The Flash Movie Review

‘The Flash’ Movie Review – A Solid But Forgettable Multiverse Adventure

The Flash is a Solid, But Forgettable Multiverse Adventure

Seven years after first appearing as Barry Allen/The Flash in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Ezra Miller’s solo The Flash film is here. But it’s not really a solo film at all. Throughout the film, Miller is joined by Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne/Batman and Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince/Wonder Woman from previous DC Extended Universe films, newcomer Kara Zor-el/Supergirl (Sasha Calle), and the much-advertised return of Michael Keaton to the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. Then, there’s also the second Barry Allen, courtesy of the film taking place largely in an alternate universe from the main DCEU films. Far from a solo film, The Flash feels like a superhero party.  

Super Girl meets the Flashes in The Flast Movie

In theory, this opens the film up to the same kind of criticism that it’s rushing the introduction of characters that many previous entries in the DCEU have received. But the fact that both the duplicate Barry and Keaton’s Bruce are versions of already established characters helps the film avoid feeling like it’s throwing too many new characters at the audience too quickly.  It also helps that both Keaton and Calle are fantastic in their roles, and they balance out Miller’s often manic performance as Barry, even as the DCEU Barry becomes more grounded in response to meeting a younger version of himself. 

That performance sets the film off to a more annoying than exciting start as it leans on the awkward humor that made Barry a good side character in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Luckily as the film goes on, the humor finds its footing in the interaction between characters, especially the two Barrys, and becomes more laugh-inducing than cringe-inducing. Overall the best thing about The Flash are the interactions between the characters, as the action and narrative feel serviceable but not particularly exciting or unique. 

The story centers on DCEU Barry’s attempt to turn back time so that he can save his mother from being murdered when he was a child and thereby also save his father from a life of imprisonment for being falsely accused of the crime. Of course, things don’t go as planned, and the DCEU Barry finds himself in an alternate universe where metahumans (the DC word for superpowered humans) don’t exist, and he must team up with Batman, the only superhero who exists in this universe, to save the world from a threat I won’t spoil here. 

Michael Keaton returns as Batman in The Flash

The film’s visual concept of time travel is original and interesting, but the execution leaves much to be desired as the computer-generated images don’t even make it to the uncanny valley.  What frequently lands perfectly in the uncanny valley, though, is Miller’s face. In many scenes with both Barrys on the screen, one of their faces looks like Miller simply filmed the scene, while the other looks just a bit too smooth and moves a smidge too awkwardly. Sadly, the CGI issues don’t end there and extend to several action sequences, especially those involving Kara and her powers, which fall into the same issue as the time travel of being well-choreographed but poorly executed.

There are also aesthetic questions that come up when watching about what Keaton’s Batman means for the universe that DCEU Barry finds himself in. The Wayne Manor, where the Barrys find Bruce, looks sufficiently Tim Burtonesque, but none of the outside world has the gothic aesthetic that Burton brought to his Batman films starring Keaton. Visually it makes perfect sense that DCEU Barry believes he’s reentered the timestream of his universe when he first arrives in the alternate universe, and while that functions narratively, it feels like a missed opportunity on the part of the film to revisit the wildly stylized world of Burton’s films. 

The Flash returns in The Flash Movie

But while visually, Keaton’s inclusion raises more questions than it answers, his Batman delivers a surprisingly unique explanation of the multiverse and its relationship to time travel that will almost certainly have future implications for DC films. The narrative of The Flash isn’t exactly original, but its conception of travel through the multiverse offers something new and exciting in this current glut of superhero and non-superhero multiverse stories. 



The Flash offers some lovely character interactions and an interesting new conception of multiversal travel, but narrative beats and action sequences fail to stand out as anything more than good enough. 


  • Michael Keaton and Sasha Calle’s performances
  • Character interactions
  • Interesting multiverse mythology and explanation


  • Shoddy CGI
  • Cliche story beats