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These 7 awful CGI moments made me wish I’d never seen ‘The Flash’

As far as technology has come, is it possible for the action in an action movie to be this bad?

The Flash CGI
Photo via Warner Bros.

The hype got bigger and louder as this day approached, claiming that The Flash was going to surpass all expectations and wow audiences with its genius. While the film seems to be holding its own in terms of how well the story was told, and how great the characters turned out, fans were left disappointed with the CGI — which is very surprising, taking into account how far computing capabilities have come.

Video graphics have come a long way since the late ‘70s, when worlds and characters were 2D generations that were flat and limited in movement. Now, computers can take Simon Cowell’s face and put it on a singer standing on stage to make the whole world think he’s singing Chicago’s “You’re the Inspiration.” That’s how far CGI has come, and there should be no excuses for a film with a $220 million budget such as The Flash that at times doesn’t seem to have any more magic in it than Grand Theft Auto from 1997.

The Flash running scenes

Photo via DC Entertainment

To watch Barry Allen in action running at top speed, going to the other end of the earth and back for coffee, is the type of action fans have been waiting for. It’s been done in other film projects, and the graphics were spectacular, with lightning flying off of him, and sparks flying when his feet touched the ground. So, why did they go so cheap on that when they were making this film?

Nicolas Cage as Superman

To bring back some characters, they had to be CGI-ed into the film because they are no longer around to play their roles. That’s not the case with Nicolas Cage though who flew in like a video game character with limited movement. They could have made that scene look a whole lot better with a green screen and a forklift, to be absolutely honest about it.

Kal-El appears

In this scene when Superman appears, it looks like it came straight from a PlayStation 2. Did they save money using that kind of graphic system to generate their imagery? And The Flash director Andy Muschietti says it was all intended. Who’s buying that?

Going against Zod

When Supergirl spots General Zod, her eyes are dark and fixed while her hair blows gracefully in the wind. Her mouth moves up and down to say “Zod” like she’s a soldier on Call of Duty. It’s like they put a Craigslist ad out for teenagers to play a multiplayer video game and then made a movie from how it came out. When critics are saying sloppy and lazy, this is what they mean.

Christopher Reeve Cameo

When beloved actors from the past who have played these roles start showing up in movies, it needs to be handled with reverence. As one critic put it, they brought old footage back to showcase their archives that go deep into DC’s history. Was it the best they could do when Superman looks like a 2D figure they copied and pasted from 1978?

On the anniversary of George Reeves’ death

Bringing back George Reeves as Superman from the ‘50s was problematic in more than one way. The CGI had too many moving parts to resurrect the old icon from using black and white footage to the old suit that has been way outdated. Not only the technical aspects of the task but also, June 16th is the anniversary of the day he committed suicide and they say it was because he couldn’t find work after playing the superhero for so long on television. Did they think that one through?

Batman fleeing the scene

It’s a great moment in the film as far as the storyline goes, but the visual effects mess everything up. It seriously looks like a ten-year-old is playing the game while Batman weaves in and out of traffic as vehicles are crashing and he’s dodging danger at every turn. It would have been easier to hold a live MPG and just let all the fans pay to see that.

Comparing CGI to video games

Some critics might be bashing the movie because of the legal issues and weird behavior of the lead star, Ezra Miller. That couldn’t be further from the truth, though, when the film’s own director has admitted to doing the CGI in that style on purpose. It is that bad, and it’s distracting the fans from noticing everything else that’s bad about the movie.

Michael Allen
About the author

Michael Allen

Michael Allen is the author of 'The Deeper Dark' and 'A River in the Ocean,' both available on Amazon. At this time, 'The Deeper Dark' is also available on Apple Books. Currently under contract to write a full-length feature spy drama for producer/director Anton Jokikunnas.