The colloquial word “cringe” comes to mind for plenty of people when the visual effects of The Flash are brought up. The $200-million boondoggle’s CGI is certainly substandard for a superhero blockbuster, but most critics remarked on how bizarre and absurd the CG mock-ups of characters and objects were – not just how cheap they looked.
From the design of the Chrono-Bowl and the inner space of The Speed Force to how Nicolas Cage and Christopher Reeve looked as their respective Supermen, audiences were taken aback. However, no scene better captures the absurdity of The Flash’s FX than the rescue of falling babies from a crumbling hospital that’s come to be known as the “Microwave Baby” sequence.
It’s practically a meme at this point when Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) manages to devour a burrito in midair before he shoves a rubbery cartoon tot into the falling miniature oven. He saves the day as intended although the film’s director Andy Muschietti shared with The New York Times his obstacle wasn’t always the plan the director had in mind.
Andy Muschietti breaks down the Baby Rescue scene in ‘The Flash’ with @nytimes.
I love how his commentary elevates the details of the scene—as he puts you DIRECTLY into Barry’s thought process. pic.twitter.com/HYgotj120L
— Jordan Jones (@jordnjnes) August 13, 2023
For New York Time’s Anatomy of a Scene series, Muschietti explained he wanted to put the meek Miller version of Flash and his powers to the test. “What I wanted is to put our superhero to a test,” he said. “I wanted to put his superpowers to a test,” as even The Fastest Man Alive “can have trouble saving different people at the same time.”
Originally, Muschietti wanted a volcano to hinder the hero but that one didn’t get far. “In the original script, there was a scene with a volcano.” However, he “thought we needed something a little stronger to start with.” The volcano idea wouldn’t die out and wound up being recycled for a disingenuous cameo by the DCEU’s Superman minus Henry Cavill’s visage.
The burrito and Flash’s problem with food were a bigger deal than the Man of Steel star was, and by design no less. Dipping into the past and John Wesley Shipp’s famous portrayal, Muschietti borrowed Barry’s old struggle with calories and attempted humor to create problems for him. “When he’s in full energy, everything seems to be frozen in time,” he said.
“But when his calories go down, meaning that he doesn’t have [enough fuel] to be at the top of his capacities, everything starts to get faster,” he continued. Months ago, the director added to this notion that Barry’s speed alters the way he perceives things. You may remember this was Muschietti’s explanation for why the VFX were so bad.
They were no encumbrance to Miller who was physically in most shots according to Muschietti. The Argentine filmmaker also exalted the actor as “the great Ezra Miller” when he opened his commentary track. That plaudit is subjective when none of the work they – Miller, VFX artists, or Muschietti – put in translated to success for their long-delayed movie.