Blue Beetle Movie Review: What a couple of years it has been for DC. The current shakeup at the company and The Flash disappointing after such an aggressive marketing campaign, the load of the pressure fell on Blue Beetle as the film had many fans skeptical about its quality before release. Though a lot of the movie did fall into the trappings of traditional superhero storytelling, it is director Angel Manuel Soto who saves the day here as Blue Beetle stood out among recent studio releases with it being a great time. Blue Beetle Review: Early Reactions to Xolo Maridueña's DC Superhero Flick Look Top-Notch!

Blue Beetle sees Jaime Reyes (Xolo Maridueña) come back from college to his fictional home-town called Palmera City, and decides to look for a job in an effort to save his family’s house. But his life takes a completely new direction when he comes in contact with a powerful alien scarab and is chosen to be its host. Receiving an exoskeleton from the scarab that has powers of its own, Jaime becomes the superhero known as Blue Beetle while trying to fend of foes who are after the alien tech that he possesses.

A Still From Blue Beetle (Photo Credits: Warner Bros Pictures)

In essence, Blue Beetle has a lot of familiar storytelling going on in it. It’s like a mixture of the first Iron Man and 2018s Venom with Jaime trying to figure out his relationship with the scarab, and as a result, it runs into a lot of familiar storytelling that you may have already seen. But what makes it stand out is a familial component that gives the movie a lot of emotion and helps increase the stakes.

The Reyes family is one of the funniest and most charming set of characters you will come across. The beating heart of it is Xolo Maridueña’s Jaime, a young kid with aspirations of his own. Jaime’s struggles are ones that do feel genuine, and set up with this alien exoskeleton that changes the trajectory of his life, Maridueña is able to capture an acute sense of fear and tension to him while still being a charismatic lead who is easy to root for. It’s a story about a superhero in the making, and it does work very well.

Watch the Trailer for Blue Beetle:

Joining him are also the other members of the Reyes family that include his grandmother Nana (Adriana Barraza), father Alberto (Damian Alcazar), mother Rocio (Elpidia Carrillo), little sister Milagro (Belissa Escobedo) and uncle Rudy (George Lopez) – and they elevate the film in so many ways you wouldn’t anticipate. It adds a fun layer of representation that shines light on the Latino community and it makes the film seem like a love letter to them. Lopez's portrayal of Rudy stands out among them all; his one-liners will make your stomach hurt with laughter, and Barraza's Nana Reyes is a simply endearing character who is more complex than she appears. A humorous love interest component is also provided by the romantic angle involving Jenny Kord, played by Bruna Marquezine, and she does get a lot to do here too.

Susan Sarandon plays the evil Victoria Kord with captivating ham-fistedness as she is hot on Jaime's heels looking for the scarab. There isn't much to her villain other than to be on screen and seem evil, but Sarandon's portrayal does make her intriguing to follow. Even while Indestructible Man, played by Raoul Max Trujillo, had a moment to shine, I wish his character had seen more growth (which does come, but a little too late) rather than just serving as the big bad guy in the final act.

A Still From Blue Beetle (Photo Credits: Warner Bros Pictures)

Surprisingly, Blue Beetle does stand on its own two feet—or should I say six legs. With only passing mentions of Batman and Superman, you don't even need to have seen any DC films before watching it. Considering the recent fascination comic book films have with being interconnected to each other, it did make for a much more stand-alone adventure. With the other Blue Beetle title holders, Dan Garett and Ted Kord, having their own lore in the movie, it just expands upon the superhero mythos from the comics and it did feel refreshing.

Despite the film's lower budget, director Angel Manuel Soto has a distinct sense of direction in this instance. Although Blue Beetle occasionally has the feel of a direct-to-streaming movie, which is what it was initially intended to be, Soto somehow makes that appear endearing. It reminds me of old Power Rangers episodes when there are exaggerated Karate-style moves and sparks fly off from enemies after every hit.

A Still From Blue Beetle (Photo Credits: Warner Bros Pictures)

The Blue Beetle costume itself is reminiscent of the earlier, more practical superhero suits. It appears to be a treat to watch in action, which is where so many comparisons to the Power Rangers do apply. Soto delivers what you expect to see, which is why its large-scale fights are so effective. Blue Beetle: Actor Xolo Mariduena Shares That His DC Film 'Transcends Ethnicity', Says He Can't Wait for Others to 'Connect' With the Story as Well.

It’s like an early 2000s superhero nostalgia mix merged with contemporary comic book movie ideas, and its all locked in with a neon-based look that is further elevated with a great synthwave score from Bobby Krlic. It just makes for a fun two hours at the theatres that will leave you entertained.

Final Thoughts

Blue Beetle oozes with heart despite running into the fairly conventional ideas we are used to seeing in superhero movies. With a fun family element attached to it and love for the Latino community shining through, Blue Beetle is a great time with Xolo Maridueña’s Jaime Reyes getting a strong kickoff in the new DC universe. Blue Beetle is playing in theatres right now.



(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Aug 18, 2023 09:50 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website