The Flash movie review: Ezra Miller shines in a dual role

(L-R) EZRA MILLER as Barry Allen / The Flash, EZRA MILLER as Barry Allen / The Flash and SASHA CALLE as Kara Zor-El / Supergirl in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “THE FLASH,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/™ & © DC Comics
(L-R) EZRA MILLER as Barry Allen / The Flash, EZRA MILLER as Barry Allen / The Flash and SASHA CALLE as Kara Zor-El / Supergirl in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “THE FLASH,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/™ & © DC Comics /

After five years of being moved around through dates, The Flash is arriving to theaters this Friday, June 16, 2023. The hype surrounding this movie has only grown larger and larger over the past few weeks, with critics and fans glamouring over the film. But does it live up to the hype?

The Flash follows Barry Allen’s attempt to use his super speed to alter the past and save his family, but in the process of changing one part of history, the rest is altered to the point of no return. Andy Muschietti directs the film, and it features Ezra Miller, Micheal Keaton, and Sasha Calle.

Henry Allen is on the verge of the court hearing his appeal for the killing of his wife, and his son Barry Allen is trying to prove his innocence with some footage found at a grocery store which proves his father was not at the house at the time of the his mother’s murder. However, amid a conversation with Iris, Allen realizes that he could go back in time and alter the course of history, keeping his mother alive, which also means his dad would not go to jail.

Throughout his journey through time, Barry faces many obstacles, including becoming stuck with another version of himself at age18. He has altered the course of history so much that superheroes don’t even exist. To restore order, Barry must gather up whomever he can to help him take down the threat of General Zod.

I remember watching Her, Spike Jonze’s 2013 masterful film, where the quote “The past is just a story we tell ourselves” was said by Theodore, and it has stuck with me for a long time. Within this story, writers Christina Hodson and Joby Harold want you to wrestle with the “what if” factor of Barry Allen and maybe even ourselves. Would you risk everything to go back in time to save the one you loved? Or a parent you lost that you want one more interaction with? These are hard questions for anyone to answer.

This entire battle of “what if” isn’t something different or unique to the world of film, but watching material like this sparks conversation amongst yourself and others after the movie ends. For the most part, the writing does a great job within the more personal levels of the film. Most of this can be credited to Ezra Miller’s performance in the movie.

The Flash is the Ezra Miller show

Now, that “what if” factor is something that audiences will battle when it comes to the star of the film, Ezra Miller. The history of Miller is something that some can’t overlook, and I can’t say that I blame them. Their choices weren’t good, and Miller might even play the “what if” game as they self-reflect on those choices. That said, I do not condone any of the actions of Miller. I am judging and reviewing the film based on their performance on screen, not off.

I had moderate expectations for the film, but when I walked out of this theater, I told myself, Flash is Ezra Miller, and Ezra Miller is the Flash. Miller simply blew me away with their work in the role that stood out even at times when the film struggled with its own internal structure. Looking back at the history of actors and actresses playing in these comic book movies, they either have IT or they don’t, and Miller has IT.

What is that “IT,” well, it’s how you carry yourself, balancing the understanding of the human and superhero parts of the character. It’s also being able to be versatile in the bigger moments of the film, but more importantly, able to carry the smaller moments. The film is called The Flash, not Batman, not Superman, The Flash, and they (Miller) bring such a poetic performance to a world that lacks them.

The CGI in The Flash is very problematic

I’ll be honest, the film isn’t without its faults as the CGI is very problematic. With Ezra Miller in a dual role, you can noticeably see Miller CGI’d as the other person several times, and it’s distracting. I don’t get how this was such a massive issue, as we’ve seen dual performances that didn’t have this same issue. Some might have to do with reshoots, but still, the CGI is spotty throughout the film.

The biggest thing that frustrates me about this film is the “what if” factor regarding the HIGHS being so HIGH that they had the chance to make something special. I would say roughly 80% of the script is strong, Miller’s performance is top-notch, Andy Muschietti directed several incredible action sequences, toss in some fun cameos, and Michael Keaton bringing some nostalgia. However, the other 20% of the script, the CGI, and some of the spotty action moments are too noticeable not to take away from the overall film.

Overall, The Flash is enjoyable for all the reasons I mention. I highly recommend seeing it with an audience because people enjoyed some of the film’s bigger moments with claps and cheers. This is a step in the right direction for the DECU, and I hope with James Gunn at the helm, we see them fix the things that have bogged down most of these films for the last decade.

The Flash hits theaters on June 16, 2023. 

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