The Flash shows that he’s so quick, even the BBFC couldn’t get a handle on the full title, as it just states “Flash” on the BBFC title card.
However, the film doesn’t take long to get into its stride, and just keeps on going, and is one of the few films straying over two hours that actually has a reason to do so.
We first see the socially awkward Barry Allen (Ezra Miller – Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore) trying to urgently buy a sandwich, because he’s late for a big job, which leads to the opening scene where he’s saving humanity, including staff and babies falling out of a collapsing hospital, downtown, which is a brilliant opening scene, and revisited in the initial part of the closing credits – which will help for the bonehead who arrived after the film had been running for 20 minutes!
To get to this point, though, it made me laugh as he prepares for running, but gets stopped by Alfred’s (Jeremy Irons – The Pentaverate) interruption, leading to the film’s title almost appearing, yet stops and comes back again.
Because reasons, he discovers he can travel back in time, but can he change the past, and should he? His father, Henry (Ron Livingston – Lucky), has always been accused of killing his wife and Barry’s mum, Nora (Maribel Verdú), but can he get to the truth and alter it?
However, while talking to the current Batman, (Ben Affleck), and discussing saving his parents, the outgoing caped crusader gruffly states, “Our scars make us who we are”; and another poignant line was “Don’t live your past, live your life”.
There’s lots of humour, including between Barry and himself, as he meets his impetuous younger self from 2013, and The Flash also has a lot going on in this movie, including finding Michael Keaton‘s Batman, along with his Batcave, and it’s great to see him return for one last hurrah (unless there’s sequels, perhaps, but then not based on the box office receipts, sadly)
We also get a brief mention of how Eric Stoltz played Marty McFly in Back to the Future. I know it was mostly filmed with him, before they realised he wasn’t right for the part, but in this universe, he made the entire film! Even that initial brief mention would be enough for me to crack me up, but they do expand on it further, for those not so familiar with the situation.
Plus, when Supergirl carries Barry at one point (I won’t say why), she tells him, “I’ve got you”, so I was hoping for him to reply, a la Lois Lane from the 1978 Superman movie, “You’ve got me? Who’s got you?!”, but he doesn’t. Then again, when I saw this film a second time… well, you’ll see; and at one point, current Barry says, “Come on, Barbie”, while the younger one replies, unsure, “Let’s go party?!”
And in what feels like a sideplot by comparison, Zod (Michael Shannon – George And Tammy) turns up, and he wants something from Kara, aka Supergirl (Sasha Calle), who’s giving off a very emo vibe.
Regarding the years, I see Wikipedia mentioned that the younger Barry is from 2013, but this wasn’t done in the film, itself, and I was sat there wishing that when they went back in time, they’d actually stated which year it was onscreen. We know that the younger Flash is 18 years old, so that makes him 14 years younger than the current Ezra Miller – but now I know the younger one is from 2013, that makes current Barry 28 years old. At the time, though, I figured they didn’t want to state the year (or play any music from that time) because that dates a movie, the more the years go on. I seem to remember they didn’t put the year on press passes in 1998’s Godzilla for that very purpose.
Overall, aside from some underdeveloped characters – such as throwing in Kiersey Clemons (Swarm) as college friend, now a journalist Iris West – I felt The Flash was a fantastic movie, which keeps up the pace, and questions whether or not Barry can actually get back home. There’s also a number of decent tunes, such as Chicago’s 25 Or 6 To 4.
Plus, how much emphasis can be placed on a can of tomatoes? Then again, I once forgot a loaf of bread!
Almost finally, I’ll say that early into the credits, you see something from the opening from a certain individual’s perspective, but as for what else happens beyond this, and for any cameos in the movie, watch the video below.
Really finally, the first time I went to see this, I gave it a 9/10, but on a second viewing on the afternoon of Saturday June 24th, in a different screen than the first, and it was even better overall. Just one more niggle, which I’ll hide behind a spoiler, because… well, it’s a spoiler.
But… This time, I saw the film in screen 2 (normally used for ScreenX, but this was a regular screening), and the same sound problem which affects screen 6 (which I was told, after Champions, was completely fixed, but Air proved Cineworld’s customer service bods were telling fibs) is now affecting screen 2. After mentioning it, I presume it was the manager who came in during the ads and trailers. He said the speaker wasn’t defective, but if it’s not the speaker, then there is some other problem, because while the front-centre speakers are fine in both, the front-left/right audio is pushed over to the right in screen 6, and in screen 2, it’s pushed over to the left.
It’s as clear as the ear can hear, when you’re sat in the centre of a row, even by sitting through a few ads or trailers.
Alternatively, for The Flash, when Michael Keaton first appears and it plays Chicago’s 25 Or 6 To 4, or during the earlier bridge scene when a certain individual’s theme is played (I’m trying to avoid spoilers), the music ONLY comes out of the left-hand side.
The man I spoke to said he would keep an eye on it, but I heard the problem all the way from the moment I was sat in there, until the film had finished.
I also mentioned to Cineworld in previous emails how it also happened during the ads and trailers for Allelujah!, in screen 4, some months back. However, when I mentioned that to someone, and they stood under the ’empty speaker’ (the right-hand one, like is happening in screen 2), within 5 minutes, that problem was fixed!
So, how come screen 4 is quickly resolved, but not 2 or 6?
And I’ve still never had an update on what happened to screen 7, following when I watched Gerard Butler’s Plane.
Given how long these problems are going on for, and with what I read about the potential bankruptcy looming for Cineworld, I can only conclude that they know these problems exist, and are willingly letting bad cinema experiences happen, such that when Cineworld go under, and Odeon or Vue or another chain buy the cinemas out (more likely splitting the total cinemas between them, due to competition rules), it’ll be them who has to fork out the money to fix them.
The only time they ever took action, previously, was with screen 5 when I pointed out its blurry screen during Black Adam, then Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, about 2 weeks later. That led to a projector bulb being changed, and it was fine after that. Why can’t they fix things every time?
Even then, the stock answer from this ‘customer service’ email address was to simply tell me that I’m the only person who complained about the problem in there, as if to make it sound like *I* was the problem. I hope that person received some retraining in how they speak to customers.
Running time: 144 minutes
Release date: June 14th 2023
Studio: Warner Bros
Format: 1.90:1 (ARRIRAW (4.5K))
Cinema: Cineworld Didsbury
Director: Andy Muschietti
Producers: Michael Disco, Barbara Muschietti
Screenplay: Christina Hodson, John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein
Music: Benjamin Wallfisch
Barry Allen / The Flash: Ezra Miller
Bruce Wayne / Batman: Michael Keaton
Kara Zor-El / Supergirl: Sasha Calle
General Zod: Michael Shannon
Henry Allen: Ron Livingston
Nora Allen: Maribel Verdú
Iris West: Kiersey Clemons
Alfred Pennyworth: Jeremy Irons
Faora-Ul: Antje Traue
Patty: Saoirse-Monica Jackson
Albert: Rudy Mancuso
Thomas Curry: Temuera Morrison
David Singh: Sanjeev Bhaskar
Gary: Sean Rogers
Al Falcone: Luke Brandon Field
Kid Barry: Ian Loh
Baby Nurse: Florence Wright
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.