- The Flash was a major failure for Warner Bros. and director Andy Muschietti, with delays and negative press surrounding Ezra Miller's involvement.
- Despite the initial concerns, the first trailer generated excitement among moviegoers with the inclusion of Michael Keaton's Batman and Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman.
- The film received mixed reviews, with some critics praising it for its heartfelt and exciting comic book story, while others criticized the poor CGI and Miller's performance.
The Flash was an unmitigated disaster for Warner Bros. and for director Andy Muschietti. It was delayed by five years, and when it arrived, it came gift-wrapped with Ezra Miller, the most potent form of box office poison, stronger than even Amber Heard. Despite the titanic failure of The Flash at the box office, Andy Muschietti’s talents and expertise were undimmed in the eyes of James Gunn and Warner Bros. who looked to the It director to lead the Dark Knight into the DCU via Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
The Flash was a divisive film even before the first trailer was released. The movie felt out of step with the previous DCEU films, especially since there was uncertainty about whether other actors like Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill would appear in it. James Gunn took over the DC Universe, and no one was certain if Cavill’s Superman or Affleck’s Batman would make a show. Further blackening the film’s chances was Ezra Miller and his bad press for various transgressions with the law, which followed him like a rash, upsetting moviegoers and fans, who felt he should have been replaced as Barry Allen long before production on the film started.
However, the atmosphere changed when the first trailer was released, and many moviegoers were excited for the film. Michael Keaton’s Batman and Ben Affleck’s Batman were both set to appear; Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman appearance became more than a rumour, and overall, the film looked like a lot of fun. Still, there were lingering concerns that Ezra’s public image would negatively affect the film. It sure did; the film bombed and received terrible reviews from critics and most DCEU fans.
Many moviegoers didn’t enjoy the film’s fast and loose take on the Flashpoint storyline from the comics while also hating the poor CGI most of all. Others couldn’t stomach Miller and had difficulty giving the film a decent chance, refusing to engage with it and dismissing it outright without a proper viewing.
While many critics cast scorn on the movie, some enjoyed it and bravely commended it for telling a heartfelt and exciting comic book story. Yes, it had poor CGI, and Miller’s image hurt the film, but as time wore on and tensions settled, more and more fans noticed that those few outliers supporting the film may have been onto something.
The Flash Proved Muschietti was a Great Choice For Batman
Buried underneath the drama with Miller and the messed up CGI was a classic comic book movie. Muschietti got a raw deal with negativity around the DCEU, which suffered one setback after the other. Black Adam’s poor showing at the box office was fresh in people’s minds, and many were fed up with the DCEU’s failings, ready to maul and destroy anything with a whiff of negativity.
Snyder fans were also bruised and hurt that Zack wasn’t coming back, their resentment spilling over into hating on The Flash, which seemed linked to James Gunn despite being greenlit way before he took charge at DC. Still, he promoted the film and was glowing in his praise, stoking the embers of resentment from many Snyder fans, who boycotted The Flash.
The film’s CGI was terrible but was used as a battering ram and excuse to hate Muschietti’s movie. For all his problems, Miller finally gave a worthy performance as Barry Allen. His take on the character was always a point of contention amongst fans. Miller’s eccentric portrayal of Flash was unconventional and not universally adored.
With Andy’s movie, however, Miller gave an emotional and poignant performance that was also genuinely funny. Moreover, the intense and dramatic storyline gave audiences a compelling Flash movie far better than expected. Muschietti handled the characters with just the right balance of drama and personality, adapting each one appropriately for each scene, from Barry to Bruce and Supergirl; they all carried the plot forward and gave the film momentum and meaning.
Even Ben Affleck gave his most endearing performance as Bruce Wayne when he had a tender moment with Barry after they battled Alberto Falcone. The emotion and depth shown by Affleck were unlike anything we have ever seen onscreen for as long as he has been starring in the role. This scene lasted only a few minutes but was packed with great dialogue, capturing the characters’ friendship and Bruce’s loving fraternal care toward Barry, whom he sees almost like a younger brother.
The plot moved along well, and each scene was a fantastic blend of drama, comedy and action. Muschietti’s film never felt contrived, nor did it try to be too clever. It was full of funny, sad and exciting moments that showed the Argentinian filmmaker was the best choice to direct Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Gunn is an excellent filmmaker in his own right, and he could look past the bad CGI and Miller’s public image to see a film with lots of heart and depth.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Instead of scorn, Muschietti deserves praise for The Flash and his work on the film was a good sign that Batman: Brave and the Bold is in excellent hands. Muschietti will also have the added boost of wanting to clear his name and prove critics wrong. The desire to shake off the bad reviews and scorn he received for The Flash hopefully lit a fire under the director, who will try to top himself and deliver the best Batman film he can.
Batman: Brave and the Bold won’t have as much bad press swirling around as The Flash did, and it surely won’t feature poisonous box office cast members whose public antics will derail the film. If Muschietti is given a quality script and uses his skills to tell a heartfelt and exciting movie like he did with The Flash, fans should be giddy rather than upset he is in charge. In his hands, Batman: The Brave and The Bold can offer a fresh, new take on Batman that sets it apart from Nolan’s version and Matt Reeves’ take on the character.
Andy’s direction of Affleck and Michael Keaton was superb. Their action scenes knocked it out of the park, utilizing tight editing, spot-on cinematography and blood-pumping action, like when Keaton’s Batman faces off against the Kryptonians and Affleck chases down Falcone’s henchmen. Each scene featuring these Caped Crusaders was treated with utmost attention to detail and was meticulously planned, thought out and executed. Unfortunately, many were blinded by negative reviews to pay attention to Muschietti’s stellar work bringing Batman to the screen.
Relooking at The Flash Through Batman: Brave and the Bold
Gunn should keep the CGI to a minimum with Brave and the Bold, or if they use a large amount, he and Muschietti should ensure viewers have nothing to complain about after the debacle with The Flash. If the CGI is on par and Gunn quality-checks the script, there should be high hopes that Muschietti can deliver the goods and make a standout Batman movie that can stand head-to-head with Superman: Legacy.
Muschietti must show that he can also direct an ensemble cast. Batman: Brave and the Bold will be the first time we see a Robin in a Batman movie since 1997’s Batman and Robin, with Damian Wayne as the side-kick. The touching manner in which Andy directed Barry Allen’s scenes with his family, especially those earnest moments with his mother, is ample proof that Muschietti can handle complicated emotional terrain. Gunn said Brave and the Bold would feature the Bat Family, which needs a deft touch to balance and highlight Bruce’s complicated relationships with Damian and the rest of the team.
Muschietti showed he was capable of dramatic moments as much as the action scenes. If the Bat Family is involved, then a director who is good at showcasing interpersonal dynamics is vital. Luckily, Muschietti showed these skills in The Flash. The small team of heroes in the film, consisting of Batman, Flash and Supergirl, gelled perfectly together and, as a unit, felt authentic. Supergirl’s inclusion felt like studio meddling, but Andy and the writers did a great job including her. She felt organic to the plot and fit nicely beside Barry and Bruce.
Considering all these elements, Batman: The Brave and the Bold seems more like a potential winner than a gamble. Placing Andy Muschietti as director was a wise decision by James Gunn. Suppose this new Batman movie does well. It can do the impossible and make you forget how much you hated The Flash or even more. In that case, it can do twice the impossible, making you reconsider watching The Flash with new eyes to see a hidden gem that fell through the cracks, waiting to be rediscovered and accepted by comic book movie fans.
What are your thoughts on Andy Muschietti directing Batman: Brave and the Bold?