DCU, which entered the battle with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, unfortunately, seems unlikely to recover easily as it has stumbled over its own obstacles even before the clash. The outdated chaos within WB, the conservative incompetence of David Zaslav, and the uninspired and clueless creative leadership that failed to understand the era have brought DCU to the brink of the abyss. James Gunn, who took charge of the universe, may or may not be able to resurrect it, but he certainly inherited a massive wreckage. “Black Adam” and “Shazam 2” were both major disasters. I won’t be too harsh on “The Flash.” It was an enjoyable film. However, the film’s issues overshadow its positive aspects.
Let’s briefly touch on the plot… Barry decides that he can no longer bear the burden of losing his mother and his father being imprisoned, so he decides to use his powers to travel back in time. However, during his time-travel journey to save his mother and return to the present, he encounters an unexpected obstacle and finds himself trapped in the past. To make matters worse, the universe he is in is not the familiar one he knows.
First, let’s discuss the positive aspects of the film. As someone who appreciated the “Flashpoint Paradox,” I did not find it odd to see a parallel universe story alongside Marvel’s. I should reiterate what I said about Marvel’s Multi-Verse concept at the time. Different universes offer boundless possibilities. If used correctly, the stories that emerge could captivate the audience. Unfortunately, Marvel did not use its Multi-Verse concept effectively. While having unlimited potential, offering a limited vision is a significant achievement in itself. “The Flash” uses the parallel universe story quite effectively. Especially, incorporating nostalgia as part of the parallel universe is a smart choice.
The film offers sporadically impressive action scenes; however, it fails to sustain this quality throughout. The main reason for this is the incessant need to emulate Marvel’s success, which has been the underlying cause of the film’s failure. As I have previously expressed in my writings, DCU feels compelled to be comedic by emulating Marvel. This results in the inclusion of unnecessary jokes and cliché scenes in the film. However, “The Flash” goes beyond mere scenes and designs certain sequences to be entirely comical, leaving me feeling embarrassed while watching these moments when the film is trying so hard to be funny.
We are all aware of the visual effects problem in Hollywood. Film studios often fail to provide adequate payment while imposing incredibly tight deadlines, resulting in, at times, laughable visual effects. One such instance is Flash’s running, which is truly ridiculous. Assessing the quality of detail requires comparison with suitable examples. After watching Makkari in “Eternals,” Flash’s run, unfortunately, cannot be considered anything more than an amateur CGI attempt. I am not someone who is overly critical of CGI, and I don’t demand top-tier visual effects, but for a character whose main ability is running, his sprint should have been visually appealing. Regrettably, despite the film’s numerous attempts at humor, the funniest aspect remains Flash’s run.
In summary, “The Flash” dives headfirst into the multi-verse concept, which is the ultimate destination of superhero universes, but it squanders a good idea by executing it poorly. As much as I appreciate the idea of different Batmans and Supermans, the film’s attempts to be funny significantly hinder its momentum. If they had reduced the number of jokes and provided a more solid foundation for Barry’s perilous journey to save his mother, while presenting the danger General Zod brought in a mysterious and tense emotional state, like in the Man of Steel, the film could have been truly captivating. In the last three movies, it is evident that DCU has unfortunately failed to keep up with contemporary cinema, and it appears to be in a state of confusion, not knowing what direction to take.
Cast & Crew
director: Andy Muschietti
writers: John Francis Daley, Joby Harold, Jonathan Goldstein, Christina Hodson
starring: Ezra Miller, Sasha Calle, Michael Keaton, Michael Shannon
USA | 2023 | 144 MINUTES |