By: Russ Matthews
Since Ezra Miller was introduced as The Flash in the DCEU, he has brought levity and depth to the role even when the Justice League franchise stumbled along trying to find itself.
Then as the production of his solo film struggled to get the speedster in cinemas due to multiple director changes, COVID disruptions, and the personal mental health issues of its lead, many wondered if this film would be released. Yet, through all the turmoil and challenges, Barry Allen has finally managed to race onto the big screen.
As the self-titled ‘janitor’ of the Justice League, Barry is constantly cleaning up the messes left behind by the rest of the metahuman crew. Despite being relegated to work at the local crime lab for his daytime job, he still serves the public with his gifts. As his father comes up for consideration for release from prison and being acquitted of the murder of his mother, the speedster decides he must turn back time. He goes against the advice of Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), uses his powers to return to his roots, and attempts to stop his mother’s death. Even though it initially leads to satisfactory results, the repercussions cause a series of catastrophic changes in the multiverse that could end the world.
Both Sentimental and Comical
Admittedly, it is fun seeing Michael Keaton as Batman, Michael Shannon resurrected as General Zod and multiple other versions of our favorite superheroes provide the sentimentality desired. Still, it feels second best compared to Spider-man: No Way Home, especially since most of these characters’ resurrection was no surprise. Beyond the sweet memories, Ezra Miller does deliver on his comedic timing. He makes his interpretation of The Flash one of the best parts of The Justice League. His duel role does make for many of the best elements of this storyline and showcases the actor’s abilities to make this character his own. The troubled thespian was complemented nicely by Sasha Calle as Kara Zor-El / Supergirl, even though she is not given enough screen time to show her actual value.
Now here is the rub, the multiverse proves to be a solution and a problem simultaneously. The possibilities are endless since it has been involved in every graphic novel-inspired universe. Except within these franchises, things have quickly become a hot mess. Marvel struggles to unravel the chaos they have found themselves in while the DCEU is now following suit. They all should have taken the advice of Bruce Wayne, who warns us what repercussions will ensue by going down this path. Yet, Marvel and now the DCEU have chosen to introduce multiple universes to audiences, providing nostalgic and humorous results. Except now that the genie has been let out of the bottle and things are getting chaotic, the possibility of going back looks impossible. Initially, this trope makes for fun as audiences travel back in time. Still, all things are proving to be too cluttered inside the multiverse.
The Flash allows DCEU fans to close the door on the Snyder-verse chapter and gives hope for a reset in the James Gunn era. This version is satisfying but suffers from mediocre special effects and needs ruthless editing to improve it. Yet, Ezra Miller is humorous, his character is one of the best within this team of superheroes, and this film should fill the nostalgic cup of the long-suffering followers of this universe.
REEL DIALOGUE: Can we redeem our past?
Redemption: an act of redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake, or the state of being redeemed. Deliverance from sin; salvation.
The idea of redemption is a driving force in The Flash. As Barry Allen attempts to change his past for all the right reasons, he worsens things. Despite the advice from Bruce Wayne, who states how the pain from our past helps to make who we are in the present. The speedster still thinks he can change things for the better.
At its heart, the film deals with some of life’s basic needs. Suffering, regret and redemption.
Travelling through life, most of us come to the point of seeking redemption for various things that we have done. We cannot travel through time to change some of the choices we made in the past. Yet, we still try to find a means of rectifying the wrongs we have done to people, society or God. This concept can be found at the heart of the Bible’s message. Jesus’ life and death provide a special type of redemption readily available to anyone willing to accept it. Are you seeking redemption in your life, and have you considered Jesus as the answer?
In [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace – Ephesians 1:7
Article supplied with thanks to City Bible Forum.
All images: Movie stills
About the author: Russ Matthews is a film critic at City Bible Forum and Reel Dialogue. He has a passion for film and sparking spiritual conversations.