The Flash: Rise of the Rogues (originally titled The Flash Returns) is a 2022 live action comic book film directed by Jon Favreau, and is the sequel to the 2018 blockbuster, The Flash. Garrett Hedlund returns as Barry Allen/ The Flash, along with Evan Rachel Wood, Rosario Dawson, Corey Stoll, and Skyler Samuels. Joining the cast is Liev Schreiber, James Badge Dale, and Ben Foster.
- Garrett Hedlund as Barry Allen/ The Flash
- Evan Rachel Wood as Iris West
- Liev Schreiber as Leonard Snart/ Captain Cold
- James Badge Dale as James Jesse/ The Trickster
- Ben Foster as Eobard Thawne
- Rosario Dawson as Sgt. Angela Rojas
- Chiwetel Ejiofor as Dr. Silas Stone
- Corey Stoll as Captain Darryl Frye
- Skyler Samuels as Patty Spivot
The film opens in Crowley Penitentiary in Fawcett City. Inmate Leonard Snart reads a letter from his old boss, telling him of an important heist in Central City where the total pay could be up to $8 million. Snart then decides that he must find a way to escape. After a little while, he decides that he will need the assistance of fellow inmate, James Jesse, who has a severe case of social anxiety disorder, needing to take medication for it every day. Snart comes up with a plan to get out when Jesse is escorted to take his medication. Jesse agrees to the plan, but only if they split the proceeds from the heist 50/50. Snart grudgingly agrees to James's demands, knowing that he has no choice, and they proceed with their escape plan. Everything goes according to plan for a while, until the two are caught by a guard. Jesse then uses an illusion to disorient the guard, and Snart then knocks him unconcious. Snart tells Jesse that he is very impressed, and the two men finally escape.
In Central City, Barry Allen arrives with his CSI squad, including his assistant Patty Spivot, at the scene of a murder. Barry thoroughly inspects the scene, and tells Sgt. Angela Rojas that there are two different strands of blood, and that someone must have been with the victim and is now gone. Rojas confirms Barry's theory by telling him that witnesses believe that they saw a man leave with a screaming girl with him. Barry asks Angela to hold off onlookers, and then subtly slips away into a nearby alley, following the blood trail. Once he gets a good idea as to where the murderer took his hostage, he changes into his Flash suit and speeds off.
The Flash follows the blood trail to a train station, and spots a suspicious looking man with a very large bag that he is clearly having difficulties carrying. However, the train soon leaves, forcing the Flash to run alongside it on the tracks. He almost catches up to where the killer is seated on the train, but must move in order to avoid another oncoming train. By the time he catches up again, the killer realizes that the Flash is on his tail, and tries moving to another cart. The Flash finally gets onto the train, but the killer threatens to shoot his hostage if the Flash comes any further. However, as soon as the killer turns to get onto the next cart, the Flash is already behind him. He takes his gun away within a split second, and punches the killer to the ground before freeing the hostage from the suitcase.
Iris West is then shown at a carnival waiting for Barry, and a strange man is shown watching her from afar. After she talks on the phone with her brother, Rudy, she notices the man staring at her. She is obviously freaked out by him, and tries getting away from his vantage point, and all of a sudden bumps into Barry. He asks her why she is so shaken, and she turns around but sees that the man is no longer there. She decides against telling Barry about him, and says that her jumpiness is from having just gotten off of a roller coaster. Barry and Iris then get on the ferris wheel, where he tells her that he has never felt more secure about his personal and professional life, both professional lives, and he tells her that she is the reason for that. He then pulls out an engagement ring and proposes to her. She happily accepts and kisses him, while the mysterious man who was watching Iris before is shown watching from a distance.
Leonard Snart is then shown in a phone booth trying to get hold of his employer to get information on the deal, but to no avail. James is then shown to be getting on Snart's nerves to the point of Snart nearly punching him in the face, but all of a sudden, a random cell phone on a cafe table nearby begins ringing. Snart is confused at first, but eventually answers it. To his delight, it is his employer on the phone, who gives him the details of the heist: to break into S.T.A.R. Labs and steal prototype projects to sell on the black market.
Snart and Jesse manage to break into the lab thanks to Snart carefully calculating every move that they make. After looking around for a while and taking as much equipment as they can, Snart comes across a gun that catches his eye. However, security soon arrives and almost catches them due to Snart being distracted by the gun. As Jesse tries to escape, Snart takes the gun and fires at the security guards, revealing the gun to emit ice. Snart is amazed, and decides to take the weapon for himself.
The next morning, the police, with Barry and Angela among them, are at the scene of the robbery. While Angela questions Dr. Silas Stone, the head of S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry notices the ice left on the scene and stops the coroner so he can take a look at the bodies of the dead security guards. He notices how cold their body temperature is, and interrupts Angela to ask Dr. Stone about the objects stolen from the lab, particularly anything having to do with ice. Dr. Stone is noticeably hiding something, but Angela is annoyed that Barry is questioning witnesses and pulls him aside to tell him to let her do her job. Barry tells Angela about the ice and the cold body temperature of the dead guards.
Iris, meanwhile, shows up at the crime scene to cover it for the news. Captain Frye tells her that they will not be answering questions for the press, and she walks away in disappointment. Barry catches up to her and tells her that there is something odd about the robbery, but will not say on the record. She understands, and then he tells her about the ice at the scene and about the guards. He suggests that it had something to do with what the robbers stole, but they could not get an answer out of Dr. Stone or anyone else who works there.
Snart and Jesse then go to meet with Snart's employer, who congratulates them on a job well done. Snart shows him the objects that they stole, and asks for his take up the heist upfront. His employer is hesitant but soon agrees, and pays him $2 million. Snart gets angry and reminds him that he was promised $8 million. His employer reminds him that he said the pay would be "up to $8 million" but never actually guaranteed the full amount. Snart gets angry, but tries to keep himself collected. However, Jesse loses his temper and begins shooting everyone in the room. Snart's employer pulls a gun out, but Snart decides to protect Jesse and pulls out the ice gun and points it at his employer. He asks Snart to put the gun down and be reasonable, but Snart tells him that he believes he is being reasonable. He explains to his employer that they are living in a different world now. The people with money no longer control things, the people with the most power control things, and thanks to his new weapon, he has more power than his employer. His employer begs for his life, but Snart fires the gun and kills him. Jesse laughs and asks what the plan is now, and Snart tells him that Central City is now theirs for the taking.
Barry is then shown going over evidence from the S.T.A.R. Labs robbery with Patty, who asks why he is so interested in this robbery in particular. Barry tries to come up with an excuse for why he is interested without giving away his secret, but simply says that these robbers are clearly dangerous. Angela then texts Barry and tells him to turn on the news. Barry turns it on and sees Iris covering a story of a mysterious villain holding hostages in a building until the city pays him $5 million. If they interfere, he has a bomb ready to explode the second a door in the building opens. Barry leaves, but tells Patty to stay behind when she asks if she should go as well. As soon as he leaves, he speeds away to change into the Flash.
The villain holding the hostages is revealed to the audience to be Jesse, who has a new, flamboyant costume. It is also revealed that the hostage situation is merely a distraction while Snart robs a bank across town, with the police's attention on the hostages, along with the Flash's attention as well.
The Flash arrives at the scene and converses with Angela discretely. Angela tells him that the bomb squad has confirmed that there is indeed a bomb ready to explode precisely five seconds after any door to the building opens. The Flash tells her that he could get them all out in less than five seconds. After hesitation, Angela tells him to go for it, and he rushes to get all of the hostages out in time. He manages to do so, barely, and even gets Jesse out. He hands Jesse over to the police, but is confused about why he is so calm and not worried at all about his plan failing. As this is going on, Snart completes a successful bank robbery with very little police interference, and he simply just shoots the ones who do interfere with his new weapon.
With Jesse in police custody, Angela tells Barry who he is, and that he had been imprisoned in Fawcett City for the last seven years for armed robbery, until breaking out just a few weeks prior, along with a fellow inmate. Barry asks who the other inmate was, but before she can answer, the walls of the police station break down after being hit by ice. Snart enters and breaks Jesse out, which was why Jesse was not worried. As they leave, Jesse gloats about this amazing "trick", but the two are cut off by the Flash. He tells them that they are not going anywhere. However, Snart shoots him, and he is only just barely able to evade the shot, but still gets severely injured, and cannot run after them as they leave the police station completely untouched.
Angela and Iris both help Barry tend to his injuries back at his apartment, and Barry is clearly frustrated at not being able to do anything about the two men escaping. Iris tells him that there was nothing that he could have done, as he was incapacitated. He tells her that he should have been faster, and now both of them are on the loose. Angela gets a call from the station, and then tells both Barry and Iris that when Jesse was holding the hostages, Snart robbed a bank of close to $10 million and killed several police officers in the process. Barry gets even more frustrated that they fell for the plan to be distracted by Jesse while Snart committed the real crime. Angela tells Barry that they need to find a way to disarm Snart, and Barry deduces that they'd need to get answers from Dr. Stone, as he invented the gun.
As Iris leaves the apartment, she accidentally bumps into a man, who is revealed to the audience to be the same man who was watching her at the carnival earlier. She apologizes, and he recognizes her as Iris West, the reporter who covered the hostage situation. She is flattered that he recognizes her, but tells him that she actually has to be somewhere and leaves. As she leaves, he smiles and remarks to himself that he also has to be somewhere.
Dr. Stone is shown about to leave S.T.A.R. Labs when the Flash arrives and asks about the gun. Dr. Stone feigns ignorance, but the Flash can clearly see right through it and tells him that if he does not tell him what he knows about the gun, then he will not be able to stop Snart and Jesse. Stone finally agrees and shows the Flash the initial designs for the gun. He explains to him how the gun works and where the power comes from. Flash then asks him why he didn't just tell the police about the gun in the first place. Dr. Stone looks down in shame and says that the gun was never officially a S.T.A.R. Labs project, but was something he was working on himself. Flash asks Dr. Stone why he was designing the gun in the first place. Dr. Stone then confesses that before Amanda Waller was indicted, ARGUS contracted Dr. Stone to design certain types of weapons that could be used if the new super powered beings ever became a threat. After Waller was arrested and the Superman Act was put into effect, General Lane cut ties with all previous ARGUS projects that related to the matter, so Dr. Stone's weapon designs were to be cancelled. However, he built them anyway. Flash is clearly angered at Dr. Stone's reasoning for building the gun, but sees how guilty he feels and tells him that he did what he had to do. Dr. Stone tells Flash that once he stops Snart and gets the gun back, then he should just destroy the gun for good. Flash nods his head in approval and speeds away.
Iris is shown at work, clearly disturbed that the man who was staring at her at the carnival suddenly showed up again, and starts to believe she has a stalker. She calls Barry, but it goes to voicemail, and she simply tells him to just call her back. Suddenly, however, reports of another attack by Snart and Jesse are hitting the news wire, and Iris leaves to cover the story.
Snart and Jesse are then shown holding up the Central City Museum of Natural History, stealing ancient artifacts to sell on the black market. After a little while, the Flash arrives to take the two men down. Flash tells them that by the end of the day, they'll both be back in prison. Snart and Jesse both chuckle, and Snart tells him that he'll be dead before that happens. Snart then shoots at Flash, but he is able to evade the shot, grabs a medallion that Jesse had previously stolen, and is able to use the medallion to hit a spot on the gun to shut it down that Dr. Stone had previously told him about. Snart is infuriated that his gun no longer works, and the Flash grabs both men to take them to the police. Iris reports on the story from outside the museum, proudly reporting that the Flash has taken both Snart and Jesse into police custody. The mysterious man from before watches from afar, and begins chuckling to himself.
Snart and Jesse are then both shown in a holding cell, where officers are cursing at them and threatening to kill them for the cops that they killed during their string of robberies. Captain Frye tells the officers to back off, and then tells the two of them that their old inmates in Crowley miss them, clearly taunting them. Snart is clearly still angry that their recent period of huge power is over, and Jesse simply sits to himself, having a minor anxiety attack. Suddenly, they both vanish from their cell in a split second. Frye is clearly disturbed, and begins commanding that everyone figure out what happened. Barry and Angela are walking by as Frye gives the orders, and Barry is clearly perplexed as to how they could have gotten out of their cells like that. Angela tells him that the only time she has seen anyone disappear like that, the Flash has been involved. Barry is now more confused than ever, thinking that there may be someone else like the Flash.
Snart and Jesse suddenly arrive in a warehouse, thinking it was the Flash who brought them there. Snart yells out for the Flash to come out and face them. However, a mysterious voice tells them that it was not the Flash who brought them there. The mystery man steps out of the shadows and reveals himself to be the same man who had been watching Iris. Snart asks who the hell he is, and he tells them to just call him "Bart", but he is an avid fan of their work. Jesse asks if he is like the Flash, due to his speed. Bart smiles, and says, "In some ways, but in others, I am more like the reverse". Snart asks what he wants with them. Bart explains to them that one day, the two of them will be legendary criminals whose tales rival those of "Al Capone and The Joke-- oh wait, he hasn't come around yet", but that he doesn't have the time or the patience to wait around for that. They are both confused, so Bart tells them not to worry about it, but since he got them out of jail, he needs them to do something for him in exchange. They ask him what it is, and he unveils a much, much more upgraded version of Snart's gun, and tells them to kill the Flash.
Captain Frye, Sgt. Rojas, and many other cops are going over everything to figure out where Snart and Jesse went. Barry is then shown going over the security footage over and over again, trying to get a glimpse of anyone if it was in fact another speedster who got them out. In the midst of everything, a cop points out that Jesse is on TV. They turn up the volume, and Jesse is back in his flamboyant suit, and says that he and his partner will be waiting for Flash to arrive at Mounds View, and for every ten minutes that he is not there, they will kill fifty innocent civilians. If any cops show up, they will kill them along with fifty additional innocent civilians. Barry looks sternly at the TV before leaving to go face them.
As Jesse and Snart wait intently for the Flash to arrive, Jesse gets ancy and tells Snart to just kill civilians already. Snart is content waiting a little longer, and all of a sudden, Flash speeds onto the scene and forces Jesse to the edge of a bridge. Angry, he tells Snart to surrender or he will push Jesse over. Snart laughs and tells the Flash that he knows he is bluffing, as he would never kill anyone. He also goes on to say that even if he weren't bluffing, he wouldn't care about Jesse dying, as he only needed him to get out of prison and to act as a diversion during his robberies. This infuriates Jesse, but Flash gives in to Snart calling his bluff and pulls Jesse from the edge. Snart grins and tells the Flash that his "speedster buddy" wants him dead, so he plans on delivering. He shoots at the Flash, who is able to get away from the shot, despite seeing how much more powerful this gun is than the last one. Snart continues shooting at him, but Jesse loses his temper at Snart for calling him useless, and punches him in the face. Snart is infuriated that Jesse would ruin their plan like that, and is about to kill him when the Flash rushes over and disarms Snart. However, Jesse begins using expolisves to distract the Flash and blur his vision. Flash catches Jesse and has him tied to a pole, but Snart gets his gun back and shoots at him once again. Realizing he won't be able to get close to him as long as he has the gun, the Flash begins running in a circle around Snart, and Snart inadvertently entraps himself in an ice circle. Having no idea where the Flash now is, he begins shooting aimlessly, but the Flash crashes through the ice behind him and disarms him once again. Flash shoves Snart against a wall and asks who this other speedster he was talking about is. Snart tells him that he never gave them his real name, but that he know a lot about all of them, and seemed very intent on having the Flash killed. The police arrive to take in Snart and Jesse once again, and the Flash takes off.
Barry arrives back at the police station, where he sees Angela is clearly horrified at something. He asks what is wrong, and she hands him an odd looking device. Barry looks strangely at it, before accidentally pressing a button that emits a hologram. "Bart" is shown in the hologram, and he tells him that his name is Eobard Thawne he knows that Barry Allen is the Flash, and that if he wants to see Iris again, he will show up at 657 Kanigher Ave. Barry speeds off.
The Flash arrives at the address given to him by Thawne, which is the warehouse where he took Snart and Jesse previously. He looks around for Iris, and finally finds her tied to a pipeline. He goes to free her, but Thawne finally reveals himself to the Flash. Flash asks him who he is and what he wants. Thawne grins and tells him that over the years, they are going to grow to know each other quite well. Flash is confused and asks what he is talking about. Thawne tells him that he is from the future, and that from the time he comes from, the two of them are mortal enemies. Barry clearly does not believe him, but Thawne speeds toward him and topples him to the ground. Thawne laughs and tells him that one day, the two of them will be as fast as each other, but that day is not for at least another ten years. Barry runs after him, and the two go on a long chase throughout the streets of Central City, with Barry not even coming close to catching up to him. Thawne merely leads Barry right back to the warehouse, and begins taunting him, telling him that he could go again if that is what he wishes. Barry asks him what he wants, and Thawne laughs loudly and says that all he wants is for Barry to catch him. They begin running again, through the same route, but as Barry makes somewhat of a progress to catch up to him, Thawne grabs Iris and disappears. Barry looks around for the two of them and screams Iris's name, to no avail. He falls down to his knees in despair and begins screaming in agony for the apparent loss of the woman he loves.
Angela arrives at Barry's apartment a few days later, and says that Captain Frye has been asking when he would be returning to work. Barry just sits in despair, and complete silence. Angela feels bad, and offers condolences, and reminds him that she knows how it feels to lose a loved one. He finally speaks, and tells her that Iris is not dead. She asks what he means, and he tells her that the technology that Thawne had left for him to find, and the gun that he gave to Snart, were both clearly not from this time. He tells her also about what Thawne said about being from the future, and about how Barry isn't fast enough yet. Angela is confused, and Barry tells her that Iris is trapped somewhere in time, but he doesn't know when or where, but that he needs to find her.
Flash is then shown at S.T.A.R. Labs, speaking with Dr. Stone, asking about the possibility of being fast enough to travel through time. Dr. Stone goes over his fastest speeds, and points out that when he first acquired these abilities, he was not as fast as he is now. He tells Flash that he supposes if he keeps getting faster, then he may indeed end up being fast enough to break through the space-time continuum, and essentially travel through time. Flash then realizes what he has to do, and says to Dr. Stone, "Then I need to keep on running".
During the end credits, Dr. Stone enters a private lab and opens a chamber with Snart's second gun inside of it. He then calls someone, and once they answer, he tells them that he he may have found the missing piece. The person on the other end of the line is shown to be General Lane, who tells him that it is good news. He is then shown looking at a S.T.A.R. Labs file titled "CYBORG".
The Flash: Rise of the Rogues was met with critical acclaim, with many critics calling it the best of the DC Cinematic Universe. Kris Perry of 'Rolling Stone' said it "is the best movie of the entire shared universe, and that includes Justice League." It is currently rated at 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is the fourth highest rated film of the universe, behind Justice League, Superman: The Last Son of Krypton, and The Batman, and the highest rated sequel of the universe.
It was a commercial success as well, grossing $802,767,223 from around the world.