As the lights dimmed and the movie The Flash, directed by the visionary Andy Muschietti, began to unfold on the big screen, I felt an unmistakable sense of anticipation. This feeling soon gave way to awe and amazement as the film started to paint a rich tapestry of narrative, reminiscent of a Geoff Johns’ classic epic, brought to life with the vivid illustration style of Andy Kubert.
Diving into an Authentic Comic Book World
Every frame pulsated with color and dynamism, visually embodying the energy and spirit of the film’s protagonist, Barry Allen (Ezra Miller). Barry, a forensic scientist transformed into the superhero known as the Flash after a fateful encounter with lightning and a concoction of chemicals, isn’t merely defined by his superhuman speed. His essence lies in his dedication to upholding justice and protecting the innocent, a conviction instilled in him well before he donned the Flash mantle.
A Tale of Time, Tragedy, and Triumph
A traumatic past has overshadowed Barry’s life — the brutal murder of his mother, Nora (Maribel Verdú), and the unjust incarceration of his father, Henry (Ron Livingston), accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Frustrated with the lack of evidence to exonerate his father, Barry, in a desperate bid to rewrite his family’s history, harnesses the raw energy of the Speed Force to journey back in time to the day his mother was killed.
This decision, however noble in intention, has far-reaching repercussions. In attempting to alter his past, Barry inadvertently destabilizes the natural order of time, sending ripples across the multiverse that distort reality as he knows it. Suddenly, Barry finds himself bereft of his powers and trapped in an alien-threatened alternate reality where the Justice League is a mere myth. Barry must rally a motley crew of heroes to save this new world and find his way back home. This includes another Flash from this alternate reality (Ezra Miller), a grizzled Batman (Michael Keaton), and a disgruntled Kryptonian (Sasha Calle).
An Unabashed Tribute to Comic Book Heritage
The Flash authenticity makes it stand out among the many comic book adaptations. It embodies a comic book’s energy, color, and narrative style so closely that it’s comparable to Edgar Wright’s cult classic, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Embracing its comic book origins wholeheartedly, The Flash chooses not to water down its character’s iconic costumes or force its plot into a mundane, realistic world.
This film effortlessly maintains the kinetic pace and narrative texture intrinsic to comic books. Screenwriters Christina Hodson and Joby Harold weave a narrative that moves at the breakneck speed of Barry Allen’s supercharged metabolism. Despite this rapid pace, they skillfully balance exhilarating action sequences, shocking reveals, and impactful emotional moments. They instill a sense of levity into the film, cleverly interspersing moments of high tension and drama with periods of relief and humor.
An Ensemble Performance that Dazzles
Ezra Miller’s portrayal of both versions of Barry is seamless and convincing. His dual performance is so integrated that it’s easy to forget that it’s the same actor behind the two characters.
It’s impossible not to mention Michael Keaton’s return as Batman, which was my reason for seeing this movie. This return was nothing short of an emotional roller coaster for someone like me, who grew up with Keaton’s Batman. The nostalgia hit like a wave, washing over me as familiar one-liners were delivered. Danny Elfman’s iconic score echoed in the background, and the timeless Batmobile roared back to life on the big screen. This feeling was reminiscent of the countless times I watched the 1989 Batman film, an activity so frequently indulged in that it ultimately broke our family’s VCR.
While Keaton’s Batman naturally steals the spotlight, the film’s emotional core lies in the relationship between the two Barrys. Their evolving dynamic adds depth and emotion to the film, providing a rich undercurrent to the overarching plot.
A Love Letter to Comic Book Fans
The Flash encapsulates everything a childhood fan of comic books could dream of in a movie. It mirrors the excitement and anticipation of flipping through a classic multi-issue Justice League crossover event, beautifully translating it into a live-action spectacle. The film delivers an unforgettable combination of solid performances, thrilling action, and unexpected, delightful cameos.
The Flash transcends the traditional boundaries of a superhero film, evolving into a visual narrative that is whimsical, ingenious, and larger-than-life. The film is unapologetically exuberant, vibrantly capturing the essence of its comic book roots. If you’re looking for a cinematic experience brimming with nostalgia yet boldly innovative and thrillingly contemporary, The Flash is an unmissable gem in this summer’s line-up of films. This enthralling journey through time, space, and memory is a testament to the magic and charm of the superhero genre.
Posts contain affiliate links, and I earn from qualifying purchases.