Movie Review: The Flash (Muschietti, 2023)

The Flash
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Movie: The Flash

Production Companies: Warner Bros Pictures, DC Studios, Double Dream, The Disco Factory

Director: Andy Muschietti

Producers: Barbara Muschietti, Michael Disco

Scriptwriter: Christina Dodson

Main Cast: Ezra Miller, Sasha Calle, Michael Shannon, Ron Livingston, Maribel Verdu, Kiersey Clemons, Antje Traue, Michael Keaton

Release Date: June 16th 2023 (US)

Running Time: 144 minutes

Certificate: 12A


Well, I guess DC Studios still can’t run away from terrible box office results as quickly as they’d hope. With the Flash releasing this week to decent reviews but with none of them being about the CGI, it does a decent job of hopefully bringing a curtain down on Ezra Miller. Ironic how DC didn’t run quicker from Miller but that’s not the point… Despite the returning Michael Shannon and Keaton, the appearance of Supergirl and the annoyingly decent performance of Ezra Miller, the Flash will still go down in the mid category of the DCEU. Which is basically the entire DCEU… Anyway, let’s get into my review of the film.


The Flash follows the titular character as he basically does the Flashpoint Paradox. Minus Wonder Woman vs Aquaman and Thomas Wayne as Batman which the studio clearly didn’t want to finance. All of this was to save his mother by the way. However soon Barry Allen (Miller) realises the danger he’s caused to the multiverse when a returning General Zod (Shannon) threatens to destroy the universe. Barry is forced to recruit an alternate version of himself, Batman (Keaton) and Supergirl (Calle) to stop Zod and save the multiverse from collapse. Oh and there’s something about Dark Flash turning up so all two of you Ezra Miller fans can celebrate that. With the plot out of the way let’s get into the analysis portion now.


Ezra Miller’s Performance in the Flash

Well the centrepiece of the film, Ezra Miller’s performance, is perfectly alright with a few emotional moments. Take for example, the scene where Barry stops himself from putting the can of tomatoes in his mum’s trolley. And yes the entire Flashpoint in the film hinges on a can of tomatoes… Anyway, considering how emotionless he seems in real life, props to Miller for managing to get emotion out of not giving his mum tomatoes. Also, other examples of their good performance include their chemistry with themselves.

This is especially true when Barry ends up meeting alternate Barry and the constant back and forth about how impossible it should be for this to happen. Oh, and the reveal that Alternate Barry manages to take Barry’s powers all while Barry is trying to give Alternate Barry his own powers is the sort of nonsense fun that multiverse films can provide. As difficult as it is to separate the actor from the crimes, Miller does a great job at injecting emotion into their performance as Barry.

CGI/VFX in the Flash 

Now when people say that the Flash is the best superhero film of all time, I refer them to the films frankly appalling VFX and CGI at points. The best (or surely worst) example of this is the scenes where Barry is using the Speedforce to go back and forward in time. Just the sheer amount of terrible VFX recreations of prior moments in DC films, like plasticine Henry Cavill from 2017’s Justice League or an Aquaman who looks like he was left underwater for too long or whatever they used to deage Nicholas Cage.

I mean the film was shot for nearly $200 million so where did the money end up? DC’s legal bills? The amount they’re paying Miller to maybe stay on for a sequel? Because it certainly didn’t go near the VFX team’s budget. Oh also, the CGI used to bring Christopher Reeve’s Superman wasn’t much better either. Honestly, for a good film, it’s got some of the worst VFX/CGI this side of Morbius or a Michael Bay film.

Michael Keaton’s Performance in the Flash

Another big positive from the Flash is the returning Michael Keaton’s Batman. While the trailer set a high bar from the trailer, the bar was matched pretty well by Keaton in his return. Very much going down the old, gruff vigilante route, Keaton is a joy. An example of this is his spaghetti aided explanation of how the multiverse works. Or in the shot of him saying I’m Batman whilst the classic Danny Elfman score plays in the background. Or with just about anything he does in the film.

Also, his chemistry with Miller is pretty good. This is because both Barry’s bounce well off Batman’s more stoic and less jokey approach. All of this doesn’t even mention how surreal it feels to see Keaton back. Especially after he made Birdman which was definitely not about how Batman ruined his career. Anyway, Keaton’s performance is the biggest upside of multiverse films. That upside is they allow older stars get to come back because of time shenanigans. 


To summarise the Flash, this is a fine enough film which does have positives like Michael Keaton, Ezra Miller and Sasha Calle. But it also struggles with the worst visuals this side of Morbius. Oh and the general lack of enthusiasm towards anything it sets up. Try as DC might, they can’t run from all of their box office failures so over to Aquaman 2 I suppose…

Overall Rating: 5/10 – Average

Target Audience: 12+

Content Warning: Mild Sex and Nudity, Moderate Violence and Gore, Moderate Profanity, Mild Alcohol, Drugs and Smoking, Moderate Frightening and Intense Scenes

Recommendation: Yes