The Flash: Biggest Plot Holes, Explained – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

The Flash: Biggest Plot Holes, Explained

This year, The Flash, featuring the beloved character known as the Fastest Man Alive, has finally made its highly-anticipated debut on the big screen. Despite a decade of setbacks and controversies, Warner Bros. had hoped for a warm reception for the film. However, the reality fell short of expectations. The Flash, touted as “the greatest comic book movie ever,” opened to disastrous results, even rivaling the underwhelming performance of last year’s Black Adam. The film’s lackluster reception can be attributed, in part, to its numerous plot holes, which hindered the logical progression of the story.

The Flash delves into the popular superhero concept of time-travel and the multiverse. While it successfully resets the old DC Extended Universe (DCEU) for the new DC Universe (DCU), it fails to address the plot holes that arise throughout the film. One such hole revolves around Bruce Wayne’s extensive knowledge of the multiverse. It is puzzling how Bruce, a wealthy vigilante crimefighter, possesses such intricate knowledge of this complex theoretical concept. However, it is suggested that Bruce’s intelligence and resourcefulness, coupled with his desire to be prepared for any situation, led him to delve into topics like time travel. Perhaps Bruce himself had once contemplated altering the past but eventually realized the dangers involved, just as Barry has now discovered.

Another plot hole centers around Barry’s loss and subsequent regain of his superhuman powers. Initially, Barry helps his younger self obtain these powers, believing he can maintain the timeline. However, older Barry inexplicably loses his powers when his younger counterpart gains them. The film fails to explain this phenomenon adequately. Eventually, Barry’s powers are restored when he is struck by lightning during a storm, courtesy of Kara Zor-El. The absence of a clear explanation for Barry’s power loss and subsequent recovery leaves many viewers questioning the events.

During the climactic battle with General Zod, both Bruce and Kara meet their demise. In a bid to prevent their deaths, the Barrys attempt to travel back in time. However, it is puzzling why there were not four Flashes present at that point. Considering Barry’s ability to encounter alternate versions of himself when he first travels back in time, there should have been two additional Flashes during the battle. The film does not address this inconsistency. It is only later revealed that the entire battle was a closed-time loop orchestrated by the Dark Flash, a twisted version of younger Barry. This revelation resolves the paradox and ensures the survival of the older Barry.

The unjust conviction of Barry’s father, Henry, also raises questions. Despite circumstantial evidence pointing to his guilt in his wife’s murder, Barry manages to clear his father’s name by manipulating the security cameras. However, it remains unclear why Henry was convicted in the first place. A simple receipt from the grocery store, along with a bank statement, could have easily proven his innocence. The lack of a clear explanation for Henry’s imprisonment leaves audiences puzzled.

Lastly, the film fails to address the fundamental question of why Barry did not directly intervene to prevent his mother’s murder. While it is possible that this aspect may be explored in a future sequel, Barry’s decision to only alter a minor event, such as moving a can of tomato sauce, to protect his mother and keep changes to a minimum, is a reasonable plan. Despite unforeseen circumstances, Barry believed this approach would have the least impact beyond his immediate family.

In conclusion, The Flash may have arrived with much anticipation, but its narrative was marred by significant plot holes. The lack of explanations for Bruce’s extensive knowledge, Barry’s power fluctuations, the absence of additional Flashes, Henry’s unjust conviction, and Barry’s selective intervention all contribute to the film’s failure to deliver a seamless and coherent storyline. Nonetheless, audiences may find solace in the film’s visually stunning action sequences and the charismatic portrayal of the beloved character.

The Fastest Man Alive has finally arrived this year with his own film, The Flash. After nearly a decade of setbacks and delays and controversies, the film didn’t receive as much of a warm welcome as Warner Bros would’ve liked, as even though anticipation was high for the return of Barry Allen (the controversial Ezra Miller), the popular Speedster also known as The Flash, the eponymous film built as “the greatest comic book movie ever” opened with disastrous results, even giving last year’s Black Adam a run for its nonexistent money.


Part of this latest failure in the long line of DCEU film failures might be due to the many plot holes which caused the famous Speedster to trip a few times in logical storytelling progression. The Flash is part of the trendy superhero time-travel/multiverse thing that’s been going on, and even though it was marketed by DC co-CEO and acclaimed filmmaker James Gunn as resetting the old DCEU for the new DCU (which the film does perfectly), it doesn’t fill in the several plot holes we encountered through the runtime. So here are the biggest plot holes in The Flashexplained.

Why Does Bruce Know So Much About the Multiverse?

The Flash movie with Michael Keaton
Warner Bros.

Barry accidentally discovers that he can literally speed through time and travel to the past, and realizes he can go back to change just one single event in his life to prevent his mother’s murder by an unknown intruder at home and his father’s imprisonment by lack of evidence to prove his innocence. Barry informs Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) about this and how he can change the past, saving his mom from death and his dad from prison. Bruce tells him not to mess with history, even when Barry offers to save his own parents.

Barry goes back in time anyway and changes one thing, putting a can of tomato sauce in his mom’s shopping cart, so his dad wouldn’t leave the house later. Barry meets his alternate, younger self, and things seem to be going fine until the Kryptonian General Zod (Michael Shannon) invades Earth, and the Barrys can’t find any of the Justice League except an alternate version of Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) who is old and has hung up his wings.

This Bruce explains the problems that Barry has caused by messing with the timeline, expertly explaining a new concept of the multiverse using a bowl of spaghetti. Though many ask why Bruce, who is just a rich vigilante street crimefighter, would know so much about the complex theoretical multiverse in the first place.

The vague answer is that Bruce is a bit of a genius himself, known as The World’s Greatest Detective, who likes to be prepared for anything, using his vast wealth to research topics like time travel. Maybe Bruce himself wanted to save his parents himself before realizing it was too dangerous, as Barry now has.

How Did Barry Lose (and Regain) His Powers?

Warnos Bros.

Before meeting the alternate Bruce, Barry, still falsely believing he can maintain the timeline, helps his younger self gain his powers to keep things as similar to his time as possible, but somehow older Barry loses his powers when the younger gets his.

Later, after finding Superman’s cousin Kara Zor-El (Sasha Calle), Bruce fails to recreate the event to give Barry his powers back. Kara, though, just flies Barry into a storm, so he gets struck by lightning and simply regains his powers.

But many still ask how did Barry lose his powers and how did he regain them without the chemicals which the lightning originally hit?

There’s no explanation as to why Barry loses his powers (it might’ve transferred from the older to the younger), though when lightning hit Barry again with the chemicals still in Barry’s body, the lightning simply jumpstarted his system.

Related: The Flash: Biggest Easter Eggs in the Highly-Anticipated Film

Aren’t There Exponentially More Flashes?

Still from The Flash-1
Warner Bros. Pictures

During the climactic battle with Zod, both Bruce and Kara die, overpowered and outnumbered. So the Barrys try going back in time to prevent their deaths, but many ask if shouldn’t there have been four Flashes at that point.

In the same way that Barry went back in time in the first place and found an alternate variant of himself, the two should’ve gone back in time to find another two there in the battle with Bruce and Kara. But both die still, and the Barrys go back again and again and fail every time. Presumably, though, all four would go back in time after they die, and there would be eight, and the process would continue exponentially ad infinitum.

We learn, though, that this whole battle has been a closed-time loop all along, created by the Dark Flash, the twisted version of younger Barry, who kept repeating the battle until he went insane. This loop also allows the older Barry to survive when the younger Barry sacrifices himself to destroy Dark Flash, meaning the original Barry would never be affected. This resolves two paradoxes with one solution.

Why Was Barry’s Dad Convicted?

DC Studios

Barry’s dad Henry (John Shipp), went to prison based on circumstantial evidence convicting him of murdering his wife and has spent years in prison. While Barry doesn’t save his mom, he does manage to clear his dad’s name by moving the tomato can where John would be seen by security cameras, proving he wasn’t there for the murder.

However, it’s strange that Henry was jailed in the first place, as a simple receipt from the grocery store plus the bank statement could verify Henry wasn’t home.

There’s no clear explanation for this, as Henry could’ve just paid cash and said no thanks for the receipt of one can. Or Henry might’ve shoplifted (which is very unlikely); it’s not clear. He just suffers an unjust sentence.

Related: The Flash: Is the DCEU Officially Reset?

Why Didn’t Barry Stop His Mom’s Killer?

Miller as The Flash
Warner Bros. Pictures

Barry’s mom Nora (Maribel Verdú), was murdered while he and his dad were gone, and that’s why Barry goes back in time to stop in the first place. Yet the biggest head-scratcher that should’ve been resolved to avoid this entire misadventure is why didn’t Barry simply stop his mom’s killer.

There’s a possible explanation since the murderer was never directly addressed (probably being saved for a sequel). Barry knows he’s dealing with complex timelines, even if he doesn’t understand just how complex himself, and had decided before that only moving a can of tomato sauce to have his father home to protect his mom was the simplest and least likely to cause much change outside of his family.

While he was wrong due to circumstances he didn’t know about, it is reasonable and not a bad plan to both save his parents and keep changes to a minimum.

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