Prior to a poster from Warner Bros. arriving on my doorstep earlier this year, I had never heard of Blue Beetle. I wasn’t familiar with the character from the comics. But I was excited about what seemed like a fresh start for DC Studios. And while I am 100% burnt out on superhero movies, an unknown character at this point feels like an indie movie in the genre. So, I’m here for it. How did it turn out? Better than I expected.
Blue Beetle follows the story of recent college graduate Jaime Reyes. He returns home after his graduation, full of aspirations for the future. However, his home is not quite as he left it. As he searches to find his purpose in the world, he comes into possession of an ancient alien relic, the Scarab. And thanks to the curiosity of his family, Jaime ends up becoming the symbiotic host for the Scarab. And with that, a new superhero is born.
The relic brings with it an incredible suit of armor, but it also has a mind of its own. The downside to its extraordinary powers is that it is unpredictable. Adventure ensues as Jaime embraces his destiny and becomes Blue Beetle.
Blue Beetle Movie Trailer
Blue Beetle Movie Review: What I Liked And Didn’t Like
With a two-hour and seven-minute run time, some parts of the film feel like they would have benefited from some additional editing. However, from a visual effects standpoint, Blue Beetle is lightyears better than DC’s last movie, The Flash.
The main issues with the film lie within the script, which also caused problems with some of the actors’ performances.
One of the strongest elements of the film is its portrayal of Jaime’s family. The script, which I did have numerous issues with, does do a beautiful job of weaving Jaime’s relationships into the narrative. And this aspect doesn’t only provide a refreshing break from all the typical superhero moments, but it also gives the audience a reason to have an investment in the family’s fate.
The film also takes the time to explore the challenges and dreams of Jaime’s family, which sheds light on the struggles of Mexican immigrant families. With authenticity and respect, the movie provides a commentary on the immigrant experience without reducing it to a mere backdrop, which I really appreciate and commend the filmmakers and writers for.
All of that being said, I did have some major issues with the script as well. Aside from being fairly predictable, following a conventional trajectory of a typical superhero origin story, the dialogue in the film is weak. Numerous interactions between characters were not only campy but the actors’ interpretation of the dialogue resulted in overacted scenes. The end result left me feeling overwhelmed. Sure, it’s an entertaining flick, but the issues with the script prevented me from fully enjoying it.
The cast all deliver solid performances alongside some great humor. Xolo Maridueña is charming yet relatable. He brings a lot of heart to the role of Jaime Reyes, and you can’t help but root for him.
Adriana Barraza, who plays Jaime’s grandmother, Nana, also gives a wonderfully entertaining performance and provides some of the film’s best comedic relief alongside George Lopez, who plays Jamie’s Uncle Rudy. Lopez’s presence and humor can sometimes be overwhelming and distracting, but the movie did a good job of balancing his energy and screentime with the more serious moments.
Susan Sarandon also stars as Victoria Kord, the film’s main villain. The script didn’t do her character any favors. She’s a bit too stereotypical, making a number of lines painful. And her performance plays into that archetype as well, which results in a character that feels forced and over-acted.
Overall, Blue Beetle is a fun and refreshing superhero flick. It’s not a great movie, but it’s a fun movie. And that’s more than enough for me. The real question is how will it fare at the theaters? My initial thought is that it’s going to be another box office bomb for DC, much like June’s The Flash. Only this time, the script and the cast aren’t to blame. The fact that there’s not enough awareness around this character to get butts in seats is going to be the real problem.
This one would have greatly benefited from more marketing before its release, which wasn’t possible due to the SAG-AFTRA strike. There should have been a cast panel at Comic-Con. There should also have been a multi-city press tour, where the cast could have interacted with fans. And, perhaps, if DC could plan the same way Marvel does, an introduction of the character in an earlier film (just a post-credit scene would have been fine).
Moviegoers needed more awareness of this character before its release for the film to be a box-office success. And because they don’t have it, I suspect this one will flop. I hope I’m wrong.
Blue Beetle Movie Review:
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