The long-delayed DC cinematic premier of the stand alone THE FLASH film finally runs into theaters on June 16th 2023 Originally slated for a March 2018 release, in the long interim there was a major shake up in the DC cinematic universe with the Snyderverse being put in the rear-view and the reigns handed over to Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn to reinvent, and THE FLASH lead actor Ezra Miller embroiled in a string of controversies that I’m sure Warner Bros would have wished the actor actually had the powers to go back in time and change.
Had this film arrived on time it may have had a different impact on the DC cinematic universe, but the fastest man on earth being so ironically slow to the party, it feels more like a goodbye to the DC films we’ve all come to know with no real set at the end for the next phase. On top of that, THE FLASH himself once more becomes part of a larger ensemble cast to carry the film. I assume the lack of faith that Warner Bros had in the character (or Ezra) to carry an entire movie, despite the success of the TV series that stretched out into 9 seasons that garnered a large fan base, was the reason to use the FLASHPOINT comic premise and crack open its own multiverse and bring in versions of far more popular characters.
Heavy on the fan service, the film is riddled with mentions and nods to trigger fans happy spots all culminating in a who’s who of everything DC could throw at the screen to tickle the nostalgia for things past and some things that have never been, but fans have been clamoring for. That I really did enjoy, though it was too little too late to save this film.
The film has many slapstick comedy moments with sight gags and physical humor laced between serious and dark moments which just don’t mix as well as they should. So, what we end up with is a mess of shifting tones, time travel paradoxes, and farcical situations that got audible laughs from me for its sheer ridiculousness in many parts.
Was it entertaining though? Actually, yes. I am not an Ezra Miller fan, and it was hard to get through this without his real-life antics coming to mind time and again, but DC marginalized that with the return of Michael Keaton’s BATMAN, which was a large part and by far the best reason to go to the theatre to see this film.
With this final nail in the coffin of the DC cinematic train wreck, we can all look forward to seeing where James Gunn takes it in the future.