We are sticking with the superhero genre this week with The Flash. It should be noted this is an older release. I actually caught it at a 2nd run theater but when I was incredibly excited to see it. We would have the return of Michael Keaton’s BATMAN! I feel like I’ve mentioned this in previous reviews, but I grew up with him as my Batman and have always enjoyed those film. He’s finally back! The Flash is a member of the Justice League (Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Batman, and Cyborg) and this is his first (and probably last) solo film. Sorry, spoiler alerts here. If you stop reading right here, just know I did not love this film. That being said would there be any saving graces with this?
Onto the film.
We open in Gotham City and meet our hero Barry Allen (Miller) they are waiting for coffee, and breakfast, and making another attempt to flirt with the barista when Alfred calls. Batman needs help with a robbery immediately. Off Allen goes. Immediately I was incredibly disappointed with the CGI. I will say this film has some of the best and worst CGI I may have ever seen.
I won’t delve too much into the plot, but Barry (Miller) learns he can essentially run really fast into something called “Speed Force” and go back in time. I took it as they ran “backwards” really really fast backwards. It isn’t the worst part of the film. We learn that Barry’s dad Henry (Livingston) had been accused of his wife and Barry’s moms murder and is in prison. Barry wants to reverse this. So naturally he goes back in time, an prevents his dad from staying home so she ends up alive in the present.
As Barry is attempting to go back to his timeline he gets knocked out of the “Speed Force” and into 2013 who then meets another version of himself. Thankfully in this part of the film we finally get to see Michael Keaton’s Batman again for the 1st time since 1992. The world has been “destroyed: as Barry puts it and everything is out of wack General Zod (Shannon) is planning to destroy the world again\, but this time there is no Superman, Aquaman, Cyborg, Wonder Woman and obviously it’s a different, older and more jaded Batman.
Here’s what DOES work with the film:
Michael Keaton is as great as he’s ever been jumping back into the batsuit. I kept saying throughout I want a Batman 3 with him as the lead. Bravo! His actions scenes, his scene or humor, his annoyance for Barry. It all works.
2 / 2
The plot on paper seems great and its neat to see a world without these superheroes but now everything else is a mess.
Sasha Calle as Kara Zor-El/ Supergirl was a fun addition, and I wouldn’t mind her to continue stories in whatever universe is next for DC. You could feel the emotions running through her throughout.
The CGI…. but wait.
Here’s what DOESN’T work:
The CGI…. I truly have never seen a film so bipolar in the editing room. We had a scene with babies falling out of a hospital building and The Flash (Miller) is working to save them. As the hero, flashing back and forth grabbing the kids. It’s not bad, but then there are close ups of the falling babies, and I was utterly shocked. Who and how did someone approve this? This wasn’t supposed to be some B-movie Sci-Fi Channel schtick…yet here we are.
Ezra Miller is good but also incredibly annoying. I know that’s part of the character, a very immature hero, but watching a film focused solely on this character. Aside from a few cameos. Its painful at time. I was annoyed and didn’t care if Zod would win or lose.
This film is a shame because it could have been extraordinary instead, we have a forgettable DC film that joins many others. Thankfully the DC universe is being rebooted, and lets hope Keaton’s Batman is in the max. Watch it for him, not much else. 2 stars out of 5