Friday, June 9, 2023

The flash can it fix DC? (Review)

 A few years ago, back in 2017, a film called Justice League left us with mixed feelings. It introduced a bunch of characters with minimal character development, though what little we did get was intriguing. After numerous changes in the production team, lineup adjustments, and various setbacks including rewrites, a global pandemic, and an unfortunate incident involving the film's star, Ezra Miller, the fate of The Flash seemed uncertain. With a staggering $200 million already invested, reshooting was simply not financially feasible, and the studio was already facing financial challenges with other projects like Black Adam, Shazam, and Batgirl potentially being abandoned. The big question remained: Would The Flash captivate audiences and set DC Studios on the right track, or would it fade away as another disappointment?

The Flash kicks off by showcasing a typical day in the life of Justice Leaguer. Superman is saving people from a volcano while Batman pursues bioweapons. Alfred advises Flash to lend a hand at a hospital on the verge of collapsing. With the memory of Evan Peters' impressive scenes as Quicksilver in the X-Men movies fresh in our minds, it was DC's turn to shine, and it did not disappoint. The film opens with one of the most thrilling action sequences in recent memory, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats and delivering laughs along the way. The rescue mission concludes with an ironic punchline, setting the tone for what's to come.

Barry Allen now works as a crime scene technician, a job arranged for him by Wayne at the end of Justice League. He is determined to find evidence to exonerate his father, who is accused of murdering his mother. However, his efforts prove futile. Overwhelmed by a sense of helplessness, he replays the tragic day in his mind until a breakthrough occurs. He taps into the speed force, using his ability to manipulate time, just as he did in Zack Snyder's Justice League. In an attempt to change the past, he ultimately saves his mother, but at what cost?

Ezra Miller delivers a fantastic performance, showcasing his range as an actor. There are several moments where he carries the scenes alone, and he does so admirably. The return of Michael Keaton as Batman speaks for itself—name one instance where Keaton delivered a subpar performance; it's nearly impossible. Sasha Calle portrays Supergirl, a character who has been held captive, and her slightly stiff interactions suit the circumstances she finds herself in. The ensemble cast as a whole is impressive, with a special shoutout to Michael Shannon.

Kudos to director Andy Muschietti for his work behind the camera. Known primarily for his direction of blockbuster horror films such as the IT remake, he proves his talent for capturing heroism on screen as well. His translation of the script to the visual medium is outstanding. It's worth noting that the screenplay comes from writers who have been associated with questionable projects like Birds of Prey (another DC misstep), Obi-Wan, and Army of the Dead. If Muschietti can make their writing shine as he has done here, he might become a hero in his own right.

The Flash boasts a plethora of special effects, some of which hit the mark while others miss. However, these visual aspects don't detract from the overall experience. The film is a light reboot, so enjoy the familiar faces while they last, as they will likely not reprise their roles in future installments. Speaking of Ezra, despite his excellent performance, it's important not to overlook the serious allegations against him. Hopefully, they will address these issues and make amends, as it would be a shame not to see them portray Barry Allen again. With one more film left in this universe as we know it, it will soon be time to see what James Gunn can bring to the table. However, I must admit that The Flash might just be one of the best DC films to date. It left such an impression on me that I'm tempted to watch it again.

In my final assessment, I give The Flash an A-. It successfully combines thrilling action sequences with humor, keeping audiences engaged from start to finish. The performances, especially Ezra Miller's, are outstanding, showcasing the depth and range of the actors involved. Michael Keaton's return as Batman adds a nostalgic touch that fans will appreciate, and Sasha Calle's portrayal of Supergirl is commendable, considering her character's circumstances.

Director Andy Muschietti deserves praise for his seamless direction, demonstrating a keen eye for both horror and heroism. Despite the questionable track record of the screenwriters, Muschietti's vision brings the story to life with refreshing energy and clarity.

While some of the visual effects may not hit the mark entirely, they don't hinder the overall experience. The film is loaded with exciting Easter eggs and nods to the larger DC universe, making it a treat for fans. However, it's worth noting that this marks a new chapter for the franchise, as subsequent films will likely feature different actors in these iconic roles.

As we eagerly anticipate the next installment in this universe, The Flash stands as a shining example of what DC Studios can achieve when they get it right. It's a thrilling and entertaining superhero film that sets a promising course for the future.


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