"The Flash" Puts Endcap on DC Snyderverse

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The Flash

After a almost a year of waiting, tumultuous production changes, and an iffy future for the leading actor, "The Flash" finally crosses the finish line last for the Justice League movies that made up what fans call "The Snyderverse." And for that wait, fans get a montage of great fan service scenes that will have them remembering what they've loved about the DC pantheon of heroes over the years.

Sadly, very fiew of those scenes involved the movie's main character, The Flash.

First and foremost: "The Flash" is a comedy with a few serious moments. It's bloated with bullet-time special effects and then doubles them when Barry (Ezra Miller) learns he can time travel.

The plot begins after a Superman-less Justice League emergency finds Barry rescuing a shower of infants while Batman (Ben Affleck) chases some would-be chemical terrorists. Wonder Woman appears solely to save the day at the end, with Batman this time becoming the butt of the joke about how the lasso of truth apparently makes people babble honest nonsense without even a prompting question. After this, we learn that Barry's father (Ron Livingston) is up for appeal on his sentence, having been convicted in the murder of his wife (Maribel Verdu). In a moment of grief, Barry takes off running -- and realizes he is traveling back in time. Taking this new information to Bruce, he is counseled against using this ability or else put the entire universe in jeopardy.

Guess what Barry does.

He goes back and makes what should be an inconsequentila change to the timeline to save his mother. But during the return trip... something happens. He comes out of the timestream and meets his 18-year-old self, who is even more awkward, obnoxious, and outright goofy than grown up Barry. (In fact, some of Miller's best moments are when he realizes how others see him and actually matures some in contrast to his younger self.) Now Barry has to make sure that events unfold as they should so that he still gets his super powers -- but making sure his younger self still gets hit by lightning causes him to lose those same powers himself -- just in time for the Kryptonian invasion by General Zod (Michael Shannon) in a world where there is no Superman, Wonder Woman, or Aquaman.

This brings us to the reason most people came to see this show: Michael Keaton. This is the universe where the Michael Keaton Batman exists, and we see a lot of the same sets of Wayne Manor. Alas, Alfred is gone and Bruce has grown up into a messy long-haired hermit who makes sloppy spaghetti for dinner. 

The rest of the film is a mission to find Superman (he never made it, but his cousin, Kara Zor-el did, played by Sasha Calle), then go save the world from Zod and his plan to terraform the world. Which means Barry's going to have to get his speed back. Time to wait for a thunderstorm and launch the bat-kite.

No, I'm serious.

The finale of the film allows Miller to give one emotional performance -- while not wearing a grandmother's sweater or being completely nude (you have to see the film to understand; or don't) -- before trying to put right what he got wrong. And when he finally returns to present day, the Allen family gets the happy ending. But be aware: there is no more Snyderverse with the end of this film, a fact which is confirmed when Barry meets up with Bruce Wayne after his father's hearing.

There is one major scene in this film that the nostalgia fans will geek out over, including some guest appearances that you may not see coming. Some of it involves archival footage, and some of it plays off of films that could have happened but never did. This is a fun moment, and it could have lasted longer. But it's also a moment where you realize -- the predicament the universe is in has nothing to do with Barry going back to save his mother.

For the big screen spectacle scenes, see this in a theater. If you just need to complete your DCEU movie set, it won't take long for this one to come to disc.

2.5 / 5.0