The first full trailer for The Flash was highly anticipated for a number of reasons. What has emerged is a preview of a movie that looks immediately exciting, but frustratingly familiar. As a film, it feels like a greatest hits album. Fun, safe and probably a little redundant.
Andy Muschietti’s first film since It: Chapter Two, is tipped to revolve around Flashpoint. A famous story from the comics that has also been explored in the CW TV series. In the most basic description, The Flash/Barry Allen, finds himself tinkering with timelines and alternate universes.
It is an interesting concept for a superhero movie, it allows for the return of old heroes and villains, to have fun with existing film canon and provides unashamed fan service. This is what has been done by X-Men: Days of Future Past, Spiderman: No Way Home, and Dr Strange: Multiverse of Madness.
The preview begins with a familiar voiceover. Michael Keaton talking to Barry, about his potential to travel through different realities. It later becomes evident that this is Keaton portraying his most famous role, Batman.
For anybody who grew up in the 90s, it is impossible not to get excited by the return of Keaton in the cape and cowl. He has a natural ease in the clearly uncomfortable costume and has a slight smirk across his face when suited up. Keaton’s Batman was traumatised by his parent’s death, but still clearly enjoyed being a crazed, costumed crimefighter.
The familiar Danny Elfman theme kicks in and viewers of a certain age are immediately transported back to a better time, a simpler time when Batman movies revolved around a weird love triangle between The Cat, The Bat, and the Penguin.
This will be enough to get some people to the theatre, but will it be enough to sustain the film?
Probably not. Which is why DC Films is also bringing back Michael Shannon as General Zod from Man of Steel  and Ben Affleck’s popular version of Bruce Wayne from Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice .
This sort of callback and fan service is exciting. But a reminder of the giant elephant in the room. The star of The Flash, Ezra Miller is far from a beloved figure or box office draw.
So far audiences have been treated to a teaser for The Flash that aims to remind people of all the things they love about DC movies, and hopefully forget about the main character.
Visually, much of the footage looks less like Muschietti’s more grimy, grounded work from IT  and closely resembles the house style as defined by Zack Snyder.
Snyder’s style is unique, but DC have publicly declared they will be going in a different direction. Warner Brothers have hired James Gunn to determine the direction and style of the DC films from here on. It begs the question, what is the point of watching this latest film if it bears little consequence of what is to come?
That will surely, [hopefully] be answered by The Flash. However, what we have seen so far is a film packed with references to more popular titles.
The Flash looks fun, and it will be almost compulsory viewing fans of any of the characters or actors. Maybe that is all a comic book film needs to be, but it looks ultimately very shallow. Like a So Fresh CD, it will be packed with things we love, but nothing we have not seen before.
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