When Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) discovers he can travel back in time, he tries to save his family from their eventual fate. But his actions have consequences he isn’t quite prepared for. Fans of The Flash have waited for his ‘Flashpoint Paradox’ storyline to play out on the big screen for many years. The critically acclaimed story kicked off many multiverse-based plots involving the DC roster of superheroes. While this film was initially intended to have the same impact, behind-the-scenes developments would change its trajectory more times than Barry Allen could have anticipated. Those situations affect the result, but director Andy Muschietti keeps the plot centred on an emotional arc that hits home. Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) must work with his younger self as that version gets his powers. The actor convincingly portrays two different iterations of the character, both distinct in their mannerisms. Scenes with them are hilarious yet heartfelt, and overall, the film’s jokes land more often than not, even the absurd ones. This is grounded with well-balanced drama, especially with older Barry and his mother Nora (Maribel Verdú) anchoring the narrative as the chaos unfolds. Michael Keaton reprises his pivotal role as Bruce Wayne from the 1989 & 1992 films, which goes beyond fan service to contribute meaningfully. It’s also satisfying to see his Batman do things that weren’t possible for film technology back then. Sasha Calle pulls off the massive task of investing us in the new Kara Zor-El/ Supergirl.
Muschietti also lends a captivating view of the film’s action with camerawork that follows sequences to bring a vital sense of direction and scale. However, the weakest element in ‘The Flash’ is its seemingly slapdash CGI. Besides the scenes with the two Barrys, a crucial plot device requires extensive VFX, which looks amiss. It indicates the story undergoing multiple changes without much time to work on this critical element. Irrespective, the cloud-pleasing moments are aplenty for old and new fans. The fate of these characters remains unknown as the studio embarks on a seemingly new path. If ‘The Flash’ is meant to bookend the DCEU of the past decade or so, it certainly delivers, thanks to Muschietti’s distinctive tone and execution.
Slapdash CGI notwithstanding, Andy Muschietti delivers an emotional yet humorous bookend to the past decade’s DCEU.
The film 'The Flash' is set to hit the theaters on 16th June 2023.
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