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C'mon Hollywood: Use the Flashpoint movie to help reboot the DCEU

12.05.2017

It’s no secret that I’m not really a fan of the DCEU. While WONDER WOMAN was great, and I love MAN OF STEEL – warts and all – I pretty much hated the grimdark nonsense that was BATMAN V SUPERMAN and the just straight up nonsense that was SUICIDE SQUAD (like a fucking tatted Jugga-Joker). And while there are a (very vocal) minority of fans who love those films, that is certainly not the consensus. However, while I liked (but didn't love) JUSTICE LEAGUE, it gave me high hopes for the universe in the future. And one of the reasons for my high hopes? A little movie called FLASHPOINT.

Now, if you don’t know what FLASHPOINT is, it was a major crossover event that retconned thirty-plus years of DC comics continuity into what became the New 52. The story concerned Barry Allen, a.k.a. The Flash, travelling back in time to save his mother, which caused a time paradox where Batman is now a murderous Thomas Wayne, the Joker is Martha Wayne, Superman is a weakling locked in a cell, and Aquaman and Wonder Woman are at war with each other. The story then concerned Allen’s attempt to fix the timeline, which – you guessed it – condensed everything into the aforementioned New 52, where some things stayed the same, while others were changed. And only Barry knew what happened in both timelines.

Don’t get me wrong, neither FLASHPOINT, nor the subsequent New 52 universe, were really any good. But the germ of a good idea is there. Like CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS before it, FLASHPOINT was more an excuse to make the comics more accessible to new readers (as the comics got overly continuity heavy, making it impenetrable to newcomers). Not only that, but due to so many different writers, and so much history behind these characters, it was also an excuse to retcon things that were going bad (like most of DC at the time), and keeping what was doing well (like BATMAN, INC. and the GREEN LANTERN series).

So what does this have to do with the DCEU? Well, it’s no secret that the DCEU – at best – has been a mixed bag. While there are some bright spots (most of the casting, costumes, action), there have also been a lot more pitfalls (major miscasting of villains, Batman and Superman becoming killers, overly dark tone). So if FLASHPOINT the comic-book was used to separate the wheat from the chaff for the comic continuity…couldn’t FLASHPOINT: THE MOVIE do the same for the cinematic continuity as well?

It’s obvious which direction I lean. Honestly, my main misgiving about the DCEU is that it’s not living up to its potential, rather than that it’s an out-and-out disaster. There are a lot of things to like about it, which makes all the things that don’t work all the more noticeable. So with using FLASHPOINT as a way to fix the DCEU, you can keep things like Ben Affleck as Batman, but he was never a murderer; Henry Cavill as Superman, but he’s now the bright, happy paragon we’re used to; change Lex Luthor's demeanor (as I think Jesse Eisenberg is a good enough actor to pull off a decent Lex if directed well, as seen in the brief after-credits scene of JUSTICE LEAGUE); recast or at least revamp The Joker (like, seriously, no “Damaged” forehead tattoo at least), not killing off Jimmy Olson, etc. That way we don’t have to start from scratch, but we also aren’t stuck with things that sucked. Hey, it worked for DAYS OF FUTURE PAST!

However, despite all that, my main gripe with this idea is it potentially doesn’t allow Flash to have his own movie. Since if FLASHPOINT is indeed the timeline fixer I’m assuming (or just hoping) it is, it could potentially turn into another cluttered mess that leaves Flash from taking the spotlight in his own film. Which, honestly, would be an apt metaphor for most DCEU films at this point.

On the other hand, while the film could still be a “What if?” Elseworlds tale of Barry dealing with Jeffrey Dean Morgan as psycho Batman, Gal Gadot as cutthroat evil Wonder Woman, and all the other weird shit that happens in FLASHPOINT, the focus should stay squarely on Barry Allen’s main arc: him learning to let go of grief. See, the whole point of the series (which gets muddled in bullshit) is ultimately about Barry Allen having to accept that his mother died (ending with him allowing her murder to occur so that he can save the universe, which is on the verge of destruction). So if the film could focus on Barry’s dilemma, and keeping the alternate superhero weirdness to the background (similar to how CIVIL WAR dealt with the rest of the Avengers), FLASHPOINT could be a universe-wide palette cleanser while also being a good film on its own terms. And, honestly, it could be even more emotionally resonant than him just fighting another guy who is also fast, but wears yellow.

So while, like many fans, I was disappointed that DC was again mining movie ideas from overrated and overexposed comic-book stories (like previously with THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN), this particular one has the potential to actually be good. Here’s hoping. And if not? Hey, maybe they can find another way to reboot everything!

Extra Tidbit: If not FLASHPOINT, I'd love to see Captain Boomerang come back! Because why the hell not?
Source: JoBlo.com

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