrys ask him to come to their aid in battling the Kryptonian General Zod (Michael Shannon), who’s shown up to take over the Earth.  Reasoning there must be a Superman in this universe, the trio sets out to find the Last Son of Krypton but instead stumble upon his cousin Kara (a winning Sasha Calle), who possesses formidable powers of her own.

As smart as the film is – get a load of Batman’s spaghetti-aided explanation of the multiverse – it does fall prey to the seemingly inescapable bloated third act. I understand these movies revolve around enormous threats and that larger-than-life action is needed to address them, as well as meet fan expectations. All I’m asking is that it be wrapped up a bit more quickly. The final throwdown with the Zod and his army goes on far too long, though it does segue into one of the movie’s more poignant moments as well as a major revelation when the Barrys finally realize the ramifications of their time-traveling shenanigans.

To be sure, the more you know and are invested in the history of these characters, the more you’ll get out of the film. Easter Eggs and allusions abound, which only add to the enjoyment.  Whether the versions of these characters will appear again is anyone’s guess. James Gunn, the new head of the DC movie universe, has signaled he wants to start with a clean slate, which is a shame. Miller’s quirky Flash is the light-hearted antidote to the more serious heroes he plays against, while Calle makes an impressive Supergirl, a character who needs a film of her own.

But, of course, nothing is permanent in these movies so who can tell. However, if this does prove to be the end for this phase of actors in these roles, Muschietti and screenwriter Christina Hodson have provided them with a worthy final chapter, “The Flash” delivering the spectacle and interactions fans have craved as well as more heart than expected.

3 1/2 Stars


Pam says:

To read Pam’s 3-star review go to:

Recent Posts
Contact Us

Chuck and Pam would love to hear from you! Send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search

Stay up to date with Chuck and Pam!
Join our monthly newsletter for behind the scenes looks, special interviews, and bonus content!
We respect your privacy.