Home Movies

Sympathy can’t be what DC had in mind when it kept calling ‘The Flash’ one of the best superhero movies ever

Nobody is praising this cinematic disaster, but some are feeling sad about how much potential was squandered.

the flash
Photo via Warner Bros.

The Flash was supposed to zap some life into Warner Bros.’ moribund DC output. Reports indicated test screening audiences loved it, studio executives were certain they had a hit on their hands, and DCU head James Gunn claimedFlash is probably one of the greatest superhero movies ever made”.

Smash cut to the present day, and The Flash is reviled by both audiences and critics, has become one of the all-time biggest box office bombs, and may lose Warner Bros. $200 million. In retrospect, Gunn’s “probably” is doing some Superman-level heavy lifting in that quote.

The most positive emotion that die-hard DC fans can muster is sympathy for those involved. A lengthy post on r/DC_Cinematic argues that “If this movie had come out when originally intended, it would have beaten Spider-Man: No Way Home to theaters… and that’s the only way it would have succeeded.”

It’s a fair point. The Flash was originally intended to release as early as March 23, 2018, meaning it’d have been out before Ezra Miller did all those crimes, and before audiences had gotten tired of multiversal stories crammed with nostalgia-bait cameos.

But after being reworked over and over to fit in with whatever studio execs had decided the current DCEU continuity was that week, it became a limp, meaningless and unpleasant experience; the epitome of “too many cooks spoil the broth.”

Fans also single out Sasha Calle as someone treated particularly poorly. She was one of the best things about the movie (admittedly this is a low bar to clear) and now risks her career being dragged down by being associated with one of the biggest flops in history. Here’s hoping Calle can rise above this, even if it’s now unlikely she’ll ever return as Supergirl.

With the rebooted James Gunn DCU taking shape, maybe we should just collectively pretend The Flash never happened. I know I’d be a lot happier if I could scrub that nightmare from my memory.

David James
About the author

David James

London-based writer about everything and anything. Willing to crawl over rusty nails to write about Metal Gear Solid or Resident Evil.