Director: Andy Muschietti
Starring: Ezra Miller, Sasha Calle, Michael Shannon, Michael Keaton, Ben Affleck, Maribel Verdu, Ian Loh and Kiersey Clemons
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Runtime: 144 mins. Reviewed in Jun 2023
Reviewer: Peter W Sheehan
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Rating notes: Science fiction themes, violence and coarse language

This American superhero film shows its hero travelling back in time to prevent the murder of his mother. It is the 13th instalment of the extended universe depicted in DC Comics.

This film features the DC Comics character, “The Flash”, and is the next cinema instalment of the DC extended universe. It is based on a screenplay written by Christina Hodson and a story by John Francis. Miller takes the role of the title character. The film is influenced by the comic book Flashpoint, which features multiple DC Comics characters, and the film includes Keaton, who reprises his role as Batman in previous cinema versions.

The Flash travels back in time to prevent the murder of his mother when he was a youth (Loh), but, in doing so, he gets caught in an alternate reality. The Flash enlists his younger self, together with an older Batman (Keaton) and Supergirl (Calle) to save the universe from the evils of General Zod (Shannon), and to return him to humankind.

The Flash is Barry Allen, a police forensic investigator, and a member of the Justice League. When required, he can move at superhuman speed. His mother was Nora Allen (Verdu), and his love interest is Iris West (Clemons), a journalist who works for Picture News. Both feature briefly in the movie.

The film has a complex plotline that tries to depict features that are relevant to the 21st century. Its action sequences are dramatically vivid and intense, and action is blended with humour to create a film that is purposefully entertaining. In bridging the old and the new in separate universes, however, the movie creates an exhausting film experience as viewers have to remember what they have seen before.

In the film, Miller plays different versions of Barry Allen, and Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck play different versions of Batman. What remains in the extended universes of the future is not known. This movie has a little bit of everything, which presents a problem for a more structured series of happenings for any DC characters, the next time around. The movie, however, is imaginatively absorbing and it entertains by bridging the old and the new with style. However, it is full of heroes, with no room for any more.

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