Review: The Flash with Ezra Miller and The Batmen

17 June 2023
Following the revival of the DC franchise with Zack Synder's Justice League, the long-gestating Flash film has finally arrived. The last film of the original DC cinematic universe, The Flash is a half-decent farewell before James Gunn's DC universe reboot kicks off.

We acknowledge Ezra Miller's mental health and various crimes committed in the lead-up to this film, this review judges the film on its merits rather than the recent actions of its star.


The Flash, featuring the talented duo of Michael Keaton and Ezra Miller, delivers an invigorating, humorous, and high-octane experience that is certain to captivate audiences who love themselves some classic DC action.

Director Andy Muschietti's undeniable passion for the character shines through in the film, as he masterfully crafts exhilarating action sequences and a captivating time-travel plot that remains true to Barry Allen's emotional journey. Although the story occasionally indulges in fan service and the third act becomes somewhat unwieldy, The Flash remains a sincere and gratifying superhero film, standing taller than some recent DC endeavors such as Black Adam and Blue Beetle.

Loosely drawing inspiration from the Flashpoint comic event, the film revolves around Barry's desperate quest to utilize his newfound time-travel abilities in order to undo the tragic murder of his mother (who did it, is never resolved). The time-travel element evokes the spirit of Back to the Future, and the narrative unfolds as a thought-provoking exploration of morality, forcing Barry to confront the repercussions of his grief-fueled actions. 

The film adeptly weaves the Flash's origin story into the fabric of the film without succumbing to the trappings of a typical origin tale.

the flash film review

While the film bears the title of The Flash, it significantly features Batman as well. However, the inclusion of 1989's Batman never overshadows Barry's personal journey. Ben Affleck's portrayal of the Dark Knight and Michael Keaton's incarnation of the Caped Crusader offer contrasting perspectives on the temptation to undo one's pain, serving as a rich source of philosophical introspection for Barry. 

Affleck delivers a powerful and bold performance as Batman at the start of the film, while Keaton's rendition is bombastic, playing on the original two films he starred in. Keaton's action sequences make for some great Batman, especially in the final act.

Regrettably, the character of Supergirl feels more like a narrative device than a fully fleshed-out persona, occasionally venturing into clichéd territory. Nevertheless, Sasha Calle manages to leave an impression with her disillusioned portrayal of Kara Zor-El. Ultimately this character goes nowhere but her bravery must be noted.

The film effectively showcases the Flash's signature powers in a genuinely blockbuster fashion. The portrayal of super speed feels intimate and ingenious, accentuating the challenges 'órginal' Barry encounters when harnessing his abilities. While the majority of the visual effects are exceptional, the depiction of time travel falls slightly short, with the "chrono bowl" scenes appearing distractingly artificial at times, diminishing the impact of crucial moments.

It's let down by some loose as CGI in those moments.

The Flash takes audiences on a nostalgic journey, hinting at the era of Zack Snyder's Man of Steel. Barry's superheroic odyssey offers a fitting conclusion to this final chapter of the cinematic universe as James Gunn's reboot of Superman is on the way.

There are plenty of superhero cameos in The Flash for fans to enjoy. How many Bruce Waynes are there in the universe?

the flash review ezra miller

The film's third act ambitiously embraces chaos both in its action and storytelling. However, it manages to remain anchored by Barry's personal arc, which stands as one of the film's most impressive aspects. Barry's encounter with his younger self illuminates his motivations and personality, and Ezra Miller excels in this dual role, expertly portraying two distinct versions of the character while effortlessly transitioning between comedic and emotionally vulnerable moments.

All in all, The Flash is an audacious superhero film that adeptly juggles its multiple worlds, Flashes, and Batmans... and Supermen and girls. While the indulgence in fan service is on the side of super excessive (see Nic Cage fighting a spider), and the visual effects are occasionally inconsistent, the film's commendable performances and heartfelt tale of grief and acceptance propel it forward. If indeed this marks the conclusion of the Snyderverse, The Flash serves as a dignified farewell.

My 10-year-old loved it. 

Review Rating: ★★★★☆


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
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