Cert: 12 A, Released on Friday | ★★★★✩
Troubled Jewish actor Ezra Miller stars as Barry Allen, and his alter ego, The Flash in this brand new adventure from DC’s extended universe.
Although seen on and off in numerous DC adventures over the last few years, this is the first time this much loved superhero character has been given his own movie and, in rather shocking news, this has turned out to be one of the best films in the series so far.
While this is exciting news for the embattled franchise, it would seem that not everyone is happy with Miller’s continued involvement with DC and Warner Brothers.
The gifted actor who shot to fame after starring in We Need To Talk About Kevin in 2011, has more recently hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
After a series of scandals, the actor who identifies as non-binary has issued a frank apology, divulging struggles with “some complex mental health issues” which are being addressed.
The latest adventure follows Barry Allen as he travels back in time to prevent his own mother’s death.
Now trapped in an alternate reality without his powers, Barry enlists the help of his younger self (a real tour de force from Miller in both roles), an older Batman (Michael Keaton, reprising a role he took on some decades earlier) and Kryptonian castaway Supergirl (Sasha Calle, excellent) in order to save this world from General Zod.
Argentinian director Andy Muschietti has somehow managed to deliver the kind of superhero movie that knows exactly what is expected of it.
Mixing high-octane action set pieces, gut-wrenching angst and more than just a little comic relief, he and his writing team have created a set of flawed, yet hugely likeable characters.
While it’s understandable that much of the film’s publicity has been so far focused on the return of Michael Keaton to the franchise, there is very little doubt that with Miller on board it’s once again a case of life imitating art in this hugely engaging adventure.
At the heart of this story, there is a rather moving redemptive arc. Capitalising on Miller’s own fall from grace, Muschietti and his team have given us a brilliantly well devised story about facing the consequences of one’s actions.
It is this that makes The Flash into so much more than the average Superhero movie.
While it’s always important to separate art from the artist when it comes to controversy surrounding a performer, equally, it is imperative that their actions don’t escape scrutiny. And in the age of social media, no one escapes scrutiny.
And the fact that Miller is truly magnificent here, only goes to highlight that their past issues have not diluted their abilities one iota.
I just hope this gifted actor continues to get the appropriate help.