After years of anticipation, The Flash finally sped into theaters tonight. By the look of the quarter-full movie theater and the underwhelmed look on the faces of the moviegoers, it might leave as fast as the Scarlet Speedster can run.
For all of my bluster and criticism of the film’s production and the troubled journey of controversy magnet Ezra Miller to this point, I wanted this movie to succeed. I really did. Alas, it just wasn’t meant to be.
The movie’s problems extend far beyond Miller’s antics. From the dialogue, to the plot, to the overall visual effects, The Flash fails to deliver on all fronts. After advertisements and extensive reshoots, the movie’s budget sits at about $300,000,000.00. Watching this movie up close in a movie theater; it looks like they only spent about half of that money.
There are so many things that went wrong. it left me conflicted as to whether or not to write a review in the first place.
The Casting Was Off
I don’t want to dogpile on Ezra Miller. Miller is a fine actor in movies that suit his ability. Unfortunately, The Flash is not one of those movies. Bary Allen is a quirky character who can’t seem to get his life together. Miller got the haphazard lifestyle, but couldn’t translate Barry Allen’s character to the big screen in an accurate or effective way. Miller came off like he was trying too hard in this role. As a result, he took the quirks and eccentricities that come with Barry Allen’s character and projected them in the manner that resembled a character on the autism spectrum.
Sasha Calle had the cards stacked against her in this role. The fans were already divided on her assuming the role of Super-Girl in the cinematic multiverse. The writers did not do her any favors. A large part of her story goes untold and Calle does not have enough screen time, or lines to claim the character as her own.
Michael Keaton was cast to provide fan service. He returned as the original cinematic Batman. Unfortunately, Keaton looks like he didn’t want to really be there. He recites the classic lines from 1989 one at a time unenthusiastically. With all of the hype surrounding his return, it was kind of a let down.
Visually, It Was Unappealing
The Visual Effects department really dropped the ball on this. For a movie that relied this heavily on special effects, to say they dropped the ball is being generous. The effects were cartoonish, artificial looking, and amateurish. There were scenes, especially later on in the movie, where it looked like they weren’t even trying.
The Villains Were Missing
One of my main points of contention in this movie is the use of the villains. Zod is mentioned, but is missing throughout most of the movie. There is also a mystery villain who sporadically appears.
This is an ongoing problem with D.C. movies. The Villain does not get screen time, so the viewer either forgets what the whole purpose of the movie is, or stops caring about it altogether.
The Runtime Was Way Too Long
This movie needed editing big time. At just over two hours and thirty minutes, it became a tough ask to sit through the entirety of the movie. The pacing did not help. The movie tended to drag on and on. This is supposed to be a comic book movie. There was way too much talking and not enough action.
Kids are a huge part of the success of a movie like this. Between the run time and the dawdling pacing, it will be tough for parents to get anybody under ten years old to sit still for that long. The movie should have been a hard two hours.
What This Means For The DCEU
Aside from the fight choreography, the movie doesn’t really have much going for it. The bar was set high by everyone who saw it in advance calling it a masterpiece and saying that it was the best comic book movie ever made.
If this is the very best that DC studios has to offer, then a long and rough road awaits James Gunn in the future. It is nowhere near the worst movie ever made, but it sits very far away from the designation of best. The movie is an also-ran. I watched it, I don’t feel the need to watch it again, and odds are that I’ll forget about it in a week.
Final Take Away
There really isn’t much to take away from this. The movie was overhyped, oversold, and it under-performed. I would have liked to see a straight up hero vs, villain story. Maybe have Professor Zoom, or Reverse Flash as the main antagonist. The writers and the director got too creative for their own good.
Instead, the audience received a chaotic, disjointed movie that seemed directionless at times, while relying far too much on the cameo performances to carry the movie to the end.
In the end, the potential was there. The execution was not.
What do you think, Geek Faithful? Do you agree? Disagree? sound off in the comments below and let’s talk about it!
Thank you for reading. When I am not writing I enjoy spending time with my wife, Barbara, My three year old daughter Frances, and my loyal hound Marbles.