When his attempt to save his family inadvertently alters the future, Barry Allen becomes trapped in a reality in which General Zod has returned and there are no Super Heroes to turn to. In order to save the world that he is in and return to the future that he knows, Barry's only hope is to race for his life. But will making the ultimate sacrifice be enough to reset the universe?
Come for the fan-service, stay for the surprisingly entertaining film
I always start any review of a superhero movie by making it clear that these are not my types of movies and my opinion, for any superfans out there, should always be taken with a grain of salt. Now with that in mind, I have to say 'The Flash' is about as much as I can enjoy one of these types of movies. This was a very fun ride I'm happy to admit.
The movie is basically fan-service on overdrive. Anything a mega-fan has always wanted to see is likely going to show up at some stage in this movie. If that's your kind of thing then you are going to be in heaven.
I found the pacing good. The movie is just short of 2 and a half hours but that time goes by pretty quickly. As usual in these types of superhero movies I found the final battle scene the weakest the film had to offer. It got messy and convoluted and it was really the one part of the movie where I lost interest.
Of all the superhero movies I've seen this is probably the one least focused on the villain. He really does feel like an after-thought more than anything. The movie is far more about Barry Allen and his mission. Which makes it surprising to me just how much I enjoyed the film, because the one thing I do often get out of these films is enjoyment from the villain.
I think people are going to have a good time with this one. It doesn't feel like the usual copy and paste template that the MCU has been throwing out for 15 years now and it is certainly a step up from everything non-Batman that DC has been doing recently. I really enjoyed this. 8/10.
Reviewed by Pjtaylor-96-1380445 / 10
It just can't outrun the collapse of the DCEU.
No matter how many times you read about how awful this thing looks, trust me when I say it's worse than you're imagining. Some of these visual effects are absolutely abysmal, potentially the worst I've seen in a movie of this scale. It's honestly on the level of 'Son Of The Mask (2005)' or 'The Adventures Of Sharkboy And Lavagirl 3-D (2005)' at times. Truly, truly terrible stuff. There are some sequences that are more convincing than others, but too many of them are legitimate eye sores. That's not a dig at the visual effects artists, by the way, who were all very likely doing their best with the time they were given and were also very likely underpaid for their work. It's more of a dig at the studio and its odd decision not to grant the VFX houses more time despite the fact that production on this film spanned the entire nine seasons of CW's 'The Flash (2014 - 2023)'.
After a bafflingly bad opening movement, the movie does admittedly settle into its own somewhat entertaining rhythm. The second act of 'The Flash (2023)' is surprisingly successful. It isn't great, of course, but it's relatively pacy and features a handful of enjoyable action scenes. The two cameos that are spoilt in the marketing work fairly well, with a certain someone proving he's still got it even after all these years (though the actor in question has been doing good work for his entire career). Ezra Miller turns in far better work then when they played that wizard with the rubbish hair cut, somehow making Barry more irritating than before but also imbuing him with a new semblance of responsibility that ties in nicely to the story's fairy potent emotional underpinning. However, their efforts aren't quite enough to make you forget all the awful things they've done in real life (nothing would be), so there is a strange sort of second-hand guilt that arises from watching them on screen.
Where the picture starts to falter once again is in its final third, which starts out modestly enough but eventually escalates into all-out insanity and begins to awkwardly explore the morally iffy side of its multiversal premise. Again, the ugly visuals rear their even uglier heads here and the very fabric of the film itself starts to (admittedly somewhat appropriately) unravel. The frustrating finale reminds you that the movie has been about IP all along, not genuine storytelling, and that any success its second act may have is either accidental or a result of it being the segment that the DC suits meddled with the least during production. Ultimately, the affair's potential is all but entirely stifled by studio-mandated audience pandering and a callously dismissive approach to the importance of a well-considered narrative.
Again, some of the picture really isn't all that bad. In fact, it's actually pretty good; I honestly can't say that I didn't enjoy parts of the middle portion. However, it's bookended by some really poor storytelling and contains more than one laughably bad set-piece. The visual effects are sometimes so poor they look like they've been rendered for a cheap PlayStation 3 game. The movie just feels fairly soulless, too.
If you want to see a far, far better adaptation of the Flashpoint storyline, just watch 'Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)' instead.