The Flash (2023) Review

I just watched The Flash and had to write a review of that movie. Yet again, we are rebooting a superhero, but a grave question hangs in the air.

The Flash (2023) Review
Image: The Flash.

Author’s Note: this article will include spoilers for The Flash.

The Flash was a refreshing movie. It wasn't what I'm used to from Marvel movies, and that's OK because DC is doing their own thing - unless they're trying to build their own version of an MCU - and if that's the case, this movie could have been better.

Overall, I felt the movie was OK, but it did not leave me satisfied to the point of tweeting that DC had done it and that this movie was the start of a new era for the franchise. On the contrary, I'm not sure how I feel knowing that this movie presents doors forward to an uncertain world.

Let's dive into it.

The Ezra Miller Situation

Let's address the elephant in the room. It seems like this movie was supposed to be the starting point for a whole MCU-like transition for the DC franchise, but the catalyst actor in all of that seemingly can't catch a break from court and jail.

Not gonna dive into Ezra Miller's personal life, but their actions and allegations pose a serious question mark on DC's effort to relaunch the DC brand for 2023 and beyond audiences.

To their credit, Ezra does act wonderfully in this movie. We see Barry's growth from a lonely, awkward kid to an adult who understands how to talk to people. And the dichotomy between his original and 18-year-old self is pretty visible and impressive to watch.

When we see Barry try to run and realize he lost his powers, we know that the producers of this video knew how the animations would be perceived.

Conscious Comical Animations

The movie's first 5-10 minutes include a montage of Barry running from Central City to Gotham. The running animation in this montage reminded me of the dancing baby animation from years ago. Do you know what I'm talking about?

Why did they need to make it that awkward? My first impression of the video was that it did not bode well. Fortunately, they used this animation sparingly, and most of the time, Barry is almost imperceptible when running.

Is This Movie Even Canon?

The one problem with this movie is that I don't even know if it's canon. The way it's explained in the movie is that Barry created an alternate timeline when he came back to change the past. And he did that again when he tried to fix the mistake he made in the beginning - so now not only is he not back in his original timeline, but he's also stuck in a different alternate timeline, which wasn't a satisfying ending in my humble nerdy opinion.

The original timeline still exists, and technically, he left it without some major event going down. So for the purposes of the timeline he left, The Flash is just missing. They still got Batman, Superman, and everyone else in the Justice League.

Instead of feeling like this is the start of a new era, this feels like the beginning of a side adventure that spans a few movies where Barry would join the relaunch of other heroes. But why should I be invested in this when it all feels like a mistake?

There were positive things to say about the movie, too.

Impressive Seamless Twins

Image: Warner Bros.

It takes a lot of effort to take the same actor, have them play different people in the same scene, and mesh it all together to look natural and unedited. And this movie did it perfectly. No part of me felt these scenes where Young Barry and Older Barry talk or interact were heavily edited.

I first noticed we got to this animation level in Taylor Swift's music video for Anti-Hero. In that video, there were a couple of scenes I felt could have been edited better to look natural. But in this movie, everything seemed polished, like two Barry Allen's were in the same room. Kudos to the post-production team for making that happen.

So Barry Never Got Back Home, Did He?

At the end of the movie, after Barry takes out the can of tomato sauce, we are meant to believe he returns back home to his own timeline because we see Iris's letter corresponding to the last scene he had in that timeline.

He goes to court, and we witness his father being discharged because suddenly, the tomatoes are magically on a higher shelf, and the recording shows his face.

But then he talks to Batman on the phone, and we discover Batman is actually George Clooney?! So clearly, by changing the tomato sauce arrangement and helping his dad get out of jail, he created yet another timeline.

This resolution is annoying because Barry had to prevent his younger self from changing the timeline because he realized the gravity of the change, and then he does it again?! What was the movie all for if you made the same mistake all over again?

I realize something needs to break so that a sequel movie could happen, but why does it have to be the one thing that this movie was all founded on? By making Barry consciously choose to change the tomato arrangement to save his dad, it makes me think the whole movie was for nothing. Barry did not learn anything.

What do you think? What other things are changed by this seemingly small act? Let me know in the comments below.

Where Would He Go Next?

So now that we know Barry was unsuccessful in returning to his timeline, where would he go next? I believe that in his search for a way to return to his own timeline, we would probably see some more re-launches of existing superheroes in the DCU like the post-credit scene suggests. And hopefully, Barry finds the time to visit a dentist to fix his broken tooth.

The Flash is currently in theatres only.