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Review The Flash (2023): It's a gigantic mess but I still had fun!

genre: comic book adaptation, super hero, action, adventure, science fiction

Since The Flash was announced, I had my reservations about this film and what direction it was going. There was a lot of speculation on how this film would bring DCEU back on the right path, or that it would be the ideal film to correct previous mistakes made by Zack Snyder. And yes, The Flashpoint Paradox is the perfect story to start anew. Except, The Flash doesn't do this.

Instead, we get a warped origin story of a character we already are familiar with. Do we learn that much more about Barry? In a way. We get to learn of what would happen if his mother didn't die and his father wasn't framed for her murder. It took me a while to get into this alternate reality, since the Barry Allen of this time is absolutely annoying. Ezra Miller as a teenager is infuriatingly stupid. After a long while, though, he grew on me since we do get to see him mature somewhat. In these instances, you do get exposed to some powerhouse acting by Ezra. It does make you wonder what could have been had he not screwed up his career. It's already known that there is no place for Ezra Miller in future projects and that he is going to be replaced. It's a shame, but necessary!

The multiverse is discussed and presented but in a very limited way. Even if it were for just one film, I expected a lot more. I was pretty disappointed that we didn't get to see more alternative realities. And why not use this story to replace Ezra Miller with a different actor? I personally would have liked to see the people in charge take a chance and try out Grant Gustin to also appear as the film version of the flash. The lines between TV and films are getting smaller and smaller. There is absolutely no (logical) reason to not pick a TV actor to portray the same role in films. As long as the actor is competent and manages to draw a crowd, you can't object to this notion. Let's say, that there are legitimate reasons not to opt for Gustin why not immediately try out another actor? It's the ideal platform to do so, since you wouldn't need to address the big elephant in the room.

The Flash is filled with references to DC lure and several characters in the DC universe. One major one is Michael Keaton's Batman. For me, the main reason to watch The Flash despite the harsh criticisms. He is phenomenal. As far as I am concerned, he could return and be THE BATMAN. I don't care for the others, especially not Robert Pattinson. Keaton steals every scene he is in and demonstrates that an older Batman can work in  a comic book world filled with young heroes.

But there is one major problem concerning The Flash. The CGI. It was bad. Director Andy Muschietti is claiming that this was intentional. Yeah, I have a hard time believing this. There are moments where the CGI does look good, so the bad sequences really stand out. I was able to overlook and ignore the bad effects. But it took a lot of effort on my part. There is absolutely no excuse for human babies to look like PS2 character models. Thanks to the shenanigans of Ezra Miller, the release was even halted. So why didn't they take the extra time to improve and polish these effects?

Overall, The Flash is a little smaller in scale than I had expected, but I can't deny that I had fun. These days, that means everything.

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