Was The Flash Way Overhyped Before Release? – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

Was The Flash Way Overhyped Before Release?

The Flash has been one of the most highly anticipated movies in the DC Extended Universe since its inception years ago. It tells the story of Barry Allen, who discovers his ability to travel through time via the Speed Force and embarks on a journey to save his family. However, his actions have unforeseen consequences that trap him in an unfamiliar world. Without the Justice League to turn to for help, he must rely on an alternate version of Batman and Supergirl.

Despite some negative reviews, The Flash delivers on its promise and lives up to the hype. Ezra Miller’s performance as Barry Allen is unmatched, portraying both a naive teenage version and an older, grief-stricken version with great chemistry. The film is more than just a superhero blockbuster, offering emotional depth that sets it apart from other movies in the DCEU.

While Michael Keaton’s return as Batman was a major selling point, the decision to reveal it in the trailer may have set unrealistic expectations. Nevertheless, Keaton’s involvement adds a nostalgic element to the movie that feels authentic and natural within the storyline.

The Flash has been burdened with unfair expectations, but it lives up to them and wasn’t overhyped. Despite some negative reviews, audiences have responded positively, and the film marks a marked improvement over recent entries in the DCEU. Anyone who is a fan of DC characters should definitely see the film as soon as possible.

There are no spoilers ahead, so read on and then see The Flash.

Since its inception years ago, The Flash has been highly anticipated as audiences eagerly waited for something good to come out of the DCEU (DC Extended Universe). Thankfully, The Flash delivers despite what the critics might say. After the Flash discovers his ability to travel through time via the Speed Force, he sets out on a journey to save his family. Without contemplating the possible consequences that might befall all of space and time if he changes the past, he quickly finds himself trapped in a world he doesn’t recognize. Vexed by a teenage version of himself he didn’t intend on meeting, the Flash attempts to find his way back to the reality he left behind. In a world without the Justice League to turn to for help, he’s forced to rely on an alternate version of Batman and another Kryptonian, Supergirl, in the hopes of returning to the future.

Given the current reviews and critiques surrounding the film, it could be suggested that The Flash was overhyped. However, to put it simply, that’s not the case. Rather, it’s understandably difficult for some critics to look past the controversies surrounding the film behind the scenes with its lead actor Ezra Miller who embodies the Flash. Reviews of the film are by no means negative, but they certainly are not as positive as they should be overall. Thankfully for DC Studios, audiences don’t appear to be harvesting the same sentiment as the critics. The film rightfully lives up to the hype despite its less-than-stellar reviews, which don’t appear to be aligned with what the fans think of the film.


It’s a Quality Film with Good Performances

Ezra Miller in The Flash 1
Warner Bros.

No one can play The Flash like Miller, which is a major reason why The Flash is so good. Their dual performance of a naive teenage Barry Allen alongside the older grief-stricken Barry Allen audiences have grown to love is one unmatched by many actors who have attempted the same kind of feat. Miller’s amazing performance, coupled with the chemistry they have with themselves, allows the audience to nearly forget that both Barrys are played by the same person.

Related: Sasha Calle Says The Flash Is a ‘Runway to a Better Story’ for Supergirl

The film is a heartening story despite its status as a superhero blockbuster. While it’s an enjoyable popcorn flick, it also has much more emotional depth than many other superhero movies, which makes it one of the best movies in the current DCEU. However, Miller’s personal controversies behind the scenes are likely affecting the film’s critical reception, which is understandable. Although the reviews aren’t completely negative, they have fallen shorter than the kind of reviews the film deserves. If Miller wasn’t engulfed in controversy offscreen, it’s all but guaranteed The Flash would be much more positively received overall.

It’s Better Than Most Movies in the DCEU

Warner Bros.

While the bar might be low for a quality DCEU film, given the franchise’s record, The Flash surpasses that bar by a long shot. It certainly is a marked improvement over recent entries like Black Adam, Shazam! Fury of the Gods and Wonder Woman 1984. Even James Gunn, who will be guiding upcoming DC characters into the future, has expressed his love for the movie and named it his favorite film of the year so far. The hype clearly matches what has come to fruition, albeit a little too late, given The Flash marks the beginning of the end for the current DCEU generation.

However, it doesn’t necessarily mean audiences have seen this iteration of the Flash for the last time. Although the DCEU era is officially ending following the release of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom later this year, the Flash has the potential to be involved in Gunn’s DCU (DC Universe) as he steers DC into the future, especially if audiences love it as much as he does. That fate is certainly uncertain, though, following the projected opening weekend box office numbers for The Flash.

Batman’s Identity Should Have Been a Surprise

Michael Keaton returns as Batman in The Flash.
Warner Bros.

It’s no secret that Michael Keaton reprises his role as Batman in The Flash in a big way. However, making audiences aware of his involvement via the trailer was a mistake, albeit a minor one, and should have been kept under wraps. They likely were going for a Star Wars: The Force Awakens type push, where the reveal of Harrison Ford as Han Solo generated a great deal of buzz. Instead, the decision may have backfired and set unrealistic expectations. The surprise involvement of Tobey McGuire and Andrew Garfield paid off for Spider-man: No Way Home, and a similar kind of surprise reveal would have done the same for The Flash. They could have easily teased it without directly revealing such a highlight.

Related: The Flash: How the DC Film Differs from Its Comic Counterpart

Given that Keaton’s return was such a major selling point for the film prior to its release, it led audiences to wonder who else would be reprising a role within the wider DC Universe. While there are other cameos sprinkled throughout the movie, nothing equates to Keaton’s level of involvement, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Keaton’s Batman manages to add a nostalgic element to the movie that feels authentic and natural within the storyline. However, since audiences had prior knowledge of his appearance, it led many to believe even bigger things would be revealed in the end. This is a similar issue Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness faced, as after revealing Patrick Stewart would reprise his role as Professor X, audiences started to guess more cameos were in the movie and were disappointed when they did not pan out. This doesn’t mean the film was overhyped, it just means The Flash showed its cards a little too soon.

Great Expectations

Promo art for DC's The Flash with Ezra Miller as Barry Allen, Michael Keaton as Batman and Sasha Calle as Supergirl
Warner Bros. Pictures

Warner Bros. put a lot of unfair expectations on The Flash. While one expects individuals like CEO David Zaslav and James Gunn to hype the movie up as it is in their best interest, the praise coming from people who had no connection to the project raised the stakes. Nobody would have used Tom Cruise or Stephen King as hype builders before, and their stamp of approval was meant to carry weight. This was called the best superhero movie ever by those that saw it early, only to have to challenge that title when it was released two weeks after the beloved Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.

It was carrying the expectations of resetting the DC Universe while also justifying why it was allowed to be released while Batgirl got canceled. It was arriving one month after The Flash on The CW concluded, which it was going to be compared to. The film had been delayed so many times that there has likely has not been a superhero movie that has had this troubled production since Justice League. All of these factors put a great deal of hype and expectations on The Flash, and that might have been a burden to the film, regardless of the actual merits of the movie itself.

Nevertheless, The Flash lives up to its expectations and wasn’t overhyped in the years leading up to its release. Anyone who is a fan of DC characters should definitely see the film as soon as possible.

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