“The Flash” is a 2023 film directed by Andy Muschietti. The film, the thirteenth entry of the DC Extended Universe, is based on DC Comics’ comic books and features the well-known speedster from Justice League.
After years of delays caused first by the pandemic and then by legal issues related to the lead actor Ezra Miller, the film has arrived in theaters very late, but it has given us a truly remarkable movie.
The Flash – Plot
After assisting Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck) and Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) in dealing with the aftermath of a botched heist by some criminals, Barry Allen/Flash revisits his childhood home.
While talking to his father on the phone, he reminisces about the last happy moments of his life with his parents Nora and Henry before his mother was murdered (a crime for which Henry was unjustly accused and imprisoned).
Overwhelmed by his emotions, Barry accidentally travels back in time to the beginning of the day and later informs Bruce about what happened. Despite Bruce’s warnings about the consequences of time travel, Barry goes back to the day of Nora’s death to prevent it from happening.
When Barry attempts to return to the present, he is thrust into an alternate 2013 where his parents are happily together. He encounters his past self from the day he gained his powers.
The two Barrys go to the Central City Police Department. Here, Barry helps his 2013 self gain powers during a storm but ends up losing his own. However, while trying to train the other Barry to use his powers, a broadcast of General Zod announcing an invasion of Earth appears on TV.
Both Barrys attempt to assemble the Justice League. However, in this timeline, they are unable to locate Wonder Woman, Victor Stone is not yet Cyborg, and Arthur Curry was never born. They then go to Wayne Manor and encounter an alternate and older version of Bruce (Michael Keaton) who has retired from crime-fighting. The two convince Bruce to help them find Kal-El/Superman, but instead of Kal, they meet his cousin Kara Zor-El (Sasha Calle).
I genuinely feared that I would never get to see the film in question, for reasons that every fan now knows. However, I am more than happy that it was eventually made. Excluding some sequences where the visual effects resembled video game graphics too much (which I don’t appreciate in a high-budget film), I believe that the screenplay is well-written and both the cinematography and characterizations are excellent.
The character of Flash, much like many others, has a poignant origin story intertwined with a family tragedy. The loss of his mother and his unwavering commitment to protect and seek justice for his father serve as the catalyst for his transformation into the heroic figure we have come to admire.
It’s not just about whether he receives his powers or not, but rather about the evolution of his strong moral compass, his understanding of things, and his great sense of selflessness.
Ezra Miller’s portrayal accurately depicts a young man with social and self-esteem issues, unable to let go of the past and practically without any friends, at least before meeting Bruce, Diana, and the others. It’s ultimately truthful.
He is a hyperactive, responsible young man with a strong desire to get involved, as demonstrated in Justice League. It’s impossible to keep up with him, and I don’t just mean his speed. He’s sharp, perhaps too much so, and has the remarkable quality of being willing to make great sacrifices.
He will finally have to prove his worth, maturity, and ability to make extremely difficult choices, without avoiding the consequences of his actions.
I felt a great sense of tenderness towards Barry and his loved ones. As for his younger self, he also served as the comic relief, easing the emotional tension and lightening the story, somewhat in a Marvel-esque style, but it worked.
However, the protagonist was nothing short of superb. Keaton’s return as Batman was the tribute that every fan of the original Dark Knight (from Tim Burton’s films) could have ever wished for, not to mention the actor himself.
The action sequences and the moments of dialogue and explanation were executed exceptionally well, given the complexity of the story and the numerous twists and turns of the multiverse.
I loved the many cameos and references to older characters in the DC universe. It was a masterful touch by the director, satisfying all the nostalgia.
What saddens me is that this film won’t have a sequel. Unfortunately, due to the shake-ups happening at DC, everything we have seen so far will likely be reset.
A great performance by all the actors and the crew, and overall, a fantastic film.