Movie Review: The Flash – The Film Rocks

Why wasn’t CW TV actor Grant Gustin in the Flash movie? It will probably haunt Warner Brothers as this is actually the best DC/Warner Brothers superhero film of everything they’ve tried, including Aquaman and Wonder Woman. And it’s not the controversy over this movie Flash, Ezra Miller, it’s that Miller is just ok with acting that pales compared to those around him. Blame Zach Snyder who in The Wrap says this of Gustin ” “I just don’t think it was a good fit,” (picked up by Wrap when Snyder told this to the New York Daily News.) The problem was that Snyder wasn’t a good fit, of course, and he chose Miller for Justice League. Directing Watchmen, Man of Steel, the abysmal Batman vs Superman (one critic saying it was like putting your head inside of a beehive,) and Justice League …, films that were uneven at best, makes movie goer fans and comic book lovers thrilled that Andy Muschietti sat in the director’s chair for this one. . At least Snyder’s Man of Steel is watchable due to Henry Cavill’s performance, but the point is made: too many previous poor decisions by Snyder and Ezra Miller in this film is one of them.

Grant Gustin’s 9 seasons and 184 episodes – and suave look, would have put this movie over the top. So too would have Adam West in a role he wanted, Tim Burton’s Batman where Michael Keaton got the gig. All that aside, this Flash is a highly entertaining film once you get past the histrionics of the hospital imploding during the opening. A bit much, but it gets better and as the film rolls on it picks up speed, no pun intended.

This critic is one of the biggest anti-Ben Affleck-as-Batman people you will ever meet. Thankfully, Affleck’s role is kept to a minimum (why not Christian Bale?) but – honestly – Affleck is better than his past Batman performances (maybe because it is so succinct) and he actually shines…and has admitted in an interview that he finally “gets it” (how to play Batman/Bruce Wayne.) As stated above – Michael Keaton, another individual who should never have put on the cape in 1989 and 1992, shows up here too, but pause a moment. Keaton surprised as an excellent Vulture in 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, as he does here. The older Michael Keaton gets it, and his Batman in the Flash is key to the film’s success.

Andy Muschietti’s direction is superb, and indulging in the Kink’s order to “give the people what they want” is what he does (with the exception of Grant Gustin not in the title role.) The film rocks, the Batcave is sublime, and menacing General Zod (Michael Shannon) and his two cohorts are magnificent in this action film. The terror with which they inflict on this Earth, and total lack of compassion, a different Zod from Terence Stamp’s sophisticated murderous criminal in 1980’s Superman II. The upgraded horror works well here, though having Batman fighting Zod is kind of like having George Foreman battling Tiny Tim (will the kids today even know those two huge names from the past?) …Iron Man fighting Howard the Duck. This is where your suspension of belief comes in to play. Somehow I missed the cameo of the late Adam West, but seeing George Reeves and Christopher Reeve via archival footage, and Helen Slater, touches the heart as worlds collide. Even Antje Traue from Man Of Steel shows up, though Henry Cavill, disappointingly, does not. The biggest compliment I can give this DC Comics / Warner Brothers film is that, unlike past exercises in battling Marvel, it’s a DC Comics film that is worth watching a few more times