I guess The Flash is a bomb? I don’t really keep up with these things. Here’s an analysis from Variety.
I have no interest in seeing this in a theater. My experience with superhero films lately is that maybe a few of them (the big ones, or best-reviewed ones) I’ll check out later on streaming—and I usually find them so boring, I’m scanning my phone (and the timeline to see how much is left) until the final gargantuan slugfest and obligatory post-credits tease.
Maybe superhero movies are finally wearing out their welcome? However, the newest Spiderverse movie seems to be a huge hit.
So maybe the lesson is that execution matters? Although some people seem to really like The Flash, like the Scriptshadow guy.
Maybe the lesson is not to cast somebody with mental health issues as your star? I find Ezra Miller a likable screen presence—but the off-screen stuff is hard to stomach.
I think for all the “DC-verse in disarray” articles, there’s a simple explanation: the DC characters just aren’t as good as the Marvel characters.
Superman and Batman are awesome. Love them.
An alien god from space—and he’s good? Wonderful! A billionaire who secretly dresses up as a bat to beat the hell out of bad guys? Yes, I’m intrigued.
But beyond that...Wonder Woman is like female Superman. Aquaman is—what? He swims a lot. The Flash runs fast.
These are just shticks: powers and costumes. There’s no real character there.
Even as a nine-year-old, it was quickly apparent that the Marvel heroes (with their “feet of clay”) were so much more interesting and relatable than the DC ones. And yes, Stan Lee took too much credit, but this one, I give to The Man: he knew how to connect to kids.
Spider-Man saved New York but everybody hated him and he was worried about teenage stuff—fantastic! The Hulk with the Jekyll/Hyde dichotomy—great! Captain America who, like Superman, is endearingly good, but has no actual powers—love it!
And the X-Men with the race-relations analogies—just like how every weird kid feels. (Credit Chris Claremont for bringing this out, circa the late 1970s and ’80s.)
Plus, in the films, they caught lightning in a bottle with Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man.
And they made smart choices, like playing Thor for laughs—a Norse God on Earth.
James Gunn, now over at DC, is a smart guy and I would expect him to do good work. But he has an undercurrent of nastiness along with his sense of heart.
So, we’ll see. For now, DC is in a tough spot, finishing off their “old universe” before starting a new one. And, basically, being Pepsi to Marvel’s Coke.