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Alex Reviews "The Flash"

Barry breaks the multiverse! In the third adaptation of the popular Flashpoint comic arc, The Flash chooses to focus almost solely on Barry Allen’s (Ezra Miller) relationships as he uses his powers to go back in time and save his mother from being murdered. Also, preventing his father from being wrongfully convicted of the crime. In the process of fixing his family, everything else goes differently. I can’t say it all goes wrong, because Michael Keaton returning as Batman is never a mistake. Now, the titular superhero, his younger counterpart, and others must face the world destroying engine of General Zod from Man of Steel without the man of steel to save them.

For a two-and-a-half-hour movie, it feels remarkably empty at times. Shocking for a movie whose concept should be very deep and easy to relate to on a personal level. Though I imagine there were multiple discussions of how to be different than both previous attempts at the Flashpoint story. Unfortunately, this led to choices made which I believe were in the interest of saving money in a budget inflated by massive amounts of CGI rather than making the most entertaining film.

Ezra Miller still does not resonate with me as likeable and (possibly by extension) has little to no chemistry with other humans…even his younger, somehow more annoying, self. He remains best suited to a supporting role meant to have stars play off of during scenes. It limits the impact that we should feel watching a man break the laws of time and physics to save his mother. I understand that there can’t be a Flash movie without the character, but every scene with Keaton or Sasha Calle (The Young and the Restless) was infinitely more entertaining as a whole. However, the first “hero work” of The Flash is brilliantly done and wildly entertaining. There’s no doubt that a significant amount of the budget went into that sequence of events.

Michael Keaton is absolutely electric, but I really wish we had seen less of him in promotional materials. The call backs spoiled by commercials would have made the roof blow off the theater (in a positive way) had it been a first-time experience. The scene in which the movie’s time travel premise is explained is nothing short of genius and I wish I knew exactly who to credit that to beyond Keaton’s confident delivery. Now if we can just get James Gunn to greenlight Batman Beyond with Keaton as an older Bruce Wayne in his future DC projects, I’d be ecstatic.

While this picture is a cash grab for the current DC Universe before it blips out of existence (after the next Aquaman picture), the action sequences and some comedy land well. Sometimes, a story can still be fun, even if it feels like an exercise in highlights rather than a fully coherent film. Yes, The Flash is a mess, but it is fun to see the DC universe have fun with its own ridiculous history while paying homage to some of the best work seen within its pantheon.

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