Critics Offer their Insights on “The Flash” the latest DC Comics film featuring actor Ezra Miller in the lead role.
The highly anticipated solo movie of this superhero faced uncertainties due to Miller’s personal struggles, including multiple arrests and mental health treatment.
The Times and The Guardian both rated it two stars, with the latter criticizing the character as a “bewildering and smirking portrayal.”
However, the Evening Standard lauded it as “one of the most remarkable superhero movies of the 21st Century thus far.”
Miller, who prefers they/them pronouns, managed to avoid imprisonment in January by pleading guilty to unlawfully entering a neighbor’s property.
They were placed on probation with the condition to seek rehabilitation and continue receiving mental health support.
Miller portrays Barry Allen/The Flash, a forensic investigator and member of the Justice League, endowed with superhuman speed.
In the movie, the character travels through time to prevent his mother’s death, an incident for which his father was wrongly convicted. He also becomes a mentor to his younger self, leading to unforeseen consequences. In his review for The Times, Kevin Maher described it as “a thrilling multiverse adventure.”
Maher noted that the filmmakers tried to address Miller’s personal and legal issues by incorporating a line in the script that acknowledges their presence.
“When facing a traumatized witness, our hero suggests, ‘It may be beneficial for you to seek assistance from a mental health professional. The Justice League is still working on that aspect,’” Maher wrote.
He further observed, “Then comes a mischievous pause, a half-turn towards the camera, and the remark, ‘Trust me!’ Within the context of a morally questionable film that largely rehashes the cultural legacy of a major entertainment conglomerate, this scene feels rather insensitive.”
The movie also features cameos from iconic superheroes, including Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck’s iterations of Batman, as well as Gal Gadot’s portrayal of Wonder Woman.