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02-07-23 | Twenty years from now someone will produce a superb documentary on the making of The Flash, a convoluted gossipy mess with lead actor Ezra Miller in the eye of the hurricane. Mounts of controversy surround the production of Flash’ first solo feature, which also features Michael Keaton as Batman and the overlooked Sasha Calle as Supergirl. This troubled leadup to the premiere threatens to affect the viewing experience. So how did the critics feel about the long awaited Flash?

Well, surprisingly few critics denounced The Flash. Tough few of them were jumping with joy either. ‘For all this bloated endeavor’s missteps, thankfully, genuine human emotion is not sacrificed. That makes this discombobulated idiocy far easier to watch, even to enjoy, than it likely would have been otherwise’ is how Sarah Michelle Fetters of Movie Freak put it. ‘Is this a great film?’ asked Samantha M. Quinn of Doux Reviews. ‘No, but it was a lot of fun and I do recommend it, even if you wait until streaming.’

In The Flash, Barry Allen travels back in time to save his wrongfully accused father. Accidentally stumbling into an alternate timeline where his mother is still alive, he finds Earth under threat by alien invaders. In need of a partner, the Flash seeks out Batman for help. Enter Michael Keaton, returning to the role for the first time since 1992.

Mufsin Mahbub of All Ages of Geek observed that ‘Keaton fits into Batman like a glove and hasn’t skipped a beat, reminding everyone what made him one of the best actors to portray one of DC’s most popular characters.’ Craig McKenzie of Kneel Before Blog added that ‘Michael Keaton is engaging enough in the role but he’s largely playing the hits that were better executed back when they were fresh. Despite that, Keaton’s charisma shines through and he has a heartfelt moment or two that land as intended.’

And yet Keaton does not overshadow Ezra Miller. ‘This is Barry’s story … ’ continues McKenzie ‘… and the film never forgets that.’ Ujwal Sharme of Empire Weekly feels that ‘Ezra Miller delivers a captivating performance, infusing the role with a unique vulnerability. However, it also raises the question of whether Miller’s acting prowess alone can catapult DC to the success it desires.’ Quinn thinks he can. ‘Ezra Miller is the emotional core of this film. He carries most of the drama on his back with ease, growing in both maturity and confidence as the story unfolds. I didn’t expect to like him going in, but now I kind of don’t want him to be recast, despite the actor’s issues.’

The Flash is an uneven film, which shifts uneasily from overstimulating action to carefully orchestrated emotional sequences. Fetters concluded that ‘while I can’t quite recommend The Flash, I’m likewise certain there are plenty of potential viewers out there who will have a grand time watching Barry sprint from one corner of the multiverse to the other, and that’s just fine.’

Read the full reviews here:
Sarah Michelle Fetters at Movie Freak
Samantha M. Quinn at Doux Review
Mufsin Mahbub at All Ages of Geek
Craig McKenzie Kneel Before Blog
Ujwal Sharma at Empire Weekly