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The Flash (Christian Movie Review)

About The Movie

It is ironic that a film about the fastest man on earth has seemingly limped to theaters in slow motion. First announced in 2014, after multiple delays and off-screen controversies, The Flash has finally been released into the world. Is it worth the wait? Does distance make the heart grow fonder? Not really. The Flash is a mildly entertaining comic book film, but not much more than that.

I’m a proponent of separating the art from the artist, but there is still something slightly off-putting about watching actor Ezra Miller embody the heroic character given the real-world scandals that have defined the actor in recent years. Still, rather than pass moral judgment, audiences will need to judge the film on its own merits.

The biggest consequence of the delayed production is that many of the elements in the film that might have once wowed viewers with their originality now come across as tired tropes echoing other films. The multiverse concept has been beaten to death, and the joys of seeing older actors revise their previous roles (Michael Keaton returns as his Batman character from Tim Burton’s 1989 & 1992 films) feels like more like a gimmick than a novelty in the aftermath of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Even action scenes set to classic rock music no longer feels fresh. By the time the big CGI-filled spectacle of the third act arrives—a scene that is literally replaying events from older films—the movie seems like it’s just checking boxes.

Despite these negative elements, the film is not without its merits. The story explores intriguing ideas and showcases meaningful emotional character growth. Real-world issues aside, Ezra Miller is a great Barry Allen/Flash. While the popular multiverse concept often feels lazy and void of stakes, The Flash deploys it well by keeping the story rooted in the characters’ emotional journey rather than bizarre visuals and crazy cameos (although there are plenty of those as well).

While the DCU is known for its darkness—both visually and thematically—The Flash feels more in line with a toned-down MCU film than the moody angst of Zack Snyder’s tone-setting DC stories. It is lighthearted, with jokes that feel earnest as opposed to the sarcastic quips of the MCU. Keaton’s return as Batman is fun, with the classic Batcave and music doing some heavy lifting to tug on our nostalgia. Sasha Calle is fine as Superwoman, although she lacks enough screentime to feel like a necessary character rather than a checked box.

Overall, I was not terribly excited for this film, and the lengthy delay did nothing to increase my hype. While I left the theater without much more enthusiasm than when I entered, I think it is one of the better comic book films in recent years (granted, the bar is lower than it once was). It is entertaining, if mostly forgettable, and doesn’t have much concerning content to deter audiences from getting their superhero fix this summer.

On the Surface

For Consideration

       

Beneath The Surface

Engage The Film

Pain Makes Us Who We Are

The underlying message of The Flash is that pain is an unavoidable aspect of life, and it ultimately shapes us into who we become (for better or worse). The inciting incident in the film is Barry’s attempt to use the power of the Speed Force to go back in time and undo the defining moment of his life: his mother’s death and his father’s wrongful imprisonment. If there’s one lesson time-travel movies have taught us, it’s that events in our lives are inevitably intertwined, and changing them has far-reaching consequences. 

One of the more inspired decisions in the movie was to juxtapose Barry with an alternative version of himself from a different universe. This duplicate has not experienced the same pain; he doesn’t yet carry the scars of his counterpart. As a result, the two characters provide a window into how tragedy impacts a life.

The main character arc for Barry is learning to grow from his pain rather than being consumed by it. Both iterations of Batman offer wisdom about this process. They share how the pain they have experience has grown them into heroes, but also left them lonely. Future good has come from pain, but that doesn’t remove the scars.

The movie echoes the biblical wisdom, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance” (James 1:2-3). Trials are inevitable; the only question is how we respond to them.

Author

  • Daniel Blackaby

    Daniel holds a PhD in "Christianity and the Arts" from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author/co-author of multiple books and he speaks in churches and schools across the country on the topics of Christian worldview, apologetics, creative writing, and the Arts.

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1 Comment

  • by Preston
    Posted June 21, 2023 6:24 pm 0Likes

    My son who is 17 and loves the Flash – watched every episode walked away with dissapointment.

    I did not go with him as my wife and I wanted to watch Transformers , which he also watched b4 us.

    I heard that this is one of the worst films and it is breaking records by being the most amount of $ lost on on a major film. That is too bad, as DC really needs to match what Marvel has done or they may not have a future. We need Superman.

    Or maybe they should do something about Christ- as he should be our super hero to us humans here on earth.

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