Is The Flash the final nail in the coffin of the current DC Cinematic Universe or could it have been it’s savior?
The folks at Warner Brothers were kind enough to send us a copy of The Flash for the purpose of our review. If you are looking for the spoiler free version of our thoughts head on over to our parent site and read it there or to make it easier- here. To start I will say that if you don’t want to see any spoilers then get over to the all ages/parent site. Still here? Good.
Seriously though, last chance. Are you good to have major points in the movie spoiled for you? I have given you multiple chances now, the rest is on you for staying.
Barry starts the film trying to get to work on time for once and after receiving a call from Alfred he joins Batman in saving the civilians at a hospital that is starting to collapse. Batman chases down the criminals and is joined by Wonder Woman. Later, Barry meets with his dad and upset over the lack of evidence to help clear him, he goes for a run, pushing himself further than ever before. Doing so he learns he can run back through time. Looking at the implications and what could happen he finally decides to risk it all and save his mother. Finding what he believes is a loophole in the time-space continuum he ends up creating a branching reality. This reality brings a safer Gotham and a retired Batman. He finds an 18 year-old version of himself on the eve of getting his powers and helps him become a hero. Ultimately this works because his mom is still alive.
Due to the new reality Superman never arrived to Earth, Aquaman was never born and Barry almost didn’t become the Flash. Zod arrives but instead of hunting Clark, he’s hunting Clark’s cousin Kara. In search of Clark Barry finds Kara and saves her from a prison with the hopes of working together to stop Zod. The two Barry’s use their powers to stop Zod’s army but not before losing Kara and the classic Tim Burton Batman played by Michael Keaton. Using their ability to runt through time they keep trying to change the outcome but ultimately find that no matter what they do, Zod still wins. Classic Barry decides to undo the saving of his mom and new Barry tries to stop him while also trying to save everyone in the new timeline. While fighting each other and messing with time they witness a bunch of timelines converging on their point and eventually classic Barry wins and undoes his damage, most of it.
The Good, The Bad and The Barry
The overall story was fantastic. The analysis of how changing anything in the past creating alternate timelines and how they can spin out of control was great. It’s rare to see an explanation of the risks of time travel done in such an intelligent way. Dumbing it down with a pasta analogy by Batman made it understandable for the viewers that are a bit on the dim side.
The animation was mixed in quality. When Barry was fighting and running or the special effects were amazing. However, the quality of the animated timelines looked like something out of a cheap superhero game on the Xbox 360. What made up for it was some of the cameos in these timelines, namely Nick Cage’s long haired Superman fighting a giant spider. I didn’t bother to look to see if he was credited but the likeness was close enough he should have been paid for it if he wasn’t.
Did I mention how bad the animation was for the timelines as they were speeding to crash into the current line? Some were so bad they belonged in a knock off animated film you’d buy for $2 at Walmart! Holy shit. Whomever was in charge of approving that might need to go through training again.
What about the casting? I need to know, how the hell did Ezra Miller still keep this role and yet Johnny Depp was fired from The Secrets of Dumbledore? Ezra is a problematic hire that did not allegedly do the bad things he was accused of but Johnny’s reason for getting the boot was. How is that right? I admit Ezra’s performance was probably the best of his career but he should have been replaced by Grant Gustin or a new actor entirely.
Despite the problematic casting, the film was absolutely fantastic. I didn’t want to enjoy it, in fact with all the changes to the cinematic universe plans I wanted it to be bad to justify the changes. I can’t argue with how great the film was and I won’t. Let’s hope Blue Beetle is half as good as it looks. Maybe the writers and most of the crew involved will find a place continuing with the DC universe but as of now time will only tell.