LEGO DC Superheroes: The Flash
LEGO DC Superheroes: The Flash 2018
Even though I still have a handful of movies on my List on Netflix, I decided to start my rotation of a few different streaming services to continue my catch up of superhero movies from the past couple years. For no particular reason I decided to start with Hulu and the first movie that I found on there was this one. I’ve generally been favorable towards the LEGO DC animated movies, they’re not nearly as good as either the theatrical LEGO movies nor the more adult skewed DC Animated Universe. But they’re still head and shoulders above most straight-to-video material marketed specifically towards kids so it’s not exactly a pain to watch. It has many of the DC voice actors including the perennial comedic Cyborg, and it has elements of the LEGO humor that’s used in all of their movies and video games. Plus, it has a time loop in it and that’s something I always enjoy.
What’s somewhat interesting for a movie called The Flash is that it takes a little while before he even shows up to his own movie. But at least it’s integrated into the overall plot line as he more or less sleeps in. The film also points out how overpowered the Flash would be if he actually used the speed force to its fullest potential. It also goes into the territory that the Flash TV show goes into where Barry Allen frequently mentions that he’s the fastest man on Earth, except that the speedster villains he fights are always faster than him. Here, Reverse Flash is the speedster that is faster than him, but that’s not revealed for a little while, and not without a few jokes about why he’s called the Reverse Flash rather than something a little more appropriate like Evil Flash or even Negative Flash.
One of the most surprising things is how this film went into a musical number about halfway through as Flash seeks help from Doctor Fate who joins him in a blues number as Kevin Michael Richardson does a great Barry White-esque voice though it was a little odd to have Zatanna relegated to basically a backwards speaking secretary slash magical intern, especially as many of these movies outside of the Super Hero Girls series are very female-lite. Another lesser used hero that plays a significant role here is the Atom and it’s a very different incarnation than the Ray Palmer version in Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow.
Many of these movies end up boiling the story down to some sort of lesson that the hero or heroes need to learn and this one is no different. It might be spelled out a little too overtly, but the lesson also doesn’t fully go the other route that tends to be prevalent in preschool style movies. Flash learns to basically take a step back and not rush into everything headlong, but instead take a moment to pay attention to his surroundings, slow down a little, and go in with a plan. It also helps to add a touch of humor as he learns these things as he sees the ghostly memory of the Justice League members telling him these lessons. And as he initially heard the lesson from Batman when he was wearing a clown suit from a Joker attack, his memory of Batman is also in the same clown outfit.
Like with many of the DC LEGO movies, the animation is generally on point within the LEGO universe though it doesn’t have the details present in the theatrical movies and instead is much more clean. Not only that, but there are plenty of explosions that don’t turn into LEGO piece explosions, but instead are actual smoke elements that feel a little bit out of place. Everything feels just a little too clean and pristine. But the voice acting helps make up for it as the voice actors help make it feel like it’s still in the DC Universe. As mentioned earlier, Khary Payton’s Cyborg is always welcome and entertaining. Troy Baker’s Batman is suitably deadpan which helps play off of James Arnold Taylor as the Flash and his exuberance.
What really helps sell this movie more than anything else, next to the time loop element which was always fun is the amount of heroes that we get to see. Not only that, but there’s also the Super Pets as Ace the Bat-hound and Krypto both feature prominently and we also get to see the squirrel-like Green Lantern B’dg who repeatedly reminds us that he’s not a pet. We also get quite a bit of the lesser used Plastic Man who’s a full-fledged member of the Justice League here as well as Firestorm. The plot was a little roundabout with plenty of different B and C stories that are tied together with the humor that is always fun. Overall, it’s been one of the more fun of these LEGO Superhero movies. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.