Haunted by the fact that his mother was murdered; that his father was convicted of the crime; and that he was unable to stop either event from taking place, Barry/The Flash (Ezra Miller) has spent a lifetime trying to find a solution.
When he discovers he can run faster than time, he returns to that fateful day to try to save his mother. But Barry doesn’t realise how many future things are impacted by that single event.
In an effort to keep his mum alive and to continue to work for the greater good, Barry must team up with a younger version of himself to make sure that he keeps his powers and will be able to return to the future. In this alternate timeline, the original Barry realises they face a familiar threat and both Barrys set out to get Batman/Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) to join their cause. With Batman on board and the threat of world destruction looming over them, the trio head off in search of Superman. They find more than they bargained for, and, ultimately, Barry must learn the hard truth that not every problem has a solution.
Death of a loved one, how past trauma can shape us; sacrifice
The Flash has some violence. For example:
- Cars smash and crash into each other during a high-speed chase.
- A hospital starts collapsing, its foundations crumbling and the building tilting, while people run and scream, dodging debris and the large cracks that are opening on the ground.
- Lots of property is damaged during a high-speed chase, where villains shoot at Batman, police cars are flipped over and a semi-trailer tips and explodes.
- Batman is hit by cars.
- A man is kicked in the face.
- It is widely believed that Barry’s dad murdered his mum. Barry has spent his life trying to prove that that is not true.
- Barry’s mother is stabbed in the chest with a large kitchen knife.
- A character punches Barry out of a time warp.
- Lightning strikes both Barrys, going through the pair of them. A hole is shown in the back of one Barry before it begins healing itself.
- Barry knocks himself into a wall.
- While testing his new skills, Barry runs until his clothes are on fire. He is nearly crushed by a car and a truck as everything erupts around him.
- A character is hit with a broom and bashed in the face.
- Barry is shot at, and soldiers shoot at Batman.
- Batman fights an army. There is kicking, punching, hitting, throwing things and smashing through windows.
- A male and female character are both tortured.
- A character is shot in the leg.
- There are explosions as an elevator is blasted upwards through a shaft and a girl is tossed aside.
- An army of soldiers shoots at this girl who kicks, throws, and punches them away.
- An alien army shoots at countless soldiers.
- A character slits a man’s throat.
- Barry is electrocuted and it looks like he is on fire and dying.
- A character punches a missile and it explodes.
- The Batmobile is shot at.
- An alien ship and the aliens attack an army, hitting, killing, punching, smashing and exploding wherever they can. A fierce battle rages as events are replayed in an effort to change the outcome where a character is killed.
- A helicopter explodes.
- Barry is sliced in the face with a knife.
- A character admits to killing Superman when he was just a baby.
- A character is repeatedly stabbed in the stomach.
- Batman deploys bombs against the alien forces and later, bleeding profusely, dies.
The Flash has some sexual references. For example:
- Barry confesses, ‘I know what sex is but I haven’t experienced it’.
- Barry comments that the suit he is wearing is tight around his genitals.
- Comments are made about a piece of technology looking like a ‘big, cyber scrotum’.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
The Flash has some substance use. For example:
- Barry walks through a wall to get beers and returns holding a couple.
- Characters occasionally drink wine or beer.
- In a scene after the end credits, Barry is shown helping a very drunk Aquaman out of a bar. Aquaman collapses in a puddle and tells Barry, ‘More beer. Go fast’.
Nudity and sexual activity
The Flash has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- Barry casts off what remains of his clothes after they were on fire and runs from the street fully naked. He returns to his apartment with his genitals covered but his backside and torso are fully exposed.
- A female character is shown wearing a bra after getting out of bed with her boyfriend.
- A male character lounges on a sofa in his underwear, doing some leg stretches that accentuate his crotch.
The Flash has some product placement. For example, Mercedes, iPhone, Twinkies, Puma shoes and Skippy Peanut Butter.
The Flash has some coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
The Flash is an action adventure, loosely based on the comic Flashpoint. It’s part of the DC universe and the movie features humorous performances, lots of action and special effects. Despite this, The Flash is not a family movie. It’s better suited to older teens and mature audiences.
These are the main messages from The Flash:
- Sometimes we have to let things go.
- We should live in the present, not dwell in the past.
- We shouldn’t allow tragedy to define us. We should learn from it and appreciate the events that make us who we are.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children are teamwork, courage, sacrifice, compassion and detachment.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the importance of not getting stuck in the past, and the real-life consequences of letting go of the things that you can’t change and looking toward the future.