I watched The Flash on Max. I remember it got good reviews, but didn’t do the kind of business Warner Bros. wanted or needed. Well, it doesn’t seem hard to diagnose.
As a kid in the 1980s, it didn’t take long to realize that DC and Marvel had numerous parallel characters: for example, Angel for Marvel, Hawkman for DC; Sub-Mariner for Marvel, Aquaman for DC. (The list went on and on.)
There are only so many concepts for powers or characters that you can do. Although DC was first in the comic business, Marvel supplanted them in the 1960s thanks to Stan Lee’s innovation of more realistic, relatable characters.
Sixty years later, it’s kind of the same story. Looking at The Flash, it seemed obvious that it was copying Spider-Man:
Barry Allen is Peter Parker.
Bruce Wayne is Tony Stark.
Barry’s mom is Aunt May.
The Justice League are the Avengers.
The story concept is the same as the last Spider-Man movie: hero tries to change the past/reality and creates an alternate universe with different/multiple versions of characters to team-up and fight.
Tonally, they are almost exactly the same.
A quick Google search revealed I am hardly the only person who noticed.
I enjoyed seeing “my” Batman again, Michael Keaton...but, you know, they play the famous Danny Elfman music, and somehow it only reminds you that it isn’t 1989 anymore.
I do find Ezra Miller a likable star and lead. Alas, I did read about some of their personal problems...and, well, yuck.
The concept of “diminishing returns” is why the second candy bar doesn’t taste as good as the first.
That pretty much explains The Flash, and as well-made as it was, and expensive and entertaining and dazzling and charming...it’s just the second candy bar.
And it’s sort of shocking that Warner Bros. would spend nine figures to find this out—the hard way.