Movies Review

Blue Beetle – Movie Review


Blue Beetle movie poster

Blue Beetle. Damn stupid name, damn decent little comic book movie. 

A bit player in the comic books, at least back in the 90s when I was reading them, the current incarnation’s claim to fame is he’s Mexican-American and thus the first Hispanic superhero to headline a major motion picture. It’s not tokenism, either. Director Angel Manuel Soto (who’s from Puerto Rico, if you’re wondering) injects plenty of Mexican charisma throughout as he leans heavily into the close family dynamics of Jaime Reyes as a source of humor and heart. 

This sometimes goes too far. While the family feels real in all the ways that Vin Diesel’s Fast family does not, the characters occasionally border on irritating. Reyes’ sister, played by Belissa Escobedo, is quite funny until she isn’t. George Lopez, who plays Uncle Rudy, teeters on the line between comedic sidekick and tedious… sidekick.

To their credit, they improve over time–especially after Soto, working from a script by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, shifts into slightly more serious mode and evolves the family into something more focused and enjoyable to watch.

Further, Xolo Maridueña makes for a handsome and charming lesd who grows into his role as starring man as the movie progresses. It’s a shame he comes at a time when the DCEU is in shambles. The breathtakingly gorgeous Bruna Marquezine makes for a good counterpart and love interest, though she’s never really treated like the corporate leader she’s supposed to be.

Susan Sarandon, unfortunately, is wasted in an utterly forgettable villain role.

Blue Beetle is a little inconsistent and has its ups and downs–Soto tries a little too hard to make this relatively generic and lightweight superhero story mean something more–but at its core it has several funny bits, a likable cast, and some solid-if-not-exactly-standout action sequences. I would have liked to see a bit more of Blue in action to get a better understanding of the hero’s capabilities, but there’s more than enough here to like.

Yes, Blue Beetle is a stupid name for a superhero and a movie, but the movie itself is a keeper. At least a modest one.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.


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