The Flash Director Defends CGI Scenes That Fans Call 'Terrible'

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
Flash movie Bad CGI

According to The Flash's director, some of the DC movie's "terrible" CGI may have actually been intentional.

Despite being initially praised by critics on the route to release, one of the main four criticisms targeted at The Flash was its mediocre-to-awful CGI.

More and more, the CGI in superhero movies has been increasingly criticized by audiences, with Marvel Studios facing particular backlash as VFX artists claim the comic book studio has become "horrible" to work for.

The Flash's Big CGI Problem Explained by Director

Flash movie running CGI

During an interview with Gizmodo, The Flash director Andy Muschietti defended the movie's CGI after certain shots were criticized by some fans for being "terrible" as the flick speeds its way into theaters.

Quoting a snippet from its review of The Flash, The Hollywood Handle praised elements of the film but criticized the "terrible CGI and weak third act:"

"'The Flash' is overall fun, action-packed and a good time in theaters, but the terrible CGI and a weak third act makes this movie just another simple superhero movie."

Beardo Benjo even put the VFX on par with "PS3 cutscene level," zoning in particularly on some of the "full-on CGI humans" - seemingly referencing that of the digitally-created cameos from late actors:

"Saw 'The Flash' yesterday

It has some of the most hilariously terrible CGI I've seen in years & I don't mean silly little details that most people wouldn't notice. 

I mean full-on CGI humans that are front & center, uncanny valley PS3 cutscene level stuff its bonkers."

Some went as far as to compare the CGI to that of The CW's The Flash show, with @StarkillerSneed calling it "absolutely awful," much like what was showcased in the later seasons of the series:

"To be fair, they did make a reference to the late seasons of 'Flash' by making the CGI absolutely awful"

Specifically criticizing the visuals behind The Flash's Speed Force cameos, @MyTimeToShineH proclaimed how they "actually look worse" than the awful cover-up CGI of Henry Cavill's mustache in 2017's Justice League.

Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for The Flash.

Focusing in on the movie's opening which saw the Flash saving many babies from a toppling building, director Andy Muschietti and producer Barbara Muschietti explained how that was actually done on purpose.

At first, Barbara jokingly answered, “No, we used all real babies,” before Andy tagged in to note that the "distorted" look was actually "part of the design" to help recreate Barry Allen's superspeed perspective:

“The idea, of course, is...we are in the perspective of the Flash. 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.”

Others Reasons Why The Flash's CGI Sucks

As discussed before, superhero movies, which were once regarded as impressive visual spectacles, have recently come to be panned for their lackluster CGI and disappointing digital designs, especially in the post-pandemic era.

One of the many reasons behind this comes down to the insane content output, with the MCU set to release three movies and three series this year while DC comes out with four blockbusters, VFX houses have more on their plate than ever.

Whether The Flash's "terrible" CGI was actually as intentional as Andy Muschietti claims is unclear, as the filmmaker may simply be looking for ways to justify these moments which may not look quite as good as they could.

With The Flash reportedly made on a massive $220 million production budget already, making it one of DC's most expensive movies ever, perhaps the studio simply wasn't looking to cash out any more money to improve these scenes.

While the Speedster solo movie certainly presented some cases of impressive visuals, others looked truly awful, most notably, several of the movie's superhero cameos simply appeared totally unrealistic and unconvincing. 

The Flash is playing now in theaters worldwide

- In This Article: The Flash
Release Date
June 16, 2023
- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.