The Flash speeds onto UK Digital Retail from this Monday. In preparation, check out our review of the film and details of the special features!
The Flash is speeding onto UK digital retail from Monday (August 28th.) The DC movie, starring Ezra Miller and the return of Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/ Batman is bound to be much sought after. It has been a success on the PVOD market. But now, it can be yours at a cheaper price to own. The movie gets a physical release on September 18th. While special features will vary by supplier, this is what viewers can expect to have at their fingertips:
Making the Flash: Worlds Collide – featurette
The Flash: Escape the Midnight Circus Behind the Scenes
Let’s Get Nuts: Batman Returns, Again – featurette
Supergirl: Last Daughter of Krypton – featurette
The Flash: Escape from Midnight Circus Trailer
The Flash: Escape from Midnight Circus: Priorities
The Flash: Escape from Midnight Circus: The Inherent Dangers of Time Travel
The Flash: Escape from Midnight Circus: Fully Torqued
The Flash: Escape from Midnight Circus: The Psychodrome
The Flash: Escape from Midnight Circus: Cyclotron Don
The Flash: Escape from Midnight Circus: Blackout
In Session – The Flash: Escape from the Midnight Circus
In preparation ahead of the film’s digital release, we present to you our editor-in-chief, Phil Roberts‘ review of the film itself. Get ready to once again experience all the thrills the film has to offer in the comfort of your own home!
After some hefty delays, Andy Muschietti’s The Flash is finally running into cinemas everywhere. Allegations against its star Ezra Miller have mired the build-up and taken some of the focus away from the film. But, with Sasha Calle making her debut as Supergirl and Michael Keaton donning the Cowl for the first time in over three decades, the movie has all the hallmarks of a runaway smash hit. But can it overcome the behind-the-scenes drama and hit a home run for fans of the speed force? Or should we sideline it to the also-ran section?
Fear not Flash fans because Barry Allen‘s big-screen solo adventure is a triumph. The movie is a true DC masterclass, and although it has its fair share of problems, the movie presents the DC Multiverse at its finest. It’s incredibly humorous and has more comedy moments than I expected. But the comedic aspects fit right into the tone of the film. As for the characters, Sasha Calle is mesmerizing as Supergirl, and Ezra Miller excels as two variations of Barry. But make no mistake, this is Michael Keaton’s movie – and he makes his triumphant return in a stellar performance that warrants another solo adventure.
Based loosely on the “Flashpoint” storyline, the film follows Barry and his quest to exonerate his father for the murder of his mother. The source material is gripping. And the film hits with some genuinely poignant and heartfelt moments that underscore the loss that Barry has endured. Although the fast-paced and often explosive opening taps into the funnier side of things, this heartbreak serves as the template for what we will see unfold. After a daring rescue by Flash and Batman (Ben Affleck), Barry quickly discovers a way to travel back in time through the Speed Force.
What follows is an exploration of whether Barry should use this newfound ability to return to the past to change the future. It is a moral dilemma, one that warrants advice from Bruce Wayne. But the ever-ready veteran warns of the dangers attached to tampering with past events and emphasizes that the scars of the past define who we become as we grow. Despite his limited screen time, Affleck appears to be having a blast in this lighter incarnation of his caped crusader. So if this is the last time we see him in the suit, at least he went out on a high. But fans will be left wondering what might have been had circumstances been different.
Another setback at his father’s latest appeal sends Barry into a downward spiral. And just when his budding relationship with Iris West shows the first signs of flourishing, Barry decides to risk the fate of the Multiverse by running into the past to save his mother. However, after altering the past and changing the present, Barry’s joy is quickly replaced by dread when he encounters his teenage doppelganger. What’s more, General Zod and the Kryptonian fleet have arrived demanding the surrender of a Kryptonian survivor who has been taking refuge on Earth. Sound familiar?
Now, Ezra Miller has their fair share of critics, and rightly so. After all, their recent actions have been well publicized and condemned. But as a performer, their talent and range as an actor come to the fore in spades. We genuinely feel the pain and loss Barry endures about his mother. As well as the burden of his father’s incarceration. And Miller takes this emotional anvil and carries it from destination to destination. Although the emotional baggage weighs heavy, the most faithful version of the character shines through. Indeed, Muschietti delivers the definitive incarnation of The Flash from the comics and classic animated series. And coupled with Miller’s performance and a hefty dose of iconography, this is the Barry Allen we’ve been waiting to see.
With Zod threatening global annihilation, Barry quickly sets off to unite the Justice League in the faint hope of stopping Zod’s invasion. But soon, he quickly discovers that his actions have eradicated metahumans from the timeline. No Amazon warriors. No Atlanteans. And no Cyborgs. With this dilemma weighing on his shoulders, Barry’s sights turn to Superman. And with his annoying doppelganger in tow, they head to Gotham City in a desperate attempt to convince Bruce Wayne/Batman to help. But instead of finding Ben Affleck’s resilient leader, they discover an aging alternate version of his friend and mentor in Michael Keaton’s DC icon.
Thankfully, Michael Keaton slips back into character like he’s never been away. And fans of the Burton-Verse are in for a treat of Batman iconography. Everything from the familiar interior of Wayne Manor to the Batcave, Batmobile, and Batwing are all back to deliver a relative feast for the eyes. And when he finally suits up and emerges as Batman, a thrill ride of action and nostalgia awaits.
Being a confessed Burton-Verse fanboy, I was swooning with the over-indulgent fan service Muschietti has served up here. Some fans might be put off by the feast of nostalgia the director is treating us to. But Keaton fans will eat well with The Flash. More than just a cameo, Keaton returns to the DC fold with aplomb, and within minutes he’s taking down baddies left and right. Batarangs will fly, and martial arts kicks will land hard. But after a few minutes back in the saddle, fans will be pleading with DC to reward him with a third solo outing.
Muschietti is an intelligent filmmaker and he uses Keaton to heighten the movie where it needs it. And when all is said and done, Michael Keaton steals the movie from Ezra Miller. Whether this was intentional remains to be seen, but make no mistake, this is Keaton’s movie. And it shows. Benjamin Wallfisch’s sensational score accentuates this with a bombastic soundtrack that brings Danny Elfman’s theme back with a bang. The composer hits the Batman theme whenever Keaton launches into action and it serves to capture the essence of Tim Burton’s movies. Trust me, if you’re a Burton fan, you’ll leave the theater happy!
Andy Muschietti, being the brilliant filmmaker that he is, has uncovered a gem in Sasha Calle. Her debut as Supergirl may be criminally underused, but in her short time on screen, Calle leaves her mark. Far from the chiseled heroics of her famous cousin, Calle’s Kara Zor-El arrives as a broken, vulnerable, and unpolished hero. It is refreshing to see one of DC’s pillars broken and starting from the bottom of the barrel. But when all is said and done, Calle hits the ground running and leaves us wanting more. One can only hope she is rewarded for her efforts with a role in James Gunn’s newly-minted DC Studios era. But on the strength of this performance, anything less will be criminal.
Sadly, this is where the film hits its first hurdle. Andy Muschietti has nailed his colors to the mast by tethering this adventure to Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. Those unfamiliar with the Snyderverse will struggle to keep up with all the easter eggs and fan service that unfolds. Michael Shannon’s return as Zod is little more than a token role that the actor himself has labeled as unfulfilling. And he’s not wrong. Shannon’s screen time is severely limited which is only compounded further by Antje Traue blink and you miss it return as Faora-Ul. Which is a real shame.
But far worse than the trivial screen time of its stellar cast are the movie’s special effects. I always do my best to be open and honest in these reviews, so, I won’t be changing now. So it pains me when I say that many of the special effects in The Flash are woeful. And it’s not isolated to a few scenes either. The majority of the big special effects moments are mired by poorly executed and cartoon-ish CGI that is way below the standards we are used to. It is a jarring experience, one that takes you right out of the movie. Andy Muschietti should be aggrieved by the poor quality his vision has been rewarded with. But given the background noise this movie has accumulated, maybe the studio decided to cut its losses.
The film may also be guilty of leaning too far into fan service during the finale. But if you’re a lifelong DC fan like me, you’ll be rubbing your hands together with glee as the credits roll. This too is semi-ruined by terrible CGI. But given the nature of what transpires, these failures will be forgiven for what we are rewarded with.
As mentioned above, one of the standouts of this movie is its score composed by Benjamin Wallfisch. The composer has expertly crafted a sensational soundtrack that delivers. Harnessing the brilliance of Danny Elfman’s Batman theme and interweaving it with his new themes has all the hallmarks of a seasoned pro at the top of their game. And if this is a taste of Wallfisch’s talent, I’d urge the studio to get him under contract as soon as possible.
So is The Flash the definitive DC game-changer? That is for you to decide. But for me, Muschietti has delivered a certified DC blockbuster that has it all. Heart, emotion, big spectacles, nostalgia, and enough fan service to fill the Batcave twice over. Ezra Miller’s performance is their best to date, and if were purely down to talent, I’d urge the studio to secure them for a sequel as soon as possible. But maybe there’s too much mud in the water for that.
But make no mistake, this is Michael Keaton’s movie, and he deserves to bask in the limelight once again. I was eleven when I saw Keaton don the cowl for the first time, and his return was everything I’d hoped it would be. And that is all down to the directorial vision and talent of Andy Muschietti. Here, he has delivered one of the best DC movies to date. And if this is a sign of what he can produce, I’d be delighted to see him helm The Brave and the Bold.
In an uncertain world, in a chaotic time, justice wears a mask. And thirty-three years later it still fits like a glove.
Welcome back, Batman! I had a blast!
The Flash is released via Warner Bros. and will be available to buy on digital download from Monday, August 28th. It will be able to buy on the physical formats on September 18th.
Carl Roberts is the News Editor for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force frequently!