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(film review) - The Flash

I took a little time to let this movie sit with me before I wrote the review for several reasons. I wanted to address the "so-called" 'elephant in the room' as well as the current state of affairs of the DC universe. I have been gathering my thoughts to try and explain this the best way I can, without going too deep and losing anyone who does not really care and to also give an explanation as to where we are going forward with DC. So first and foremost, this movie has been 9 years in the making. In those 9 years, since 2013, we had 'Man of Steel' to kick it all off, but 12 movies before this and out of those 12 movies, we had 2 that were excellent, 4 that were really good, 2 that were pretty much identical, but still very different in execution and 4 that were either just ok or trash. I have said this before and I will say it again, Warner Bros. the owners of Detective Comics aka DC spent a lot of time trying to chase the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so much so, they felt to deviate drastically and produce movies like 'Joker', which is not apart of the DCEU. The Batman came out also, which is also not part of the DCEU and both of these movies are great, but WB have no clue what they are doing. Also there has been controversy with studio heads at WB, bad decisions, reactive behaviour and all sorts of problems with directors and actors also in this time. When one director was "removed" from a project due to a personal family tragedy, another director took over and seemed to cut out storylines and dialogue from specific characters leading to another version of the same film being made with the original director because what we initially got, was not the vision the original director had. Lastly, Ezra Miller, whilst not very well known but a terrific actor, in the last few years has become known to the public due to a series of events and situations that have painted Ezra in a very bad light all in the lead up to the release of this movie. This movie has gone through various directors and undoubtedly, various reshoots to try and counter the problems and/or salvage what they have. So whilst you may be upset, disgruntled, or feel a type of way about Ezra in their personal life, their acting, skill as an actor and sheer ability to finesse this craft cannot be mistaken. Ezra, as an actor, as this character and in this movie is excellent which in turn makes this movie a very good watch. However, with not only a new DC universe on its way, not knowing if this movie ultimately connects with the past and/or future of DC, will definitely make one wonder if watching this movie is even necessary if you want the whole connectivity of it all. Whilst I cannot actually answer that question specifically, I will say, I do have some thoughts as to the direction DC could take.

Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) accidentally stumbles on time travel and decides to travel back in time to try and fix a very open wound he has surrounding the death of his mother and the incarceration of his father. Having asked for advice and given a warning not to travel back in time, Ezra travels back in time anyway not realising, not only has he travelled back in time, he has ultimately travelled into a separate universe where Zod attacks Earth looking for Kal-L. Barry must team up with the Batman (Michael Keaton) of that world along with the Kryptonian to battle Zod, defeat him and find a way back to his own universe and at the correct time.

I had fun with this movie. It was a great watch. A lot of laugh-out-loud moments as Ezra, at this point IS Barry Allen. We have seen Barry Allen portrayed in a few movies now and also in the 'Peacemaker' season one finale, but Ezra shines as Barry Allen. They are great, captivating, moving, emotional, not to mention playing two Barry Allens at different times in his life. Ezra is simply phenomenal and carries this entire movie acting against theirself and with Michael Keaton and Sasha Calle. This movie has been 9 years in the making and whilst the film does not look dated exactly or feel dated, I do feel from completion to release, there was a lot of time to iron out and polish the special effects. Whilst not terrible, some moments look weird, purposefully or not and it is possible, some things could have been re-thought. For example, the film starts off with a big action set piece involving a hospital. Some of the decisions made here for the movie do not work visually although it is a great scene. So as a viewer, you are left with the choice to accept it as it is or take umbridge over the look and quality of said scene. Personally, I did not mind, although I could understand why things looked the way they did visually AND take that on the chin and disregard the visuals simply for the playthrough rather than be bothered about it. Had they used the time to re-think this set piece, maybe they would have realised that some of the visuals here were not great and gone for something else. But I am sure they had more pressing matters of concern. Talking about the CGI, towards the end of the movie, there were some very heavy-handed decisions to either "serve" the fans, or pay homage. The problem is at this point in the movie, whilst everything is wrapping up, doing what they did ultimately felt a little weird and too outside the box and far-reaching rather than it feeling contained within the film. You could say, it felt unnatural. Without going into spoilers, if you are going to go in, go in. If you are going to try and do the distance, go all the way in and explore every avenue you can. That would make it feel more authentic, but in the end, it only raised more issues with what has happened over the years without providing any solutions or possibilities. Whilst one-moment kind of honoured that, for the most part, was great, but felt weird and also seemingly forced, especially when the majority of the audience are not aware of the why, so why?

The music, the acting, everything here was top-notch. Very serious in moments but also very funny. A very cool moment at the beginning of the movie was the "title" screen. It was so cleverly done and well executed. It was great to see some returning actors from previous movies and the Batman of it all, was simply great. Having grown up on Michael Keaton as Batman from the Batman 1989 movie followed by Batman Returns, a lot of people see Michael Keaton as their Batman, so hearing a cheer when he first shows up was amazing. Michael felt like he had never left the cowl as he slipped back into his rendition of Bruce Wayne and The Batman. With that said, the memorabilia was also great to see as well as some of the advances. You will see in the trailer, a room opens up and you see lots and lots of Batman suits, most of which are from the comics, but they ultimately told a story which was great. Sasha Calle is excellent. The way she portrayed her character left me wanting more from her in a spin-off with their own movie or simply anything else. All in all, the movie is just a really fun watch.

The problem with it all. When the film was completed and due for release, the world went into lockdown due to a global pandemic. However, problems for the movie started to come about when the lead star Ezra Miller kept getting into trouble due to their actions. Not only was the film completed, but DC were also going through a change due to a bunch of lacklustre movies and the audience not gravitating towards these movies. With word of a new DCU incoming by a former Disney-employed director who was fired, then rehired by Disney but ultimately got a job to head this new DC universe for Warner Bros, the audience are simply left in limbo. I saw the damage control to be, "this is a great movie" which it is, but why would they say differently with all the controversy surrounding Ezra, they need all the bums on seats they could possibly get and all the money. If the movie were to do well, regardless of Ezra continuing as Barry Allen or not, the former heroes such as Aquaman (who has a movie out next), Wonder Woman, etc, could all be apart of the DCU IF, navigated correctly. At a point, James Gunn said he has no need for Henry Cavill at present to play Superman and will be going with a new actor, which made me think, the doors are still open, kinda. If Barry Allen can transcend timelines and universes, surely we can have multiple Supermen like how we had different Batmen, correct? James can release all the films he likes and maybe in 15-20 years' time, have two Supermen in a movie and the old guard can resume their role "co-signing" the new guard. All in all, if you want to see this movie due to simply wanting to see a Flash movie, I would definitely say, you should get yourself to the cinema and watch it due to it being a great experience. If you want to know if there is any interconnectivity with other superheroes from Justice League and such, whilst we cannot be certain if it is all connected, they are there, but time will tell. If you want to see Ezra as a superb actor, then definitely go and watch it, otherwise...other than being a really good watch which is fun and enjoyable, there is a chance you may not want to watch it due to Ezra and their antics or the "lack of" position this movie has in the greater universe of it all, so if that is the case, I understand, but this is a really good movie.

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