Review: Don't believe the hate...THE FLASH is a winner.

by Charles Gerian

“These scars we have make us who we are, we're not meant to go back and fix them. Don't let your tragedy define you.”

While DC / WB’s big action spectacle “The Flash” has been somewhat of an online punching bag due to its’ troubled years of production, financial woes, and behind the scenes drama the good news it that…

…it’s actually very, very good.

The story follows Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) the fastest man alive who also goes by the name ‘The Flash’, who is the youngst member of the superhero team known as The Justice League.

When the movie picks up, The Flash is teaming up with Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) to stop a group of criminals from making off with some bio-weapon in a briefcase they stole.

After saving the day, Barry now has another crisis on his mind: his dad’s upcoming trial with new evidence being presented to hopefully free him after spending the last 20 years behind bars, accused of killing Barry’s mom.

Emotionally distraught and overwhelmed, Barry runs so fast he finds himself in the past…at his childhood home, with my parents still together.

Returning to the present, he tells Bruce Wayne that he has seemingly discovered the ability to time travel and that, if done right, he could go back to the past and save his mom.

Bruce Wayne tells Barry that he idea is foolish, and that interacting with the past is dangerous…and also that our trauma is what makes us who we are, and that it is important to live with the pain but not let it rule your world.

Barry of course, doesn’t listen.

Racing back to the past, he is interrupted by a dark and horrific figure in black armor and spiked mandibles who knocks him out of his speed vortex and into the year 2013…

…the year General Zod struck Earth looking for Kal El aka Superman in 2013’s MAN OF STEEL film.

And not just any 2013.

An alternate timeline where Flash’s mother is still alive, Eric Stoltz played Marty McFly, Kevin Bacon was the star of TOP GUN, and no meta-humans (superheros) seem to exist…

…save for Batman.

Barry meets his alternate timeline parents as well as his younger self and quickly convinces 2013-Barry that if they don’t find Superman to combat General Zod then 2013-Barry’s universe is done for.

But who could find Superman?

The world’s greatest detective, of course.

Barry and 2013-Barry travel to Bruce Wayne’s mansion only to discover that this isn’t the Bruce Barry knew- it’s Michael Keaton’s Batman, a lonely recluse who drinks wine, paints, and eats pasta all day ever since Gotham’s crime rate plummeted, making him completely worthless and aimless.

After coaxing Michael Keaton’s alternate timeline Batman out of retirement, the two Barry’s and the Caped Crusader himself travel to a top secret Russian facility to free a mysterious Kryptonian alien that fell to Earth years ago:

Only this isn’t Clark. This is cousin, Kara. Supergirl.

Now, these two Flashes, Batman, and Supergirl must band together to save this alternate reality and return 2023 Flash safe and sound to his own timeline.

THE FLASH is a fantastic, fun, time travel and superhero movie.

It is funny without being flanderized, heartwarming without being hokey, and emotional without being empty.

While it may seem like there is an over-reliance on “nostalgia bait” and “fanboy catering” it is, actually, not without a point.

THE FLASH is all about taking the past and moving on from it, carrying it with us but not trying to relive it or change it, because the effects can be disastrous to us in the future- or the now.

While reviews have been largely unkind to the film based on the lack of polish regarding the CGI, it really isn’t that bad. Of course this is no AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER or anything, but the CGI becomes an after-throught once you realize how much fun you’re having just watching the movie.

Ezra Miller pulls double-duty here as two Barry Allens, so you can clearly see why the studio LITERALLY couldn’t afford to cut them from the movie despite their headline-grabbing legal issues over the years.

And the real kicker? Ezra kills it.

Their potrayal of 2013-Barry as a lazy and oblivious teenager-turned-obsessive slave to “fixing” time versus their 2023-Barry as an emotionally charged but sure-footed hero and the chemistry between them and… well, theirself…was so good that you forget that you’re watching the same actor.

As for Batmen, we get Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton in the same film, even though they never interact, and their alike-but-different portrayals of Bruce Wayne and Batman show just why the “Which Batman is better?” argument has raged for years.

Newcomer Sasha Calle plays Kara Zor-El, Supergirl, the first Latina actress to do so. She is far and away one of the film’s biggest highlights and really absolutely kills it here. She is ferocious and empathetic, and you immediately want more of her.

THE FLASH is really very good, and it’s a shame the movie was so dunked on before it came out. It will be on digital soon enough and Bluray / DVD but for now it is playing at the Cowley Cinema in Ark City!