As The Flash, nonbinary actor Ezra Miller proposes a more faun-like Jeff Goldblum – lithe and angular, quick and faltering to cover insecurities, neurotic, slightly twerpy. In tight red suits, they might be an Olympic skater who is constantly worried that their blades are getting chewed gum. This is Miller’s fourth time in the role—technically, his fourth and fifth, since they end up playing not one but two Flashes—and the first time they’re shouldering the weight of an entire DC Justice League vehicle.
They carry everything easily in the palm of their hand, as if it were the remote control for the Batcave’s garage door.
These films are often as drenched as sponge cake left on a rising tide, but Flash His career is often marred by what he calls “complex mental health issues,” and he seems to have taken shape to accommodate his star’s eccentric comic talents.
A time-traveling fantasy, Flash funny, creative and dizzying – just like Return to the future franchise for superheroes. In fact, there’s a perpetual joke here that imagines an alternate reality where these movies are starring Eric Stolz instead of Michael J. Fox. (In our reality, of course, Stolz was replaced by Fox shortly after filming began.) It’s complicated, but time travel often is.
Directed by Andy Muschietti (2017s) IT and 2013 is undervalued mom)The movie opens with a spectacular episode where time slows down to a drop of molasses as The Flash rescues babies (and an emotional support dog) who were thrown into the air from the maternity ward of a high-rise hospital. They float in the air like down.
Then we get to the core of the plot. Outside of his uniform, The Flash is forensic scientist Barry Allen, whose father (Ron Livingston) is on trial for the murder of Barry’s mother (Maribel Verdú). Barry wants to prove his father’s innocence and escape his eternal mourning for his mother, who is no longer around. Solution: Run fast enough to distort and reverse time. This results in a phenomenon that sometimes looks like a giant molten bubble, and sometimes looks like a stadium filled with two-dimensional figures from the past. Sergeant Pepper reproduced forever.
All he has to do is make a small adjustment the day his mother was murdered. It’s nothing more than adding a can of tomatoes to the grocery cart at the supermarket.
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This proves an idea is a blunder. The Flash is stuck in the past with a younger, more enthusiastic kid version of himself (Miller cleverly handles this doubling without overdoing it), while a mutation of events creates weirder and weirder complications, including a rather reluctantly reluctant version of the Justice League. . . This introduces us to an older, quirkier Bruce Wayne, someone with matted gray hair and a beard – he might be Howard Hughes or Bruce Dern, but none other than Michael Keaton, who starred in Tim Burton’s movie. Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992).
Meanwhile, Kryptonian villain General Zod (Michael Shannon) has descended from his spaceship and returned to Earth, in the snarling fury of someone who had hoped to fly in first class and was injured in a car. That means billions of people will probably die.
Well, there’s a lot more going on than that as Flash 1 and Flash 2 go back and forth between different realities with their crazy slapstick energy trying to fix the cosmic fallout from those goddamn tomatoes. In the process of expanding their multiverse, the film makes an ingenious reassessment of all its predecessors and iterations – Batmans, Supermen. It almost feels like an exorcism rite of the entire Justice League series, which is always so stubbornly proud of its protagonists’ masochistic suffering. Marvel movies, on the other hand, are closer to quest narratives, often moving forward, stopping brooding—probably that’s why they’re more entertaining.
Flash, still magnificent. And Miller is great.
The movie opens in theaters on June 16.