‘The Flash’ Reviewers Are Getting Side-Eyed Hard by the Internet
Early reviews for The Flash have started pouring in, and internet users aren’t very impressed by them. The film is set to premiere on June 16, 2023, but some CinemaCon attendees were treated to an exclusive early showing of The Flash on April 25, and the reviews that surfaced afterward were overwhelmingly positive. This wasn’t too surprising, as most viewers admitted the trailer looked fairly promising and especially because of the praise Warner Bros. has been singing for the film for so long.
What really struck readers, though, was how these reviews handled the Ezra Miller situation. Beginning in March of 2022, Miller was involved in a series of controversies and legal troubles that included allegations of harassment, assault, and child grooming, culminating in their arrest on charges of felony burglary in August of 2022. Despite the seriousness of Miller’s controversies, Warner Bros. surprisingly stuck with the actor despite calls from fans to recast the role. As a result, Miller appears in the titular role of The Flash, and the trailer even revealed that two variants of the character appear, both portrayed by Miller.
This situation has led to some convoluted feelings about The Flash. While many fans don’t wish to support Miller, they don’t want the work of the other stars of the film, such as Michael Keaton and Sasha Calle, to go unrecognized. Similarly, from a fan standpoint, many can’t help but feel curious about the film that will introduce the multiverse to the DCU and kickstart a new DCU era. However, even while acknowledging the difficulty of the situation, the unrestrained praise that many early reviews bestowed on Miller didn’t sit right with many readers.
Twitter users side-eye The Flash reviewers
While positive reviews were expected, one might have thought that praise for the film would have been at least someone restrained, and most didn’t expect reviewers to actually single out Miller with excessive individual compliments. However, the praise almost seemed exaggerated, with these reviews gushing about The Flash being the “best DC film” or even the “best superhero film” of all time. As more and more reviews surfaced singing praise for Miller and The Flash, many users began questioning how and why Miller’s controversy is being so blatantly swept under the rug.
Even worse than the reviews that ignored the controversy while explicitly praising Miller were those that acknowledged Miller’s disturbing behavior but suggested it didn’t matter since the film was good. Collider‘s editor-in-chief, Steven Weintraub, wrote on Twitter, “Ezra Miller has made a lot of mistakes but they are soooooo good in this movie.” A lot of Twitter users had a problem with Miller’s felony charge and accusations being downplayed as “mistakes,” as well as with a reviewer openly admitting that they don’t care about Miller’s controversies as long as they perform well in movies.
The praise also renewed some conversation about how Miller is being treated in stark contrast to the treatment of other celebrities, both professionally and among fans. Amber Heard, for example, was dragged through the dirt in one of the most horrific cyberbullying smear campaigns in history for accusing Johnny Depp of abuse and may never get her career back. Meanwhile, Marvel star Jonathan Majors was swiftly dropped from his PR and management company, as well as from at least one major film role, after allegations of assault arose against him. If the allegations are true, this is a very appropriate response, and we can all see the double standard at play when action against a Black movie star was swift and severe, yet Miller is being publicly praised by reviewers and film executives.
Until The Flash releases worldwide, we won’t really know what all of these reviewers see in the film. However, it doesn’t seem possible that any film could be so good that it automatically redeems an actor with numerous troubling allegations and charges against them.
(featured image: Warner Bros.)
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