The Flash (2023) Review
by Paul (ral)

You've probably read dozens of reviews for The Flash already, such is the result of the amount of hype Warner Bros has generated for the release of one of it's most important films to date. So what did I think? Without getting into plot points and we go.

I'm only here for MK

On the face of it, there is much for an old school DC fan like me to be excited about - but the main reason is the return of Michael Keaton as Batman.

It great to see Keaton back in the cowl. It's great to walk around Wayne Manor and the Batcave again. Obviously this is an older Bruce Wayne than we saw in 1992. He's alone, and without his Alfred he's lost. I was a little dissappointed to see his mental state played a for laughs initially. It would been better to have a more serious explorationof his pysche - that's what the Burton films have always done.

As good as it was to see "old man Wayne" fighting like a 20 year old, it did take me out of it a little. Yes that's what audiences wanted I suppose, but it's maybe just 20 years too late.


My main take away from the cinema was just how "weird" the film is. It's quirky - seeming to value surrealism and subversiveness over the gravitas that it's thematic ideas are putting infront of us. I'm not sure if it's meant to be fun or anarchic, but it's a strange choice for a film that probably would have had to work harder than most to get it's story across to the audience.

The story itself is relativtlly simple and if you haven't worked out who the villian is in the first 30 minutes then that's probably because you've been distracted by the awful CGI - CGI, by the way, that just gets worse as the film goes on.

With it's weird off-beat nature, a script that opts for poorly scripted (and sometimes needlessly crude) jokes and strange use of characters/cameos - I almost get the impression director Andy Muschietti was told "Hey, we're shutting this thing (the DCEU) down, so burn it to the ground!"

It wasn't lost on me that the Lego Movie's Miller and Lord were once attached to write and direct The Flash - with the movie almost turning into The Lego Movie at times - with Keaton almost like Lego Batman!

I loved you...

I do have to praise the performances of all the cast - everyone is doing the best and Miller does hold it all together. The best scenes are between Barry and his mother (especially the resolution of "I loved you first".)

Also deserving of praise is Benjamin Wallfisch for his score. Blending the sonic landscape of everything from John Williams' Superman to Danny Elfman's Batman while adding his own great and lasting themes he has produced one of the truly great soundtracks in recent years.

Too much, too little

There has been much talk about the cameos in The Flash. The range from arkward to macabre to...just plain dumb. It's use of cameos is rather apt - stark reminders of franchises that were either poorly received or run into the ground over the years. Quite suitable then for a film that bookmarks a decade of mismanagement and missed opportunity. The post credits scene is a waste of time - it's the only time I've actually felt an audience give a collective shrug after the lights have come on.


It's a film that sparks the imagination and makes you ask yourself "What would I go back in time to get back?" - sadly the answer is "the two and a half hours I spent watching this film".



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