The Flash: 2023 Summer Blockbuster or Hot Mess Spaghetti?

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The Flash, based on the DC Comics character and directed by Andy Muschietti, is coming to theaters on June 16th. Will this be a 2023 Summer Blockbuster or is it just a hot mess bowl of spaghetti? Let's break it down.

The Flash: 2023 Summer Blockbuster or Hot Mess Spaghetti? 1

Who Is The Flash?

In case you have no idea who The Flash is beyond being a superhero, here is a little background info that will be helpful before seeing the movie.

Barry Allen's life changed completely when his mother died in a freak accident, and his innocent father was convicted of her murder.

This life-changing event was a catalyst for Barry Allen to become a forensic scientist in Central City. When he found himself transformed into the Flash through a twist of fate. While working late in his lab, a lightning bolt struck a shelf of beakers and bottles through a window, dousing him with a concoction of chemicals.

After waking from a coma nine months later, Barry realizes he has superhuman speed. He uses his newfound powers to fight crime, protect Central City, and seek justice for his father while becoming an integral member of The Justice League.

What should I watch before The Flash?

While it's not necessary to watch anything before heading to the movie theater, you will probably have lots of questions if you go in without seeing anything. (Hi, that was me.) These suggestions will help give you valuable context and hopefully lessen the questions.

I would suggest watching Batman from 1989 and Batman Returns from 1992. Yes, we are going old school on this one.

Man of Steel from 2013 and Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice from 2016 should also be added to the watch list.

Since Barry as The Flash is part of The Justice League, watch Justice League from 2017 (the DC ‘canon’ version) and the 2021 Justice League if you have time.

If you want to get super nerdy and delve into the Barry Allen character, watch The Flash TV Series on The CW.

Flashpoint is an animated adaptation of the comic book storyline that will provide valuable context for understanding the multiverse and the concept of alternate timelines.

Aquaman and Wonder Woman are both seen in the movie. It might help if you know their stories.

The Flash: 2023 Summer Blockbuster or Hot Mess Spaghetti? 2

The Flash Movie Cast

Whether you are familiar with The Flash or not, you will find some very familiar faces in the movie.

Ezra Miller returns to the big screen as The Flash/Barry Allen.

Michael Keaton returns as Batman/Bruce Wayne for the first time since Tim Burton's Batman Returns in 1992.

Ben Affleck also makes a return as Batman/Bruce Wayne. Yes. You read that correctly. Ben Affleck is donning the bat suit once again.

Sasha Calle plays Supergirl. Hopefully, she will reprise the role for the upcoming Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow movie. Time will tell.

Kiersey Clemons is Iris West. In the movie, Iris and Barry went to school together. They reconnect while she's covering a story.

Saoirse-Monica Jackson is Patty Spivot, one of Barry's co-workers.

Michael Shannon returns as General Zod, as he reprises his role as a Kryptonian villain.

Antje Traue is Faora-Ul – also a Kryptonian villain.

Maribel Verdú plays Nora Allen – Barry's Mom.

Ron Livingston is Henry Allen – Barry's Father.

Many more people starred in this movie, but that would ruin part of the fun nostalgic surprises!

Ahhh! There is one that still makes me smile. I wasn't sure I'd ever see him reprise that role again. I mean, that movie was kind of a disaster but…I've already said too much. You'll have to go see it for yourself.

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Is The Flash Movie Kid Friendly?

This movie is not kid or tween-friendly. Possibly teen friendly. You know what your teens can handle.

With the graphic flashback of Barry's Mom's murder, strong language, violence, electrocution, and partial non-sexual nudity, it earns its PG-13 rating.

There is a scene where the nursery wing of a hospital is collapsing and there are falling babies. While there were plenty of people laughing in the theater, I found the scene disturbing and unneeded. There were other ways to bring humor to a heroic scene. No one needed to see a baby in a microwave even though in the end they were safe. Just no.

If your children are begging to see this movie, I suggest prescreening the movie before allowing them to watch it. Especially if the themes of death, grief, and loss are triggering or if they have a hard time with violence.

If you want a more in-depth review of whether or not The Flash is kid-friendly, check out Tania's review on Lola Lambchops.

The Flash Movie Review

There were parts of the movie that made me laugh. I did cry. I also cringed and felt like I had whiplash going from storyline to storyline. There were times when the CGI was incredible and then there were also times it distracted from the storytelling.

My favorite scene of the whole movie is when Michael Keaton is cooking a pot of spaghetti and uses it to explain how the multiverse and time travel works. It's a really simple explanation that clears up a bit of confusion that might happen as the movie progresses. If you mess with the past, as Barry Allen does, you will end up with a hot mess bowl of spaghetti. Barry was warned about this by Ben Affleck’s Batman character but he didn't heed that warning.

With a runtime of 2h 24m, several times I thought to myself, is this almost over? It wasn't.

I did feel like I was watching a Bro-dudes movie with crude jokes about male genitalia and the underused characters of Wonder Woman and Supergirl but I'm sure the target audience will love that. They were laughing in the theater.

The Flash slow-motion effect was cool to watch, except in the scene outside the hospital that I mentioned before. That scene really should have ended up on the cutting room floor. It didn't add to the story and distracted me from the movie.

As someone who prefers movies that aren't all about superheroes, unless they are The Incredibles, I went into the cinema expecting not to like it at all. In the end, I was drawn more into the emotional aspect of the movie.

All Barry wanted was to save his family. He wanted time back with his mom and to prove his dad's innocence. He was trying to answer the question of what would life be like if it never happened. Little did he know that his actions would unleash a whole hot mess bowl of spaghetti that he would be left to clean up.

Overall, I thought The Flash was a decent superhero movie. I loved the nostalgic surprises. It was good to see those “old friends” reprising their roles. It also made me feel old, so there's that. LOL

When it is over make sure to stay for the after-credit end scene, but you might leave the theater wondering what in the world you just watched.

The Flash Movie Trailer

The Flash – Official Trailer
The Flash – Official Trailer 2

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