The Flash feature image | Agents of Fandom

‘The Flash’ Movie Review: The DCEU Stumbles in Its Final Story

Does DC’s newest multiversal time-travel story succeed in correcting the events of the past?

The Flash, initially announced in 2014 as part of the DC Extended Universe, has finally raced into theaters after a rigorous development process. Over the years, multiple creatives entered and left the production room, causing delays and uncertainty for the film.

Some fans began to lose hope that they would ever witness the speedster’s solo adventure. Now that the movie is finally released, the question remains: is it a good movie? Let’s take a closer look.

*Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Flash*

Is ‘The Flash’ a Justice League sequel?

The Flash with the Justice League | Agents of Fandom
Justice League (2017). Image Credit: DC/Warner Bros. Discovery.

The first 25 minutes of the film are essentially a continuation of Justice League. Batman (Ben Affleck) and Alfred (Jeremy Irons) contact The Flash to assist with an emergency in Gotham City. At the end of it all, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) shows up to help them complete the mission.

During those scenes, there is a slow-motion sequence where Flash saves babies and a nurse from falling out of a collapsing building. This could have been handled so much better because The Flash is such a gifted character. His power-set allows him to do extraordinary things and, putting a baby in a microwave is not the best way to advertise it to the world. The scene emphasizes how amazing the Quicksilver slow-motion sequence is in X-Men: Days of Future Past.

The Flash review: An emotional decision

Henry and Nora Allen in The Flash | Agents of Fandom
Henry and Nora Allen played by Ron Livingston and Maribel Verdú. Image Credit: DC/Warner Bros. Discovery.

The Flash is loosely based on the events of the famous comic book arc The Flashpoint Paradox. In that story, Barry Allen uses his speed to go back in time and save his mother, Nora Allen (Maribel Verdú), from being murdered. The murder has a ripple effect that puts his father, Henry Allen (Ron Livingston), in prison for committing the crime.

In the movie, Barry goes back and ensures his mom survives, allowing both his parents to be there and watch him grow up. He meets the current timeline Barry and fills him in on what he’s done. What might seem like a successful outcome, turns to despair when he realizes how many things have been broken in the universe through his selfish actions.

I don’t enjoy the existence of two Barry Allen’s in the same space, however this plot-device allows the older Barry to course-correct the timeline in a way he thinks will result in a happy ending. The scenes between Barry and his mom are some of the movie’s best, and make you realize how little time you have with your parents. Hug them tight whenever you get the opportunity.

Aquaman was never born. Victor Stone does not become Cyborg. Wonder Woman is nowhere be found. Kal-El’s pod got intercepted by General Zod (Michael Shannon), allowing the villain to kill the last son of Krypton as an infant. Because of this, Kal-El’s cousin Kara Zor-El (Sasha Calle) makes it to Earth and becomes Supergirl. Finally, the Barry’s head to Wayne Manor with the hope of talking to Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne, but they instead meet a retired Dark Knight from the Batman 1989 universe played by Michael Keaton.

These scenes seemed to slowly erase important events from the DCEU and with the new DCU approaching, there would need to be an explanation. I like the fact that Barry’s actions have domino effects on movies too. It shows how sensitive time-travel is, and that even the strongest heroes must tread with caution.

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow soars the highest in ‘The Flash’

Supergirl in full flight in The Flash | Agents of Fandom
Sasha Calle as Supergirl. Image Credit: DC/Warner Bros. Discovery.

Sasha Calle is the first Latina woman to play Supergirl in live action. While Calle receives limited screen time, her performance stands out in every scene. You can feel the emotion through her words and actions, especially when Zod reveals her cousin’s unfortunate fate to her.

James Gunn and Peter Safran have listed Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow as a project on the DCU slate. Calle has easily passed her audition with this performance, and the hunt for the DCU’s Supergirl should be over with her donning the cape for the next 10 years at least. She is phenomenal and gives hope to all the little Latina girls out there that anything is possible.

Michael Keaton is a blast from the past

Michael Keaton as Batman in The Flash | Agents of Fandom
Michael Keaton reprises his role as Batman from Batman ’89. Image Credit: DC/Warner Bros. Discovery.

The decision to include Michael Keaton’s Batman was always going to be a win. Warner Bros. knew his inclusion would help fill theater seats and the movie-goers hoped this would be the much-needed nostalgia fix they have craved the past 30 years.

As a much older Batman, he doesn’t move the way he used to, but it is such a treat to see his wittiness in a brand-new era. Donning the Burton cape and cowl again, seeing the Batcave and Batmobile coupled with the Burton Batman theme is the perfect dose of nostalgia. The gaiety in my cinema during the Batman scenes emphasized the flawless inclusion of Keaton in the movie.

‘The Flash’ closes the book on a crumbling DCEU

The Flash has a decent premise, but unfortunately falls flat in the final act. A good movie with bad moments scattered throughout. It’s a far cry from “one of the greatest comic book movies ever”, as mentioned by James Gunn during the DCU slate announcement. The CGI is terrible, most notably in the scenes with two Barry’s. At times, it feels like a farewell letter to the DCEU as well as the SnyderVerse.

Ben Affleck finally personifies Bruce Wayne, albeit for 10 minutes total screen time, in his best performance of The Dark Knight since he was cast in the role. The post-credit scene with Aquaman (Jason Momoa) seems to be one last little breadcrumb for the DCEU faithful, rather than setting up anything of substance for the future.

According to James Gunn, The Flash is essentially the reset device being used to usher in the dawn of the DCU. We now know that The Flash director, Andy Muschietti, will be helming Batman: The Brave and the Bold. With George Clooney now Bruce Wayne in the new timeline, what does that mean for the new Batman? The answers to these questions lie in the future with James Gunn and Peter Safran.

Did you enjoy The Flash? Let us know in the comments and keep it locked to the Agents of Fandom socials for all the latest DC news.

'The Flash' Movie Review

'The Flash' Movie Review
3.3 5 0 1
3.3 rating
Total Score

The Good

  • Sasha Calle as Supergirl
  • Michael Keaton as Batman
  • Wrapping up the DCEU

The Bad

  • Horrible CGI
  • Some bad storytelling
  • Some cameos were done in bad taste
Leave a Reply
Previous Article
Wes Anderson's Asteroid City | Agents of Fandom

'Asteroid City' Delivers a Visually Appealing Film for Dedicated Wes Anderson Fans

Next Article
A promotional image for the Stan Lee Documentary coming to Disney Plus | Agents of Fandom

Excelsior, in His Own Words: A Stan Lee Documentary Review

Related Posts