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  • Robert Farago

Flash (In a Pan) Movie Review

Loads ‘O Spoilers


There’s an odd moment in The Flash (just after the image above). Flash A and Flash B are sitting side-by-side in the Bat plane. The two Barry’s are about to parachute into Russia to liberate Superman’s cousin from inside the giant ball that chased Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Flash B looks over at Flash A and I swear…


He’s angling for a kiss. Finally someone’s taken the myth of Narcissus to the next level. And why not? Not even Alabama legislates against men from two different time lines doing the horizontal mambo. Especially if they’re the same person.



Setting aside numerous gaydar pings, why is Flash A such a textbook nebbish before he time travels, only to become a rock-steady mensch in his past?

From Batman’s sub to his own dom. Literally.




Equally perplexing, why is Flash B playing Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High?

Duuuude! I was half expecting Flash B to pause in the middle of a fight scene to have pizza. Oh wait, that was Flash A.



Flash B also reminds me of Multiplicity’s genetically-challenged (not retarded) clone number four.

It’s a No Degrees of Kevin Bacon move. Multiplicity starred Michael Keaton; the same actor who plays Batman in The Flash. Sorry, one of the Batmans.



The main difference between the two Scarlett Speedsters: Flash B’s mother wasn't murdered and his father didn’t go to prison.


The obvious takeaway: paternal affection turns a child into a spoiled, brain-dead bro. An opinion to which more than a few Millennial employers will attest.



I’m thinking the dozens of writers, directors and producers who breathed on this convoluted cacophony of cranky characters fighting the forces of fate were going for something deeper than simple social commentary.


I reckon Flash A is Flash’s ego, Flash B is Flash’s id and Batman is Flash’s super-ego. Which makes The Flash a Freudian slip; the Flash id and Batman superego end up SOL. Then again, maybe I’m over-thinking it…



If so, not as badly as Benjamin Wallfisch.


Someone forgot to tell the Hellboy composer that no one save Warner Brothers’ accounting department takes The Flash seriously. Wallfisch’s soundtrack is as intrusively grandiose as General Zod.


Not to go all Heinlein on you, but both Flashes end-up strangers in a strange land. The arena where the Flash twins boil the temporal spaghetti – a circular stadium that allows them to choose where, sorry, when to go next – is trippy as fuck.



The Flash could well be the first Hollywood movie more inspired by peyote than cocaine.

Given the quality of the CGI on display, I suspect the producers blew their special effects budget on psychedelics. Let’s just say Nick Park’s stop-action claymation in Wallace and Gromit was more believable and far more entertaining.




That’s not to say The Flash is insufferable like, say, someone trying to explain how one DC, Marvel or Star Wars movie connects with another.


If you can get over the fact that you’re watching not one but two Jimmy Fallon lookalikes, there’s some fun to be had.


Who doesn’t like seeing Flash A exonerate his father by altering the past, despite the fact that Flash A’s previous attempts to change fate proves that doing so destroys the entire universe? Other than me, that is.



Hang about. Who did kill Flash’s mother and why? Unlike Flash A’s confessed virginity, that mystery is never solved.


Nor do we learn why Flash A is so upset that Eric Stoltz wasn’t fired from Back to the Future in Flash B’s timeline. And why the scriptwriters felt free to beat that joke to death.


The Flash would have been a far better movie if Flash A travelled back in time to discover his old man did kill his Mother. That going back in time only delays the murder. A trauma both Flash A and Flash B witness together. Leading Flash A to console Flash B.


Too dark? Not confusing enough? Not enough room for cameos? At least it makes some kind of sense. As opposed to putting images of the George Reeves and Nicholas Cage as Superman in the colliding balls representing the multiverse.


I admit that The Flash got me when Flash A is forced to accept his mother’s death. The beautifully shot, retroactively prescient, achingly tragic goodbye scene had me all tearful. If only they’d left off the price tags on Flash A’s borrowed sunglasses and hat.


That little detail tells you all you need to know about The Flash. It was made by a confederacy of dunces caught-up in a collective desire to make a BIG MOVIE.


After multiple re-shoots, musical directors, a post-production cancelled main actor and $200m, WB ended-up crafting a hot mess that’s forgotten in a flash.

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