I still remember when the original X-Men movie came out. I was like ten and I was way more interested in seeing Battlefield Earth. I saw neither and still haven’t seen the latter, because I’d like it to be the last thing I see before I die.
I saw the first X-Men movie more than a decade later and felt every year between the time it came out and the time I was watching it. Then I watched the fanatically adored X2: X-Men United for the first time last week. Hugh Jackman is pretty great, but both films felt undeniably old. I get that in their time they proved that superhero films could do things they hadn’t yet done or whatever, but I wasn’t there for that. So they just felt old. If you’ve seen The Dark Knight, or The Avengers, and you haven’t seen X2, you’re too late. They party is over.
Fourteen years from now I’m inclined to think that essentially the same thing will be said of CW’s new superhero venture, The Flash.
But unlike X-Men and X2, The Flash is a party I showed up to on time. I even brought my guitar.
Superheroes have sufficiently killed it in movie theaters for years now, but they’re just sort of starting to wrap their fingers around the neck of it on television with shows like Arrow and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. This fall alone sees not only the debut of The Flash, but Gotham and Constantine as well. And next year is slated to get even more crowded.
So The Flash is coming in close enough to the ground floor of what could either be lightening striking twice or the tapping out of a proverbial entertainment goldmine. And yet, as something with at least a vague potential to be looked back on as culturally relevant, The Flash feels dated almost immediately.
The show is laced with special effects that do little to hide its television budget and melodrama and on the nose dialogue that all work to make The Flash feel more like a CW show than a DC show.
And yet, at two episodes in, I think I kind of sort of love it.
The cast, headlined by Grant “Who?” Gustin, Jesse “Law & Order” Martin and Tom “Ed” Cavanagh are all charming and likable, the tone strikes a Marvelous balance between laughing and brooding and the action is straight up fun.
“And the cosmic treadmill was on television! Don’t you understand the significance of that?” I shout at my jaded three year old who, a decade from now, scoffs at The Flash for the effects and melodrama that are by then doubly-dated.
Right off the bat I can tell you The Flash has its blemishes and they’ll probably only get more noticeable as the show’s pilot ages, but in a world where superhero television is probably years from reaching a Dark Knight, The Flash is pretty great.
And seriously, Days of Future Past is the best X-Men. X2? Come on.