Blue Beetle Review

Blue Beetle
Blue Beetle
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Fast, hilarious, and passionately sincere, Blue Beetle is a standout amid the increasingly crowded superhero movies. Its runtime of slightly over two hours meant that it did not overstay its welcome, with quick pacing even if it may not be entirely unexpected in its presentation of Jaime Reyes as he adopts a symbiotic link with a sentient extra-terrestrial scarab. This kind of origin story does not become clichéd because it stays extremely sympathetic to all of its characters. A thrilling action flick at heart, but Blue Beetle goes beyond genre stereotypes through the family bond at the film’s core.

Xolo Maridueña gave an amazing performance as Jaime. Bringing out the sweet character’s vulnerability mixed with comedic elements about families being pushed out by gentrification and having their entire community crushed under this weight in Cobra Kai.

The tragedy that defines Jamie’s past isn’t so much about one major loss or an unhappy home environment but rather constant failures in an economic system he has worked hard to excel within. With a degree and hopes for the social mobility of his family, Jaime returns triumphantly only to take up a job as a cleaner in tech CEO Victoria Kord (Susan Sarandon)’s mansion –a place where just about anything can happen.

Embedded in this class narrative is also a super-powered adventure that is just so much fun including Mayes C. Rubeo’s suit (WandaVision, Thor: Love & Thunder). It is beautiful and somehow manages to walk that fine line between mechanical and organic while staying true to the source material, making fans happy all around. Blue Beetle fans will certainly appreciate how closely it resembles the comics themselves. The suits worn by previous Beetles Dan Garrett and Ted Kord are perfect examples of campy 20th-century heroes without being glaringly absurd. The famous Bug Ship likewise seems well made up for practicality as well as retaining some silliness from previous Blue Beetles renditions.

But here’s the thing: Jaime has always been different from his predecessors. At one point, the scarab merges with his spine so he gains full control of its power. For their superhero identities, Dan Garrett and Ted Kord simply switched to fancy costumes; however, in Angel Manuel Soto’s rendition, the first transformation of Jamie into Blue Beetle is truly horrifying. As for Maridueña, viewers can see him wincing as he crashes against walls and furniture while struggling with what appears to be excruciating pain.

The Reyes family screams are played up for laughs but there is a repulsion that comes across – at a certain point comparing it to demonic possession. These moments remind us that Jaimes was just like any other child whose only wish was to improve things for his family.

Unfortunately, this “chosen one” aspect of Blue Beetle is predictable and the comic version seems to have had its fangs pulled out when it was adapted into a film. In contrast, however, The alien invention (voiced by Becky G) surprisingly endears itself to audiences thus ending up both lovely and bilingual! By now though it’s clear that this personality was made more marketable than ones you could find in comic books themselves.

The Reyes family must serve as Jaime’s emotional anchor on his way to becoming an unexpected superhero, and every member of this clan is not only different but also compatible with Maridueña’s charisma. This assembly consists of Nana (Adriana Barraza), the Reyes matriarch, Jaime’s parents (Elpidia Carrillo and Damián Alcázar), his anarchist uncle Rudy (George Lopez), and Milagro, his disrespectful younger sister; their chemistry is amazing. It feels genuine like a family that is demonstrative in its love for one another, always fiercely protective and excitedly talking over each other at the same time.

Milagro played by Escobedo steals the show during a particularly heartrending scene. Whereas Lopez adds charm to Rudy even when he is cynical. The comedian really fits into the role of this character outside of the norm which gives him an opportunity to be eccentric in his usual style. What Jaime needs most is his family, so it would be right to say that the movie has focused more on them than on him.

It is incredible how Latino Blue Beetle presents itself as Wholly fiercely brilliantly Latine – from a multigenerational home to Vicks bottle under Jamie’s nose when he passes out after bonding with Scarab through to Chong Bobble heads sitting on the board of Rudy’s car while Cheech is Up In Smoke ones! And among them, all English and Spanish spoken together in a hurry flustered speech. An entirely bilingual flick this one Finally, there are no forced lines occasionally reminding us that this is a Mexican-American family. The languages switch seamlessly between without deliberation by the Reyes, showing Spanglish as it really is rather than “a few words in English thrown onto Spanish” or vice versa; illustrating its faultless fusion. This selection explains why representation matters both behind and before the camera because Soto has managed to create something that feels genuine instead of pandering.

However, Ted’s daughter Jenny Kord (Bruna Marquezine) unfortunately falls into the usual cliches of a female superhero movie love interest/exposition box. This chic function is delivering the scarab to Jaime and later revealing some information about its history throughout the first part. Their relationship is not given enough space; it appears rushed as well. This does not mean another romance in yet another superhero film should be condemned, but there was really room for improvement. However, what makes her memorable is how much she grows on the Reyes family and little else – certainly not her romantic prospects with Jaime.

Stooped by Victoria Kord motives eventually come out as one of the weaker aspects of this work. Arguably, she had good reasons to be angry at losing out on being CEO of Kord Industries over her late brother due to gender bias implied in the film script itself. But Blue Beetle does not delve deep into her psyche beyond “rich, bitchy, racist.” Sarandon makes an effort to characterize Victoria but ultimately fails because she comes off as a flat villainess who lacks any depth or complexity. As such, she makes quite a boring character which also compromises on the final act climax.

However, what is interesting is that Blue Beetle does not mind referring back to the historical US corporate and military destabilization of countries in Latin America. Sometimes, the script fails to hit hard when talking about systemic oppression and it isn’t a radical indictment of xenophobia or economic and racial inequality in the U.S. Nevertheless, some of Soto’s remarks on these matters in the context of a major superhero film are quite striking.

On top of its errors, Blue Beetle is still an enjoyable trip to the cinema. In between action sequences and moments of comic relief, this film has an emotional core that speaks loudly to anyone who grew up in a Latine family. The movie is funny without being corny, and more so hopefully provides Maridueña with lots of opportunities for his future career. Still even as it sometimes falls into some of these genre’s worst pieces, there is no denying that the loving Reyes family infuses life into everything else about this story. When stakes get this personal; when you know your family so well; when your love for them is real… it only shows how special Blue Beetle actually is.


Ángel Manuel Soto’s direction makes Blue Beetle stand out among all other superhero movies by means of deep relationships among Jaime Reyes’s family members. Xolo Maridueña fits perfectly well into this role because he manages to show Jaime’s hesitance towards becoming a superhero and at the same time protectiveness exhibited towards his relatives plus others around him. It’s not just about being Mexican-American; rather, his ethnicity itself forms an integral part of his character and also serves as one of the central themes in the movie. Nevertheless, genre cliches as well as weak motivation from the villain make the third act slower than expected but ultimately it still holds up due to its emotional punch line behind a movie.

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