Is The Flash really the best superhero movie ever? | Digital Trends

There were a lot of trends in 2023 that bothered me: AI-generated imagery and parody trailers, Pete Davidson dating another otherworldly beautiful woman, posing as the fictional protagonist of the film tr is actually a real woman, etc. But none pissed me off quite as much as the periodic hello of Warner Bros. Discovery’s big summer tentpole movie, The flashas the greatest superhero movie of all time.

Like most of this year’s trends, this one actually started in 2022, but this year has gotten really annoying, as WBD has been pushing the narrative that The flash it is an event not to be missed due to its high quality never seen by many. AND The flashbest superhero movie ever? Of course I can’t judge myself as it’s not out yet, but a select group of people have and WBD has been relentless in letting everyone know about their high rating of the film. But why should we trust their opinion? AND The flash Is the real deal, a DCEU movie that’s truly excellent, or is it just another elaborate marketing scheme designed to mask not only star Ezra Miller’s recent troubles with the law, but also the fact that the movie isn’t great?

An unidentified test screening audience

The Flash – Official Trailer 2 – Warner Bros. UK & Ireland

The first inkling that The flash that was really special came at the end of last year when Word of Reel reported that a test screening audience gave the film its highest ratings ever for a DCEU film. We weren’t yet in the best superhero movie territory, and we got the highest test scores for a franchise that includes 2016 Suicide squad and any version of Justice League that’s a very low bar to pass. I don’t doubt Word of Reels reporting, but a vague description of a test screening which, if it did take place, was arranged by the studio to maximize positive reactions from an audience who were no doubt thrilled to watch a great film with such that much in advance it is not. too reliable.

Can we trust this opinion? NO.

David Zaslav

The beleaguered new owner of Warner Bros. and, by extension, all of DC, first professed his enthusiasm for The flash in a fourth-quarter earnings call in Feb. 2023, when he confessed that I’ve seen it and loved it. He is a wow. At CinemaCon next month, the film critic turned executive said he’s seen the film three times and proclaimed it’s the best superhero movie he’s ever seen. Ah, well, that bold statement that immediately makes you suspicious.

It’s easy to dispel Zaslav’s opinion here as his background doesn’t suggest he knows much about the superhero genre or movies in general. How does the man who invented Shark Week know how good Sam Raimis is Black man is it really, or why Batman returns is the most perverted comic book movie ever made? More importantly, Zaslav needs The Flash to be the best superhero movie of all time so audiences can see it over and over again, and WBD can profit off a $200 million to $300 million movie it needs. of repeated views to enter the black.

Can we trust his opinion? Hell, no.

Tom Cruise

This is strange given that Tom Cruise apparently has nothing to do The flash, DC Studios, comic book movies (he’s one of the few stars to never star in one), or Warner Bros. (Paramount is Cruise’s current home studio). So when The Hollywood Reporter ran an exclusive story in March saying the Top Gun: nonconformist the actor loved it, you’d think it was legit, right?

However, if you take a closer look, Cruises’ comments seem vague at best and suspicious at worst. The Hollywood Reporter quotes Cruise as stating The flash it has everything you want in a movie and it’s the kind of movie we need right now. These claims are (deliberately?) vague and don’t really address the quality of the film as much as its potential to generate money. Perhaps most damningly, Cruise only saw the film because Zaslav arranged a private screening for the actor. Cruise is smart not to piss off a head of a major studio, what if The flash does well at the box office, other movies like Cruises next Mission Impossible the film (due out a month later) could also benefit.

Can we trust his opinion? Yes, but not by The flash.

James Gunn

Wikimedia Commons

Like Zaslav, Gunn pushed the narrative into this one The flash it’s arguably the greatest superhero film ever made. Like Zaslav, he has an obvious conflict of interest as the new co-head of DC Studios. Unlike the WB executive, Gunn has a geeky and genre-bending reputation due to his work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with his highly regarded film Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy. Maybe that’s enough to really believe him? After all, the director showed his good taste when he listed his 5 favorite comic book movies of all time.

Still, it’s hard not to believe that Gunn can’t say he doesn’t love The Flash when his boss, and the future of his work, counts on the film to do well with critics and fans. After all, the director tweeted her admiration for him Shazam! Fury of the Gods, saying, I loved it. It’s a blast. THE Shazam sequel is one of the worst superhero movies of the past decade, so its critical assessment of another DC movie is hard to trust.

Can we trust his opinion? NO.

CinemaCon critics

Last month, the public, or a small sliver of it, was finally able to watch a final montage of The flash at CinemaCon, an annual trade show where studios present their films to theater owners. Reviewers of the film were able to watch it and the responses seemed to back up Zaslav and Gunn’s greatest superhero movie ever established. I won’t name anyone in particular here, but The Hollywood Reporter has a good rundown of all the critics

It’s important to remember that CinemaCon is a promotional event, not a film festival, and so while the WB film was shown to critics for the first time, these critics tend to write in ALL CAPS and put exclamation points at the end of almost every sentence in their their reactions! In short, these critics tend to like many things, especially when they are invited to an exclusive event and get the chance to see a highly anticipated film for the first time. Plus, if you cross-reference these critics with other positive, even effusive reactions they’ve had towards other awful DC movies like Shazam! Fury of the GodsAND Black Adam, you will find many overlaps. Not all of the critics who have seen the film are like that, of course, but there are enough to still question the film’s ecstatic assessment.

Can we trust these critical opinions? Not really, but if one of them is a critic who usually likes what you like, then yes.

Stephen King

Flash/Shutterstock functionality

Perhaps the strangest endorsement so far is one recently given by Stephen King, who needs no introduction. The man is a living legend and has shown good taste in his movie viewing habits in the past. On May 17, he posted the following tweet:

Still, even with King’s reputation, I’m still not sold. First, I don’t like it when someone claims they don’t care about a particular genre, and then says with authority that such a thing is great. He should further validate that person’s opinion, so when King says he’s not a fan of superhero movies, the fact that he likes him The flash means it must be Truly Well. To me it seems more probable that the opposite is true; that the movie feels special to people who don’t like superhero movies at first, or worse, despise them. It’s comparable to a filmmaker like Gus Van Sant saying, “Hey, I don’t like horror novels, but the next Stephen King book, which hardly anyone has read yet, rocks.” Would you trust his opinion? I wouldn’t. While I love Gus Van Sant, I don’t turn to him to recommend a horror novel.

It’s also worth noting the conflicts of interest at play here. King didn’t see it with regular viewing audiences in Bangor, Maine; he saw an advanced screening specially set up for him by someone at the WB. Also, The flashThe film’s director, Andy Muschietti, worked on the two IT films, which, of course, were adaptations of the famous novel by Stephen King. WB made those movies, and King has a professional relationship with the studio, with the prequel series Welcome to Derry under development for Max e Billy Summers set to be released theatrically in the near future. Finally, why is WB so aggressive towards random celebs approving this movie ahead of time? First Tom Cruise, now Stephen King; who’s next, Oprah Winfrey? Joe Biden? Again, I respect King a lot, but there are too many red flags to take his recommendation seriously.

Can we trust Stephen King’s opinion? Not above The flash.

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