HomeCultureThe Flash review: Muddled, poignant and – because of Ezra Miller –...

The Flash review: Muddled, poignant and – because of Ezra Miller – morally tricky

Should Warner Bros. be shelved? flash light? Honestly, I’m not sure I have the answer. The narration of its star, Ezra Miller, and their two-year downward spiral – including allegations of harassment, grooming and physical violence – is distressing in a way that goes beyond every segment critique. What needs to come, before the issue of accountability, is the question of why there isn’t a support system in place. Why should no one be empowered by moral imperatives or tools to intervene in a situation where an individual is in such obvious danger?

By no means will anyone be helped by the release or cancellation of Miller’s film. In both scenarios, Warner Bros. had to shirk all responsibility and focus on the fate of the product, not the people it recruited. And while the actor (as their reps insist) is currently seeking treatment, the rush to prepare for a proposed sequel carries the false implication that the treatment will not be over. when medical experts say so, but when Hollywood decides it’s time for Miller to act. Back to work.

flash light, which has been in active development for nearly a decade, now also comes after the announcement that DC’s new leadership, Peter Safran and James Gunn, will largely be starting from scratch. Goodbye 10 years of powerless franchise planning. That means the film that comes here is a strange one – messy and uncertain of its own identity, embellished by external circumstances, yet strangely poignant at times. It’s stuck somewhere between skeptical fan service and a more sincere desire to make art from the company’s strategy.

Much of that division is inherent in its plot, in which The Flash, aka Barry Allen, is on an intimate journey of metaphysical implications. Barry, when we first meet him, was frustrated with his place in the superhero pantheon, essentially becoming the “gatekeeper of the Justice League” and leaving to clean up the mess. Batman (Ben Affleck) He also suffers from not being able to prove his father (Ron Livingston) innocent in the murder of his mother (Maribel Verdú). And so he uses his powers to, as Cher would say, go back in time. But that messes up the space-time continuum in the process – leading to Barry meeting a younger version of himself who has never experienced any loss or any heroism. Just like that.

Screenwriter Christina Hodson, who also wrote DC’s Birds of prey, thankfully can tease some humanity out of this superman. After all, this is a story about the grieving process and a literal understanding of the concept of healing one’s inner child. Barry gets to know who he would be without his personal pain, and naturally begins to resent his more fortunate, undisturbed self. Miller has always struck the right balance with these dual, sometimes competitive performances – a step up for a character whose uniquely defining trait was once “irritable”. It’s the product of the strong writing here… when you can actually hear it over the sound of the bang and the check being cashed.

As has been tiredly teased, Barry’s timeline woes transport him into a universe where Michael Keaton is Batman, just like he was in two of Tim Burton’s films in 1989 and 1992. Keaton appeared with a charming smirk like Andrew Garfield in Spider-Man: No Way Home, if very little close emotional similarity. Director Andy Muschietti is perhaps the funniest here, as he enthusiastically presents his film with its gothic aesthetic, the fog shrouding Burton’s work and the sombre gloom in his plays. DC contribution by Zack Snyder (Zod by Michael Shannon, by Man of Steel fame, also return). There are also two Flash-centric scenes that pay a sudden homage to Looney Tunes, complete with babies free-falling from skyscrapers and band-worthy instruments falling. out of the truck. They are silly enough to let themselves go to work. That is if you ignore inconsistent special effects.

There are several other cameos, some of which are so ludicrous that you almost have to admire the tenacity, as well as the feather-light look from Sasha Calle’s Supergirl. It’s clear that DC doesn’t really know what it’s honoring, other than knowing that other comic book movies exist. flash light, like Barry himself, was stuck with no real sense of history and no real sense of the future either. It does the best it can.

Directed by: Andy Muschietti. Actors: Ezra Miller, Sasha Calle, Michael Shannon, Ron Livingston, Maribel Verdú, Kiersey Clemons, Antje Traue, Michael Keaton. 12A, 144 minutes.

‘The Flash’ hits theaters on June 16


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