Reviewed in a jiffy by Cliff Homewood
Flash aaa-aaah! No Queen not that one, back in your box. Yes, I know the BBFC certificate doesn’t have the differentiating definite article but the logo does, it’s just small, you’ve made enough money now get back in your box.
The Flash sounds like an action done in the park. He would be the ultimate flasher, so fast no-one sees it, there is not one in the Flash-verse as far as I’m aware, but he does try to live up to his name and yes this is one of those multiverse films that are de rigueur.
Speaking French now? Did you know the French for Flash is Éclair? There is not a version of the Flash that announces himself ‘it is I, L ’Éclair’. The English Éclair is because of eating time, legendarily defined in a 19th Century dictionary as “a cake, long in shape but short in duration.”
Controversy surrounds the star of the film Ezra Miller who has been accused of being a cult leader and grooming children. They were charged with felony burglary but took a plea deal making it unlawful trespass. There is also footage of drunken Ezra.
Ezra admits to mental health issues and is said to be improving.
The film is unrelated to The Flash TV series. The DC universe is undergoing a soft reboot to the Gunniverse and this film is inspired by the Flashpoint storyline which rebooted the comics. The Flash was made pre-lockdown before James Gunn became the DC Universe Overlord. I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out he was involved with this film though such is its quality. He stated, “I can’t be changing my plans all the time because an actor says something that I don’t agree with.” The studio is currently standing by their Gunns. Ezra Miller is also a co-star in the Fantastic Beast series in which interestingly this studio never stood by Johnny Depp. Ezra is in nearly every scene of this expensive film whereas Depp had filmed one scene of The Crimes of Grindewald. They are great as The Flash. Zir relatability grounds the film, full of nervous energy, looking uncomfortable in every resting scene, they really shine.
The trailers seem to show as much Batman as Flash. Not sure if because of Batman’s bankability or Ezra’s criminal ability, however the film is a love letter to Batman and all the better for it. Batman has a mentor style relationship with the Flash like Iron Man has with Spider-Man in the MCU. Good to see the composer hark to Danny Elfmann’s Batman music in his composition as it helped the Batman scenes come alive, fulfilling a nostalgia ache we never knew we had. A line is inserted to explain the age difference. Superhero movies are playing catchup with Doctor Who, which has been telling previous incarnation yarns for decades.
GeekTime: The first Flash was Jay Garrick in January 1940, Barry Allen debuted in 1956. The Flash has been shown to lap himself in a race by timeshifting. He’s that fast! Quality Comic’s Quicksilver was the first Flash clone in November 1940 (unrelated to Marvel’s Quicksilver).
History class over, back to the film, it’s superb. Starting with an audacious set-piece showcasing what it can deliver, nerve, originality and darn funny, it will be talked about for years. Reminiscent of Deadpool’s highway fight as a bravura way of showing the heroes capability. The best scene in a film which holds its length (2hr35m) well, entertains all the way and has a post credits scene worth the wait. It gets emotional so you might want to take Flash wipes with you (Sorry!)
Like a fast-moving Superman & Lois it’s willing to get dark and gritty in places. It contains some logic flaws, consistency of healing for instance, maybe he only super heals when fully charged, or maybe it’s bad scripting. It also has a paradoxical resolution. Scripting was intricate, referencing earlier scenes with a new perspective, telling a decent story well, although there are similarities to a SF classic. Luckily the author is not alive to sue. There’s also some dodgy CGI.
It’s a shame such a great film is underperforming with the cast reluctant to give interviews, which whilst understandable in the circumstances, is not helping promotion.