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The Flash Is Apparently Not the DC Disaster It Once Threatened to Be



We’ve been hearing about The Flash for so long—it had a bumpy road through production, plus there were some major DC Studios shake-ups along the way—it’s hard to believe it’s finally opening in theaters next week. The first full reviews are now online; they’re mostly on the positive side, but not everyone was a fan.

First, here’s an excerpt from io9’s own review by Germain Lussier:

“The number of plates The Flash spins is incredible, mixing time travel tropes with multiversal madness and big action scenes with multiple superheroes, all of which have to incorporate Barry’s ability to run very, very fast in a visually interesting way. And it works. The narrative takes huge swings, most of the characters have their own journey, and just when the film gets as big or bigger than most other superhero movies, it brings things back to that core relationship of Barry, his parents, and if there’s anything this hero can do to save them.”

IndieWire’s Kate Erbland:

“Yet, taken on its own merits, Andy Muschietti’s film has lots to offer, and frequently shows flashes (apologies) of brilliance that set it a cut above most of its existing DC Universe brethren. In its best moments, the film is funny, ambitious, and heartfelt, but it’s also frequently buried under iffy effects, convoluted storytelling, and a been-there-done-that familiarity that’s hard to shake. Just days after so many superhero fans were reminded of the possibility of the genre, The Flash mostly feels like a great example of a dying breed of blockbuster joint. It’s, somehow, already dated.”


Christian Holub at Entertainment Weekly:

The Flash ends on a purposefully open note (and a pretty good joke), so that if the film succeeds at the box office, Miller’s Barry can run again another day. If it doesn’t, the precedent is set for a full continuity reset. Whatever DC movies await us in the future, let’s hope they avoid multiverses. It’s well-trod territory at this point, even for a speedster.”

AV Club’s Matthew Jackson:

“[E]arly buzz for The Flash hailed it as a rollicking sprint through DC’s version of the multiverse that bridges the old era of the DCEU and its incoming new age of heroes. So did comic book fans finally get the Fastest Man Alive film they’ve been waiting for? Like everything else surrounding this film, the answer isn’t simple. For all its focus on fun and adventure, and its ability to sweep us away in a lightning storm of spectacle, The Flash ultimately runs too hard to achieve any real sense of narrative grace, and the result is a film that feels overstuffed, uneven, and a little frustrating.”

Deadline’s Pete Hammond:

“The hype is real. DC’s The Flash may not be the greatest comic book movie ever made, but it comes damn close. Easily the best in the genre since Spider-Man: No Way Home, this fresh, invigorating and hugely entertaining summer treat is as good as it gets when it comes to cinematic takes on superheroes.”

Owen Gleiberman at Variety:


“In The Flash, the multiverse of possibilities that opens up by toying with the past becomes an excuse to throw everything but the Batcave sink at the audience. Despite the vividness of its star, the movie steamrolls Ezra Miller’s personality as it goes along. The climactic battle against General Zod, with its kamikaze Batplane death zooms, its plumes of black smoke rising from the ground, its overblown sound and fury, is working too hard to engulf us after a story that did a nifty job of beguiling us. For a while, Ezra Miller brings it. But they deserved better, and so do we.”

The Wrap’s William Bibbiani:

“If you can ignore the macro-narrative of how The Flash affects the evolving, overarching “DC Universe” of movies, and if you can somehow set aside the context of Ezra Miller’s many personal and legal troubles—which is very hard to do since this whole movie is Miller’s character making selfish choices that hurt a lot of people and then trying to avoid taking full responsibility by being The Flash—the movie offers some superficial entertainment value. It’s reasonably enjoyable while you’re watching it, but very frustrating to think about five minutes after the lights go up and you realize most of it didn’t actually work.”

David Rooney at the Hollywood Reporter:

“If The Flash ultimately proves uneven, its wobbly climactic showdown far less interesting than the more character-driven buildup, the story’s core of a young man struggling to reconcile with the loss of his mother carries it through. Miller effectively layers that vein of melancholy beneath both the smart-aleck brashness of 18-year-old Barry and the rueful introspection of his older self.”

Will audiences share these sentiments when The Flash arrives June 16? If they do, DC and Warner Bros. are going to feel a lot better about the summer ahead. Are you planning on checking out The Flash when it speeds into theaters?

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.


Source: Gizmodo

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