After The Flash and Shazam, 2023 has brought us another superhero film, “Blue Beetle.” This film takes inspiration from the DC Comics character Jaime Reyes, also known as Blue Beetle. Brought to life by DC Studios and The Safran Company, Blue Blue is directed by director Ángel Manuel Soto, while the script is crafted by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, who adds its unique touch.
What’s truly remarkable about “Blue Beetle” is that it marks the 14th addition to the expansive DC Extended Universe (DCEU). This movie stands out as the first live-action superhero spectacle where a Latino lead takes center stage, ushering in a new era of representation.
Stepping into the role of Jaime Reyes / Blue Beetle is Xolo Maridueña, who lends his talents to bring this character to life. The cast also features Adriana Barraza, Damián Alcázar, Elpidia Carrillo, Bruna Marquezine, Raoul Max Trujillo, Susan Sarandon, and George Lopez.
The highly anticipated “Blue Beetle” made its grand debut in El Paso on August 15, 2023, and shortly after, on August 18, 2023, it became available to audiences across the United States, courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures. This cinematic adventure unfolds over 2 hours and 7 minutes, promising an engaging and thrilling experience for all who dive into its world.
From IMDB, An alien scarab chooses college graduate Jaime Reyes to be its symbiotic host, bestowing the teenager with a suit of armor capable of extraordinary and unpredictable powers, forever changing his destiny as he becomes the superhero Blue Beetle.
BLUE BEETLE FILM REVIEW.
After Jaime Reyes graduated from Gotham Law University, he returned to his hometown of Palmera City, where his family warmly welcomed him. James, overflowing with happiness about being back home, was treated to a nice meal at a restaurant to satisfy his hunger and enjoy the moment. With a heart full of joy, he relished every bite of the delicious food, savoring its delightful flavors.
It’s like he was settling down to enjoy his meal, almost to gather strength for what was to come. Then, out of nowhere, the news hits him like a ton of bricks. They tell him about his family’s situation and how they’re struggling financially and on the verge of losing their home. He was right in the middle of savoring his food, but the impact of those words was so strong that he couldn’t even keep the drink in his mouth. It spilled out, and all he could say was, “What?!”
Jaime couldn’t shake off this thought that kept circling in his mind. He had this strong desire to be the person who could lead his family out of the difficult situation they were in. However, things weren’t unfolding the way he had hoped. Here he was, spending his days cleaning at Victoria’s mansion, managed by his sister Milagro. The contrast between his aspirations and his current reality was constantly present in his thoughts.
As you might have guessed, neither of them held onto their jobs for long – they got the boot after Jaime intervened to break up a heated argument between Victoria Kord and her niece, Jenny Kord. After the disagreement, Jenny contacted Jaime and arranged to meet at Kord Tower the following day. She had something she wanted to discuss, something about a potential “job opportunity.”
When that day arrived, Jaime showed up, looking forward to what he thought was his shot at this “job opportunity.” But, as luck would have it, things didn’t unfold as smoothly as he had hoped. Jenny was pretty ticked off at her aunt for being behind the creation of OMAC. So, she decided to take matters into her own hands and steal the Scarab used in making OMAC, swiping it right from the company’s grasp. Of course, the theft was quickly discovered, setting off alarms and sending tension rippling through the entire building.
She manages to dodge the security measures by cleverly stashing the Scarab with Jaime. It’s tucked away sneakily inside a to-go box from Big Belly Burger. Here’s the twist: Jaime gets a heads-up to keep the box open and its contents intact. But you know how things go, right? Once Jaime returns home, his family persuades him to pop the lid, and he gives in to the temptation. The moment he lays his hands on it, the Scarab springs to life and melds with him, whipping up this badass armored getup. The kicker? He’s all suited up, but the whole controlling thing? Yeah, that’s not his strong suit.
Now that we’ve wrapped up the story let’s dive into my thoughts. The characters didn’t quite hit the mark in their roles, even the so-called main character. There was a lack of genuine emotion throughout. I couldn’t form a connection with their nature, whether in their highs or lows. Even when he tried to show concern and care when his family told him they were being evicted from the house, his facial expression and body movement seemed too off.
However, amidst all these shortcomings, the character stood out as the strongest, closely followed by Jenny Kord, the daughter of Victoria Kord, who also managed to leave a minor impression.
As the movie progresses, they try to incorporate various elements into the film that don’t quite pan out. I mean elements like humor, family drama, and more. I laugh easily, but this film failed to evoke that from me. Perhaps this is due to its lack of originality, seeming to borrow heavily from other superhero movies. In tone and theme, this film is close to Shazam as it made Family one of its central themes.
You might think I only have negative opinions about this film, but before you draw any conclusions, give me a moment to explain. There are aspects of this film that I appreciate. The cinematography and use of color are awe-inspiring, giving the film a vibrant and inviting atmosphere. And let’s not forget the beautifully crafted suit – it’s now one of my favorite superhero outfits.
Surprisingly, the CGI wasn’t underwhelming, the editing was decent, and the music added much to the experience. One standout feature for me was the film’s solid cultural theme at its core. The Blue Beetle movie joins Ms. Marvel, Black Panther, and other superhero films in reminding us that cultural identity is its own kind of power. It was refreshing to see them taking a different approach.
I want to acknowledge all the individuals who contributed to this film. If it had been released a decade or two earlier, it could have been a masterpiece.
Blue Beetle is a superhero film with so much potential, which would have been harnessed if only depth and emotion were added. The Blue Beetle suit itself was truly spectacular, and I couldn’t help but love it. The special effects were generally well done, enhancing the overall experience. However, I needed help finding novelty in the storyline when considering the bigger picture. Despite its potential, the movie ended up being just okay.
In the end, while Blue Beetle isn’t a terrible film, it embodies the archetypal origins of a teenage superhero – proficient performances and all – but it’s held back by its predictable and derivative narrative, uninspiring action, and an unremarkable villain.
You can watch Blue Beetle in select cinemas close to you.
People also read – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2023).
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