I gave The Flash a positive review. (Mildly positive, but positive.) I liked the premise. I liked Ezra Miller’s dual performance. I really liked Michael Keaton as an older Batman. But having said all that, I absolutely hated the final few minutes of The Flash, which took place inside a hideous swamp of bizarre CGI effects, which were used to represent the multiverse of DC Comics movies.

Those effects were used to create new cameos for long dead actors like Christopher Reeve, and also to insert actors from the long history of DC movies into the action, like Nicolas Cage, who was supposed to star in Tim Burton’s Superman movie which came within weeks of going into production in the mid-’90s before the plug got pulled and the project collapsed.

In theory, there was nothing wrong with the idea of paying tribute to the history of DC in this movie. But the execution — not only visually but conceptually, where this whole movie that has been about the choices of this one specific superhero are briefly put aside at the story’s big emotional climax for a series of weird-looking CGI cameos — left a lot to be desired. I found myself walking out of the theater wondering “Not a bad movie for the most part — but what was going on with that ending? What happened there?”

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
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It turns out, even some of the actors involved in that sequence are wondering the same thing. Nicolas Cage recently gave an interview to Yahoo! where he talked about his reaction to his appearance in The Flash. While Cage did go out of his way to praise The Flash director Andy Muschietti (“I loved his two It movies”), and confirmed he did shoot new footage for the film, he claimed that what he shot was totally different from what you saw in the final cut.

“What I was supposed to do was literally just be standing in an alternate dimension, if you will, and witnessing the destruction of the universe,” Cage explained. “So that’s what I did. I was on set for maybe three hours.”

Then he went to see The Flash, Cage added, and what he saw was a CGI version of himself fighting a giant spider. (Kevin Smith’s script for Tim Burton’s Superman Lives famously involved the Man of Steel fighting a giant spider.) “I did not do that,” Cage said. “That was not what I did ... I didn’t do any of that, so I don’t know what happened there.”

Probably doesn’t speak well of a movie when an actor says of his own performance  (which he apparently did not give!) “I don’t know what happened there.”

Someday, someone is going to write a hell of an oral history of DC Studios in this era. I don’t think I would buy a copy of The Flash on Blu-ray, but I would definitely buy a copy of that.

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