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“The Flash” Review: One of DC’s Finest

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Where to watch it? In theaters June 16th before an eventual streaming release on Max

Starring: Ezra Miller, Sasha Calle, Michael Shannon, Ron Livingston, Maribel Verdú, Kiersey Clemons, Antje Traue, Michael Keaton

Screenplay by: Christina Hodson

Directed by: Andy Muschietti 

Editor's Note: In light of the actions of Ezra Miller, some have called for a boycott of the The Flash. We recognize the hurt they’ve caused to others, and encourage our readers to make their own decision regarding seeing this film. This review reflects the writer’s impressions of The Flash on its own merits as a narrative work.

To say the DC Extended Universe has gone through a tumultuous time over the past decade an understatement. From the highs of Man of Steel and The Suicide Squad, to the lows of Wonder Woman 1984 and last year’s disastrous Black Adam, fans never really quite knew what to expect. That brings viewers to the newest entry, The Flash

Picking up after 2017’s Justice League, The Flash returns to Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) struggling to find his place in the superhero landscape while still mourning the death of his mother. When he accidentally discovers time travel, he makes the decision to reverse the timeline saving his mother. But that leads to dire consequences including the erasure of all other superheroes in the universe. He then must team with a past version of himself to help set things right.  

Overall, The Flash is excellent. The way director Andy Muscietti balances the themes of love and loss, while peppering in some well-paced comedic relief and thrilling action sequences is astounding. And despite a ton of callbacks and fan service thrown in, the film still remains very grounded in Barry’s story with the focus on the singular characters throughout this massive multiverse film. 

The main attraction here is Michael Keaton returning as Bruce Wayne/Batman for the first time since 1992’s Batman Returns. And for 31 years since, Keaton still has it. He plays the role of an older, grizzled Batman while still maintaining the physicality and brutality a role like this requires. From comedic one liners to savage fight scenes, Keaton’s Batman steals the movie at every point. 

Also making her debut in this film is Sasha Calle as Kara Zor-El/Supergirl. While portraying a much different variation of the character than Melissa Benoist’s CW counterpart, Calle plays the role with a viciousness and brutality that is completely unexpected, but a delight. There is a fight scene involving Michael Shannon’s General Zod (returning from 2013’s Man of Steel) that is brutal but so much fun to watch. 

However, The Flash is far from perfect. There’s a lot of ugly CGI and, as expected with a lot of these time travel escapades, involves a lot of logic loopholes that can sometimes be confusing. While the third act is rousing and crowd pleasing, there are a lot of characters involved and in many instances the film can begin to fall apart. It really starts to feel very convoluted and busy with all of the various parts going on at once. 

There is also a minor substory involving Barry and love interest Iris West (Kiersey Clemons) that never really takes off. The two of them lack chemistry and it’s tough to buy into any kind of potential romance between them. Luckily, it’s only a small portion of the film, but easily one of its most forgettable. 

At the end of the day, The Flash is an incredible spectacle and one of the best films DC has made over the past decade. It may not be the “best superhero film I've ever seen” as Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav proclaimed, but the film is an incredible accomplishment and deserves to be seen on the biggest screen possible. 

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Chad Shreeves
Chad Shreeves
Chad Shreeves is a writer based in Overland Park, KS. He is a fan of all things in the entertainment industry including movies, music, TV, Gaming, theme parks, and Broadway. He is also a screenwriter with two different projects going through the competition circuit. He can be found on Twitter @chad_shreeves and on TikTok @everythingentertainment.
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