June 8, 2023

CINEMA | Ezra Miller Travels Back to 'The Flash'

"Don't let your tragedy define you."
Ezra Miller Andy Muschietti | DC The Flash
Warner Bros. Pictures / DC Studios
Horror filmmaker Andy Muschietti takes his hand at time-travelling superhero multiversal fare in adapting the eponymous speedster's first solo film. The Flash, starring talented but troubled non-binary actor Ezra Miller reprising his role from previous DC films, is an energetic and crowd-pleasing remix of comic book cinematic history.

Co-starring Michael Keaton, and Ben Affleck as their own Dynamic Duo of Batmen from different timelines, Muschietti and screenwriter Christina Hodson play fast and loose with what's considered shared universe cannon (inspired by the Flashpoint comic storyline) as Keaton has a substantial role as an older, retired Batman tasked with helping two different Barrys fix the diverging timelines.

Newcomer Sasha Calle also stars as Supergirl in an alternate reality where her cousin Superman never made it to Earth. Her soulful performance is a real bright spot while Miller, despite their personal issues and legal problems, offers a dynamic presence as two versions of The Flash effortlessly while building on his previous Justice League appearances.

Ezra Miller Sasha Calle Andy Muschietti | DC The Flash

Michael Shannon reprises his villainous role from Man of Steel as General Zod in a recreation of that film's climax from an alternative point-of-view. It's a small role that echoes another antagonist that sets off Barry's quest to rewrite the past and save his family—Spanish actress Maribel VerdĂș as Barry's mother is outstanding—but jeopardizes his own superhero origins.

Muschietti's visual explanation of the speedster's powers is expressed organically and creatively. As for as exposition goes, The Flash zips along with enough amusing jokes and comedic performances to ground the dizzying time-travel antics without a deluge of info dumps.

The Flash is an overstuffed but well-made spaghetti mashup of nostalgic superhero fun. Miller carries the adventure ably. And yes, there are some insane cameos, references, and nods to other DC Comics incarnations for fans to lap up. What saves the film is its surprisingly heartfelt emotional resonance captured through some fine performances, with Keaton having most of the fun.

More | YVArcade / Indiewire / Polygon / ScreenCrush

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