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Review: The Flash isn’t a terrible film—just a forgettable one

Ezra Miller as Barry/The Flash

Enlarge / Ezra Miller as Barry/The Flash unwittingly screws up the multiverse in The Flash. (credit: YouTube/Warner Bros.)

In the months leading up to the much-delayed theatrical release of The Flash—the 13th and penultimate film in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU)—new DC co-head James Gunn publicly said that he thought it was one of the best superhero movies he’d ever seen. That and a series of fun, action-packed trailers helped counter the negative press surrounding a series of controversies involving the film’s troubled star, Ezra Miller. Now the film is out, and our verdict is in. The Flash is—fine. It’s basically your run-of-the-mill entertaining superhero romp with plenty of action, humor, and a solid emotional core, and Miller delivers a strong dual performance,

But it’s not likely to crack many people’s top-ten list of superhero movies. The film is a bit overlong and the quality of the special effects is uneven, especially in the rather messy climactic battle. The biggest issue is its lack of originality in a popular culture that has become steeped in superhero movies—and all the associated tropes—to the point of saturation. Director Andy Muschetti has done a perfectly respectable job at the helm, but there’s just nothing here we haven’t seen many, many times before (and frankly done better to boot), and he never really puts his own stamp on those well-known tropes.

(Spoilers below, but no major reveals until the last section. We’ll give you a heads-up when we get there.)

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