"enjoyable, a lot of fun and as expected, many familiar faces make a return"

This is one of the harder reviews I've had to do recently, as I've spent some time trying to work out how I feel about this film.

Let me clear up first that I liked the film but it also comes with a fair amount of baggage, whether this is something that effects your enjoyment really comes down to the watcher. 

Let me clarify what I mean, DC at one time had the market on superhero movies with the first two Batman movies (1989 and 1992 respectively) being hailed as classics and the original four Superman movies (1978 - 1987) being rated highly, then over the years successive Marvel movies and the creation of the MCU meant that DC was trailing behind.

However, in the beginning at least, DC were making quality television with The CW channel and the Arrowverse putting out regular high quality weekly episodes with varying degrees of success.

Then DC decided to chase Marvel's lead and they created the DCEU (a term never officially coined by Warner Bros.) which lead to numerous DC movies, these having varied amounts of success, for my own opinion these seemed to have a 50/50 success rate.

Much was made of Ezra Miller being cast as The Flash over a decade ago, and in the beginning all seemed well, they had put in a good if not huge performance in Justice League and the much publicised "Snyder Cut" but then came the filming of The Flash, which has a storied and marred history to say the least.

Most of you may know already that during the filming Ezra's behaviour was erratic and criminal at times; they've  been charged with kidnapped as well as burglary during the stint, as well as the reports Miller was grooming young people.

Now with the above in mind, I was personally happy to give The Flash a chance even though my excitement had diminished somewhat, but Michael Keaton is for all intents and purposes my Batman, so I wanted to see it. Then came the fact that James Gunn (of Marvel and Guardians of the Galaxy fame) had been announced to be taking over at DC and with a reset of the DC continuity it was confirmed that anything happening prior to Blue Beatle would essentially not be included in Gunn's new world, so for me, it took away the stakes of The Flash's story having any long reaching impact going forward..

However, The Flash is enjoyable, a lot of fun and as expected, many familiar faces make a return, the opening serves to re-introduce the majority of the Justice League and show that Barry/The Flash can hold his own with the rest of the team when needed even if it's in his own quirky way, despite heavily relaying on CGI, the opening may upset some viewers, the CGI scene do depict some child and animal endangerment.

The bulk of the rest of the film is mostly more grounded and played safe up until the finale.

Sasha Calle's take on Supergirl is a highlight even if it feels like a waste of a talented performer knowing that she likely won't be seen again (although we can dream) and Michael Keaton is superb as Batman again, giving him a deserved send off that he always should have had.

Plus the return of his classic Batman theme from the incredible Danny Elfman still brings chills down my spine.

There are some superb cameos which are unexpected but there are some stand out moments, some I think may have been included knowing that they could essentially throw the kitchen sink at this as it didn't matter, they were however highlights.

The plot is a loose (really loose) re-telling of Geoff Johns' 2011 Flashpoint Paradox storyline, using perhaps only the base ideas.

If you are a DC fan and crave a proper adaption then the animated movie is a better option, but they do well with the direction and action on hand. Ezra Miller makes a good Barry Allen.. twice over really, maybe not the best version but he captures the essence well.

My other gripe with The Flash is the CGI used, at times is diabolical; I can excuse poor CGI to a point but when the CGI is used aesthetically within the speed force, whilst it didn't appeal to me I can understand its use in this way but otherwise it feels like they ran out of money elsewhere and compromised for a boss baby level of work as opposed to the polished level they needed. It makes Superman's moustache look like a work of art.

To summarise, The Flash is a decent choice to watch, something I think all fans will enjoy on various levels.

But this missed a definite opportunity to make something truly amazing. They also had to film some of the finale three times to make up for changes which explains it, even if it doesn't excuse why it's a mess. 

I want to give this a 3.75 but our rating system doesn't allow for this so it's going to have to be a 3.5 out of 5. As I said before it's not overly bad, but it's messy and lacks the polish it really should have, especially given that it took over a decade and many Directors and regime changes at Warner Bros. to make it to the big screen.