Saturday, July 20, 2024

How The Flash Gave New Life to the DCEU Franchise in Just One Sprint

Starring: Ezra Miller, Sasha Calle, Michael Shannon, Ron Livingston, Maribel Verdu, Kiersey Clemons, Antje Traue, Ben Affleck, and Michael Keaton

Where to Watch: In theaters

Date of Release: June 16th

Length of Time: 2hrs 24mins

Synopsis: Worlds collide in The Flash when Barry uses his superpowers to travel back in time in order to change the events of the past. But when his attempt to save his family inadvertently alters the future, Barry becomes trapped in a reality in which General Zod has returned, threatening annihilation with no Super Heroes to turn to. That is, unless Barry can coax a very different Batman out of retirement to rescue an imprisoned Kryptonian. Ultimately, to save the world that he is in and return to the future that he knows, Barry’s only hope is to race for his life. But will making the ultimate sacrifice be enough to reset the universe?

What can I say? I came for Micheal Keaton’s Batman and stayed because The Flash actually turned out to be a good movie. It is an ambitious and thrilling superhero adventure that more than lives up to audience’s expectations. From the opening frame to its pulse-pounding conclusion, this film is a frenetic rush of action, emotion, and mind-bending time-travel hijinks that will surely leave audiences satisfied. 

At the center of the film is Ezra Miller’s charismatic and vulnerable performance as both a current version of Barry Allen (aka The Flash) and a younger alternate version of Barry Allen. Miller brings a youthful energy to the role, capturing the unbridled optimism of a young hero with newfound powers and the deep emotional pain that drives him to use those powers to rewrite his tragic past. It’s too bad his recent legal issues have overshadowed his potential, as I am sure there would’ve been some award nomination buzz. 

But it’s not just Miller’s magnetic performance that makes this movie successful. The supporting cast also turns in fantastic performances, with Michael Keaton shining as the alternate version of Bruce Wayne/Batman and Sasha Calle bringing a certain gravitas to her role as Supergirl. Keaton’s introduction into the film is fitting, entertaining, and surprising as he is almost unrecognizeable in long hair and a beard. I may be slightly biased as an 80’s baby, but this is my favorite version of Batman outside of Christian Bale. 

We are all still recovering from the news of Henry Cavill not returning as Superman, but Calle’s performance gave me hope for the future. Calle’s portrayal was powerful and vulnerable; the writers gave the character a relatable and compelling story arc. 

Beyond some strong performances, The Flash excels in its special effects and action sequences. Director Andy Muschietti creates a visually stunning world as vibrant and colorful as the comic books on which it is based. Its extensive use of visual effects creates mind-bending action sequences that push the envelope of what is possible on the big screen.

I also enjoyed the return of the Kryptonians, General Zod (played by Michael Shannon), and Faora-UI (played by Antje Traue); they are even more brutal in this film than in their first appearance in Man of Steel (2013). When told to dominate and destroy without any sympathy, they annihilate humanity. 

Can we take a moment to talk about Keaton’s fighting sequence when they rescue Supergirl? It was beautifully shot and the fight choreography was masterful, paying a massive tribute to my favorite version of The Caped Crusader. I’m pretty sure this scene will be posted on Youtube and viewed more than a few times. 

However, what truly sets The Flash apart is its heart. At its core, this story is about the power of family, the pain of loss, and the desire for redemption. Muschietti handles these emotional themes with care and sensitivity while never losing the exhilarating sense of fun that propels the film forward.

Moreover, The Flash takes risks with the superhero genre, introducing time-travel elements that keep the audience on the edge of their seats throughout. Barry’s attempts to change history are compelling and suspenseful, adding depth and complexity to the storyline (something often missing in other DC films). 

There are a bunch of easter eggs and cameos that comic book fans will enjoy. If you haven’t already heard Twitter going crazy over it, I am sure you will because it definitely put a smile on my face, but don’t worry, I won’t ruin it for you. 

Overall, The Flash is a good superhero movie well-deserving of applause. It fully embraces the fantastical elements of the comic book world while delivering a meaningful emotional message.

In a time when the DCEU has struggled to consistently produce quality films, The Flash arrives on the scene just in time to be recognized as a 2023 summer smash. Although it’s not my favorite for ‘Comic Book Movie of the Year’, it still is one of the best DCEU films I have seen.

Dapper Dr Feel

Felipe Patterson aka Dapper Dr. Feel, #BlackLoveConvo & Entertainment | @fdapperdr Dapper Dr. Feel is a Entertainment journalist and member of the Critics Choice Association and African American Film Association.

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