In October 2022, James Gunn and Peter Safran were tasked with getting the DC universe back on track, which had seemed haphazard and aimless since at least the failure of Justice League.
The director of Guardians of the Galaxy and the producer of The Conjuring are currently developing an eight to 10 year plan to better coordinate movies, series and video games made under the DC banner in the future.
Before the work of the new management can slowly bear fruit from the 2024/25 season, there are still a few projects in 2023 that were commissioned as part of the old DCEU (DC Extended Universe): In addition to Blue Beetle” (August 17 ) and Aquaman 2: Lost Kingdom (December 21), The Flash is now the prelude to this farewell tour, and a bittersweet feeling that IT mastermind Andy Muschietti has just released the best DC movie since Christopher’s The Dark Knight. Nolan.
Gunn and Safran have already announced that they don’t necessarily want to throw everything away, and can only hope to save as much of The Flash as possible in the new DC Universe (DCU) era: a wonderfully dry story and at the same time with sincere sense. of humour; creative and varied action scenes in which, if necessary, the pure and contagious joy of being a superhero, which the second Barry Allen, aka The Flash, conveys in particular; an equally clever and playful use of time travel and multiverses, while always paying full attention to the strong emotional core of the story; plus plenty of meta elements that will make fans of the last 100 years of DC clap with laughter, without it feeling like a forced laugh.
Somehow, with Barry Allen (Ezra Miller), there’s never time to get some rest.
When he’s not busy saving the world as speed hero The Flash, he’s trying to do his best.
What worries him the most right now is the upcoming hearing about his father Henry (Ron Livingston), who has been in prison for many years because he killed his wife Nora (Maribel Verdú) and who he says he did not murder.
For many years, Barry has struggled to prove his father’s innocence to no avail. When
accidentally discovering one day that his special ability allows him to travel through time, he has an idea: he wants to prevent the murder of his mother and thus save the lives of both parents.
He has no idea what he’s about to do, because suddenly everything is different.
Even his best friend Bruce Wayne, aka Batman (Ben Affleck), is no longer recognizable.
A movie based on the DC Comics superhero The Flash had been in the works for a long time, and actor Ezra Miller wasn’t bringing much to it.
After all, he had already played him in other movies, most notably in Justice League, where the character became part of the team of heroes.
Somehow, the project didn’t seem to be under a lucky star, numerous directors were in talks after Rick Famuyiwa, who was initially considered for the film, came and went from it.
Other commitments of the lead actor caused massive delays. And even now, when everything is ready despite all doubts, the timing could hardly be worse. Miller hasn’t just turned heads in recent months with numerous questionable actions, which has been a nightmare for the public relations department.
The DC Comics cinematic universe is also known to be in the midst of turmoil, so no one knows if The Flash’s story still has a future.
This is not a good prerequisite for a designated blockbuster, even more so in a movie environment that is currently overrun with large-scale productions.
The Flash doesn’t shy away from very dark moments, but he starts out beautifully on the light foot: what Kryptonite is to Superman, Barry Allen is to lack of calories.
This time, the entire wing of Gotham General Hospital is about to collapse, and among all the glass and concrete, a dozen babies are also falling from the maternity ward on an upper floor onto the ground.
In one shot in particular, this is reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch’s apocalyptic hidden object images, only with newborns in pink and light blue romper outfits.
Everything happens in super slow motion for The Flash, and yet the setting turns out to be a tricky puzzle for Flash, as he can’t easily get the babies to safety (they couldn’t survive at his speed, even for a short distance).
Instead, you have to come up with other creative solutions: That’s where temporarily parking a baby in the microwave comes into play, so the kitchen appliance should also be used for an airborne calorie replenishment with burritos.
That’s a lot more creative and fun than the comparable Quicksilver sequences from Marvel’s competition, and anyway, the usually wonderfully dry and often pleasingly unassuming punchlines are perfectly timed across the board.
Flash, like most DC characters, carries the heavy burden of being a superhero.
In contrast, the still utterly happy-go-lucky 18-year-old college student version of Barry Allen exudes a downright contagious joy in superhuman powers. Even if it may seem so up to this point.
The Flash isn’t just a fun, self-deprecating grenade, because unlike last time, say, Thor 4: Love And Thunder, The Flash manages to turn into realms more serious: in addition to Ezra Miller’s terrific double performance, the The film benefits greatly from the story’s strong emotional core, from which the entire history of the multiverse unfolds in the first place.
Batman can explain the whole time travel mess with homemade spaghetti, but in the end it’s always about that little, almost banal moment that you’d give anything to change later…
And even as the consequences of past interference grow ever more massive, The Flash never loses sight of the true core of his story: Andy Muschietti and his screenwriter Christina Hodson (Birds Of Prey) are ever aware that the central conflict of The Flash is one that Barry, in the end, can only solve on his own, even if it does briefly seem like a massive desert battle would be a classic blockbuster ending. could be advertised. So The Flash ends on a suitably personal and intimate note, even if it sets off a powerful and visually overwhelming fireworks display of nostalgia around the inwardly torn protagonist, in which a hundred years of DC history literally crash into each other in the form of pop culture.
One of them is especially problematic: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.
Just two weeks before The Flash opens, it tells a story that’s startlingly similar in parts.
Both films are based on the current trending theme of the multiverse, the concept speaks of the existence of numerous parallel worlds that always differ in detail.
While the animated film took this as an opportunity to bring together the most diverse versions of the title hero and thus unite the most diverse styles, here one is much more modest: Barry is currently traveling in a parallel world. And he really doesn’t look any different.
We took the opportunity to play a bit elsewhere.
It was made public early on that Michael Keaton, decades after Batman (1989) and The Return of Batman (1992) would reprise his role as the Dark Knight, in the hope that nostalgia will generate good numbers.
Unlike Spider-Man: No Way Home, the multiverse isn’t used solely for the nostalgia factor.
Rather, The Flash combines this motif with that of time travel and the chaos associated with it. Back to the Future is directly quoted there more than once.
Also, the tone is much more humorous. Not only that, Barry despairs over the various changes in the world and is also faced with an alternate version of himself who doesn’t behave the way he thinks he should.
None of this is original, which could be the film’s downfall. This is a story that has been similarly broken down too many times lately.
It is well implemented, the entertainment factor is high.
You can think what you want of Miller because of his psychologically induced escalations and failures, here he strikes the balance between humor and action, between nerd and superhero.
His acting talent pays off towards the end.
In the meantime, it looks like the grand finale will once again be very easy and the usual conventions of these comic adaptations will be followed, instead The Flash is a movie that gets very emotional.
With all the hoopla, the numerous guest appearances and allusions, as well as the endless thunderstorms of effects, director Andy Muschietti is not out of sight for the leading man. Then there are scenes where you have to suppress a sob.
Although the film is not the super work that was expected after the first voices, and in some places more courage would have been nice, it still belongs to the best heroic performances of recent times. And I wish it had the success it deserved and that the partly open ending wasn’t everything.