As theatrical audiences and social media users have begun to experience the horrors of The Flash‘s awful CGI face-to-uncanny-valley-face, director Andy Muschietti has claimed that the film’s poor graphical quality was an intentional creative choice meant to show audiences how the world looks from the Speed Force-doused perspective of its titular hero.
From an opening sequence featuring a number of infants that look as if they were ripped straight from Ally McBeal, to the PlayStation 2-level renders of Barry Allen’s friends and family within the Speed Force, to the awful digital necromancy performed on both Christopher Reeve and George Reeves, The Flash stands as a prime example of how the execution of CGI can go horribly, horribly wrong.
For example, remember the widely-mocked ‘floating head’ scene in Thor: Love and Thunder?
Well, The Flash not only employs a similar technique to have Barry ‘pop-out’ of the Speed Force at various intervals throughout time, but they use it multiple times, each appearance looking worse than the last.
Or take the film’s climactic battle between Barry’s rag-tag Justice League and the invading Kryptonian forces of General Zod.
Shot on a boring, completely flat horizon, everything looks completely fake and green-screened in – a feeling which isn’t helped by the fact that both Barry’s seem to ‘glide’ across the battlefield as they run rather than actually interact with it.
However, despite it’s lackluster-to-say-the-least-quality, The Flash director Andy Muschietti has claimed that the film’s off-putting CGI was not a bug, but rather a feature.
Asked during a recent interview by io9’s Germain Lussier whether or not this awkward aesthetic was what he had envisioned for Warner Bros. Discovery’s big box office bet, Muschietti confirmed that it, in fact, was.
“The idea, of course, is…we are in the perspective of the Flash,” explained the director. “Everything is distorted in terms of lights and textures. We enter this ‘waterworld’ which is basically being in Barry’s POV. It was part of the design so if it looks a little weird to you that was intended.”
Despite Muschietti’s claim of ‘stylization’, it’s hard to take his explanation seriously when Zack Snyder pulled off the same effect – replete with a CGI-revival of Cyborg – to far greater results in his cut of Justice League.
Further, the end results of Muschietti’s work, whether intentional or not, calls into question the report that Tom Cruise – the same man who takes practical effects so seriously that he leapt off a physical mountain for his upcoming Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One – had called The Flash director to praise the film as “everything you want in a movie”.
The Flash is now in theaters.