With a massive budget of over $200 million, the Ezra Miller-led The Flash was supposed to be DC Studios’ biggest movie of the year, at least that’s what the hype before its release during the summer suggested.
It was also supposed to be one of the greatest superhero movies ever made, as per co-CEO James Gunn, who also suggested the stand-alone movie on Barry Allen would reset the DCEU ahead of the start of the new era for the studio’s superheroes under the umbrella of the DCU.
The Flash arrived and did manage to stun the audience and make plenty of headlines but for all the wrong reasons.
James Gunn’s The Flash Dethrones Taika Waititi’s Thor 4 to Achieve Another Unwanted Landmark
Before its release in June, The Flash already attracted scrutiny from some sections of the public for handing controversial figure Ezra Miller the opportunity to lead a movie. This translated into its box office performance, as it only grossed $268.5 million globally.
However, it wouldn’t be wise to attribute the failure of the movie to just one factor. Instead, a lot of issues combined together to deliver a lackluster story about Barry using his super speed to change the past and save his family.
Some viewers were also left baffled by the half-baked use of VFX. In particular, the falling baby rescue scene left fans laughing at the quality of visual effects rather than in awe of the speedy savior.
Before James Gunn‘s The Flash, Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder was the butt of the joke regarding the disappointing issue of technology. The excessive use of green screens to realize huge locations didn’t work and whatever Waititi was trying to communicate just didn’t translate well with many fans.
Christian Bale, who portrayed Gorr the God Butcher, also suggested (via GQ) that the experience of filming on the green screen-filled set wasn’t very exciting.
Having said that, after a look at the Andrés Muschietti-directed movie, Thor 4 starts to seem a much better piece of work.
How VFX Artists Reacted to the Use of Visual Effects in James Gunn’s The Flash
VFX artists, Sam Gorski, Wren Weichman, and Jordan Allen appeared for a Corridor Crew video to break down things The Flash‘s decision-makers did concerning visual effects.
Apart from the questionable baby shower scene, they also shared their thoughts on characters who appear during time-travel sequences. Summing up his disappointment, Allen talked about how the crucial process is viewed by the shareholders. He said:
“You have to do it cheaper and faster and the notes come down from the top. And the execs don’t care at all about your time—working overtime, working weekends. They’re like, ‘just get it done by this deadline’ because at the end of the day, the shareholders of this kind of stuff, they don’t care about the CG quality. Will you, the audience member, eat it? If you will eat it and pay us for it, we’ll just throw it your way. So in a way, this backlash is to the benefit of VFX artists, because it’s like look, we’re not just going to keep taking this. At a certain point we expect a certain quality and a certain care to be given to the characters that we love.”
Whether studio executives in general learned anything from the backlash The Flash received for its VFX work should become more clear after the release of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.