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The Flash (2023 Movie)

“You wanna get nuts? Let's get nuts.”

Bonkers, emotional and a little uneven in places, this is a massive superhero movie that pleases far more than it fails.

(This review contains minor spoilers for the set up and main characters of the film, but nothing more than what was revealed in trailers.)

This project has been in limbo for years; principal photography wrapped up two years ago and went through a lot of reshoots and alterations. There has also been a lot of movement at Warner Bros., especially in regards to the DC movie universe. For the most part the DCEU (the franchise as it has been known until now) has been mothballed in favor of a soft reboot headed creatively by James Gunn (writer/director of Guardians of the Galaxy). This film could theoretically serve as a jumping off point for this new continuity, but there are a lot of questions still up in the air.

Based loosely on the Flashpoint story arc that featured Barry traveling back in time to stop the murder of his mother causing an alternate universe to be born, this takes some fairly large creative leaps sideways. I won’t go into details, but the plot does work within the rules outlined within the narrative. It goes to some dark and interesting places, and explores the emotional stakes of such a choice in a surprisingly thoughtful way.

More to the point, Ezra Miller (Barry Allen/Flash), who has been a topic of a lot of debate recently due to some questionable behavior, is the emotional core of this film. He carries most of the drama on his back with ease, making him true to the character introduced in Justice League, while also 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.

Sasha Calle is introduced as the first iteration of Supergirl in the DCEU, and she is fabulous. Although she has somewhat limited screen time, she is this powerful presence and creates a very different version of the character from what we’ve seen before. The fact that the character is able to show kindness and grace given her circumstances is really wonderful allowing for a nuanced character with some serious shades of gray. I also really enjoyed her action scenes, which carried over those emotional stakes and made me care about her. There is already a new Supergirl movie in the works, and I hope she is cast in the role again.

Last but certainly not least is Michael Keaton returning to the role of Batman, complete with a fairly accurate recreation of Wayne Manor from the original Batman 89’. He is a welcome presence to balance out the team, and gets more to do action wise than anything that was possible back in either of the two Batman films he starred in. I’ll admit I never really cared for him as Batman, but here he practically steals the show, and for the first time I really loved him in the role.

There were a ton of smaller parts and cameos, which I will not spoil because they were a lot of fun. Some of the CG was very wonky, especially in a recurring set piece, but it might have been on purpose because of the nature of that place. Still, I wish they had put more polish on those scenes, but they work thematically so that is all that really matters. The rest of the film looks great, with some surprising sequences and twists that I didn’t see coming.

Is this a great film? No, but it was a lot of fun and I do recommend it, even if you wait until streaming.

3 1/2 out of 4 Heroes from an alternate universe.

Samantha M. Quinn spends most of her time in front of a computer typing away at one thing or another; when she has free time, she enjoys pretty much anything science fiction or fantasy-related.


  1. My favorite fact about this movie is that the entire run of CW's The Flash aired between the announcement of the movie and its release.

  2. Michael Keaton has always been my favorite Batman, and this movie just confirmed it. I agree this movie pushed the role much further than the original - and I liked the original costume because his fighting style becomes as much about agility as strength, which is very much Batman for me!

    Ezra Miller I thought would be annoying in the role but actually did a fantastic job.

    I also liked the metaphor of how time travel works. It seems messy and scarier than the more linear approach, and thus very interesting.


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