Before Peter Safran and James Gunn reboot the DC universe with their new plan for more interconnected movies and series, What we know as the DC Extended Universe still has three installments to launch: ‘Flash’, ‘Blue Beetle’ and ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’. Of the three, the one directed by Andy Muschietti pointed to the biggest end of the party for the saga.
The ingredients, a priori, are most captivating: Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen’s first feature film, which he already liked in ‘Justice League’ back in 2017, adaptation of such an important comic arc as ‘Flashpoint’, the return of Michael Keaton as Batman and the presentation of Supergirl. Against her plays how long it has taken to arrive, all the controversies that have surrounded her and that practically everyone has advanced her in terms of the multiverse on the big screen.
But ‘Flash’ knows how to defend himself, mixing a hilarious show-off movie with glimpses of what could have been a more cohesive DC universe had it been given the chance.. It also achieves something very difficult, such as introducing the superhero’s origins without falling into the hackneyed structure of a movie about his birth.
‘Flash’ doesn’t waste time, like Barry himself. From the beginning he already gets us into action and lays the foundations for what we are about to see with a very funny prologue that leads to some quite spectacular scenes. Christina Hodson’s script wonderfully balances humor with little moments of learning what Flash is capable of. with his powers.
The first thing that stands out is that this movie aims to be much lighter and more luminous than many other DCEU installments, falling more towards the side of ‘Aquaman’ or ‘Shazam!’ than ‘The Man of Steel’, curiously a key part of the plot. Barry is charismatic, endearing and manages to convey to us the weight of what his father and, above all, his mother, the catalyst for the entire plot of the film, mean to him..
Maribel Verdú makes the leap to Hollywood as Barry’s mother, a very affectionate woman with a lot of energy (her son has gone out to her a lot), whose tenderness goes beyond the screen and helps us side with Barry even though we know, as we’ve been told a thousand times, that playing with time always goes wrong. By the way, the meta jokes with ‘Back to the Future’ are fantastic. Verdú and Miller have few scenes together, but they develop a beautiful chemistry that gives the film a lot of heart.
But the best chemistry of the entire tape is the one Ezra Miller has with himself.. The actor has to embody two very different versions of Barry: one that carries a trauma and is more adult and another more youthful and sarcastic. This second one is delicious. His goofy laugh is contagious and his evolution throughout the film thanks to the time he spends with his other self is very satisfying. Beyond the controversies, Miller does a superb job, even more so when he carries the full weight of the film… twice.
The Alternative Justice League
Also very remarkable Michael Keaton and Sasha Calle as adventure partners, forming a pseudo-Alternative Justice League. Seeing Keaton as Batman again was an incentive, and it is a joy to see that both the actor and Muschietti take this opportunity to give us moments to give us goosebumps., from scenes to show off to using the mythical Danny Elfman melody, and also to introduce us to other sides of the character taking advantage of Barry’s age and mentor component. Calle also works very well as an alternate version of Superman, less corseted than her “cousin of hers” Henry Cavill, and with a lot of potential if Safran and Gunn decide to bring her back.
The appearance of Supergirl and, above all, the return of Michael Shannon’s Zod, serve as an interesting closing circle for the journey of this DC universe, going back to the movie that started it all. For many reasons, ‘Flash’ seems to want to show us the true potential that this saga would have had if it had really exploited the connection between films and characters. Perhaps that it is ‘The Man of Steel’ is more symbolic than effective, but at least it works better than another fan service that leaves a taste in the mouth quite gratuitous.
‘Flash’ has a huge problem, and that is that despite the fact that ‘Flashpoint’ were key comics to develop the multiverse, the film has taken so long to be released that cinematically it is simply late. ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ knew how to use fan service as a narrative element, not just as an Easter Egg. And a movie as recent as ‘Spider-Man: Crossing the Multiverse’ has a lot of commonalities with ‘The Flash’, but used much better.
Beyond that, the film becomes quite long, with stretched set pieces and various valley moments. The humor and the emotional blows save the rhythm quite a bit, and it is very noticeable that Muschietti has had a great time directing it.. He has also achieved very colorful action scenes thanks to Barry’s powers, using either bullet time or lightning and color games. Interestingly, the film has very interesting stylistic ideas, like the Chronosphere, but they are marred by uses of CGI that fall completely into the uncanny valley and are not up to the task of a blockbuster capable of achieving visually spectacular moments such as hyper racing. of flash.
It has been said that this film would serve as a reboot of the DC universe, as a turning point. Beyond that connection with the beginnings of this iteration, the film seems more like a tribute to what has been than a look to the future or a reset button. It is a film dedicated entirely to Barry Allen, to his story, his motivation and his possibilities, and in that it is a great film.. At the moment, it is the most solid title in the franchise since James Gunn’s ‘The Suicide Squad’ or even since ‘Wonder Woman’. It could have marked an interesting path for these characters, and for the Flash himself. But who knows if we will ever meet this scarlet speedster again on the big screen. To know the future plans of Detective Comics, I’m afraid, we will have to keep waiting.
‘Flash’ premieres In theaters Friday, June 16.
The best: Ezra Miller is doubly superb. Michael Keaton and all the nods to Batman. The humor works great, and the emotionality elevates the film.
Worst: Certain CGI decisions. It gets long. He arrives too late to the multiversal party.