Wednesday, June 14, 2023



Thanks to Warner Bros. Pictures, I was able to attend an advance screening of THE FLASH which opens in movie theaters across the U.S. on June 16, 2023. I found THE FLASH to be an entertaining superhero flick worth the price of a movie ticket, as well as a bucket of popcorn and ICEE to snack on, to see it on the silver screen at a theater. It won't be the best or worst film being released this year, but THE FLASH earns a Geek Daddy nod of approval for providing a good time summer outing to a movie theater. 

While superhero movies are known for epic battle scenes against daunting, monstrous villains, movie goers will be disappointed if that is what they are wanting to see in THE FLASH. Instead, this movie's focus is one the time traveling encounters that the title character has and the chaos that erupts as a result. Instead of being a clash between super powered heroes and villains, THE FLASH instead uses a cast of DC Comics characters to portray a variation of Ray Bradbury's science fiction short story "A Sound of Thunder" in which the acts of time traveler going into the past changes the future they return to. In Bradbury's sci-fi tale, when one of these travelers accidentally steps on a butterfly it has a more profound effect on impacting history's timeline than you would expect a minor incident to have. 


Thus, the term "butterfly effect" has been coined when referring to how time travel could disrupt and create chaos in reality. Some physicists believe even the most minor of alterations to a timeline could create multiple dimensions of reality which are referred to as multiverses. In going back in time to try and stop a tragedy from impacting his family, the Flash alters the fate of billions of other people. Rather than fighting a "bad guy" the central theme of this movie has the Flash as his own adversary trying to reverse a mistake he has made. Some may find these dramatic elements being the driving principal of THE FLASH to be disappointing; but I found this aspect of the film refreshing and a nice differentiation from other superhero adventure films that have been released during this recent comic book movie era we find ourselves in. 

That is not to say there isn't action in the film. Ironically, Batman steals the limelight from the movie's title character in a number of scenes. There are some spectacular action scenes in THE FLASH featuring both Ben Afflick and Michael Keaton where both actors are equally impressive in the role of Batman. I found the Batman scenes to be exciting and a nice counterbalance to the slower pacing of some of the dramatic storytelling aspects of the film. For a film based on a super fast hero, I do have to say the movie could have been a bit faster paced. 


Michael Keaton was the "movie Batman" when I was in high school, so there is a lot of nostalgia for me with his return to the DC cinematic universe in THE FLASH. He didn't disappoint! I am GEEKED about Keaton's performance in this movie and very glad I didn't miss out on seeing it.

I really don't like Ezra Miller as an actor, but his portrayal in this movie was bearable. As the end credits began rolling, my thoughts were he did an "ok" job performing. He had some nice humorous and dramatic moments in the film, but I'm not sure if I would have liked the movie as much without the Batman scenes incorporated into the script. That being said, I didn't not like the film because of Ezra Miller's role in it. So, in that regard THE FLASH actually exceeded the expectations that I had before going into the theater to watch it.

For the most part the special effects are equivalent to similar major Hollywood "comic book" adventure motions pictures, though I do have to say there is one "baby rescue" scene that has the worst CGI I've seen in a theatrical release. It is like the cabbage patch dolls make a cameo! Other than that the special effects provided a fairly good immersive experience to provide audiences with a sense of realism to a fantasy movie about super powers, time travel, and divergent histories that create a multiverse of realities. 


Speaking of cameos, there are a number in the film that enhance the fun factor of watching this movie. Diehard comic fans are sure to be delighted by easter eggs and cameos within this movie. Plus, casual moviegoers will also appreciated some unexpected actor appearances within the show. Additionally, don't race out of the theater until the credits have finished scrolling. There is a post-credit scene featuring an actor cameo for a Justice League character who otherwise doesn't appear in THE FLASH.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) gives THE FLASH a PG-13 rating for sequences of violence and action, some strong language, and partial nudity. From this dad's perspective there isn't anything in this film where a parent should feel uncomfortable letting elementary school aged kids see this flick. There really isn't sexual content, scary scenes, or gore in the film; but death is a major theme of the film and people are killed in it so parents should be sensitive to that when evaluating if this movie is a good fit for their child.

Inspired by the 2011 comic book event Flashpoint, written by Geoff Johns, which incorporates the butterfly effect and chaos theory elements of Bradbury's "A Sound of Thunder," THE FLASH sees Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) tapping into the Speed Force to move so fast that he's able to travel back in time. Worlds collide when the Flash's attempt to save his family inadvertently alters the future, he becomes trapped in a reality in which General Zod has returned, threatening annihilation. With no other superheroes to turn to, the Flash looks to coax a very different Batman out of retirement and rescue an imprisoned Kryptonian -- albeit not the one he's looking for.

From my experience viewing the movie, you should have a goodtime watching it and leave the theater not feeling a sense of regret that the film's 2 hours and twenty-four minutes is time you'll never get back. If you are looking to see the next "Best Picture" Oscar winner this film isn't for you. If you on the other hand are looking for summer fun by having Hollywood magic transport you away from your day to day life for a couple of hours this is a good pick. THE FLASH will have audiences laughing and rooting for its heroes and maybe even cause you to shed a tear or two. A nice selection to choose for a fun summer outing to a movie theater filled with both adventure and drama.

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