Blue Beetle (2023) Movie Review & Summary

Blue Beetle (2023) Movie Review & Summary

 Upon initial inspection, "Blue Beetle" offers little in the way of unexpected nuances. When a villain asserts, "The affection you harbor for your kin renders you feeble," it becomes evident that the protagonist will refute this assertion. The antagonist, Victoria (portrayed by Susan Sarandon), lacks substantial complexity; minimal speculation is required to deduce their symbolic representation of historical and current white-American imperialistic woes. Love shall triumph. Self-discovery shall transpire. Nonetheless, "Blue Beetle" presents an unexpected political acumen; its narrative revolving around family bonds is strikingly unadulterated; its humor steers clear of facile meme trends. The film's focus centers more on the interplay of its characters.

Although the inception of the Blue Beetle character traces back to 1939, the modern, culturally contextualized rendition of Jaime Reyes only graced DC pages in 2006. Subsequently, comic book films have taken center stage in American popular culture. Yet, it is only recently that these films have endeavored to encompass all facets of human existence. Marvel Studios boasts titles such as the "Black Panther" series and "Eternals," Sony offers the animated "Spider-Man," while DCU presents "Black Adam," "Aquaman," "Birds of Prey," and, to a lesser extent, the "Justice League" movie. Although diverse, the DCU films have mostly evaded pigeonholing characters into specific cultural molds. "Blue Beetle" diverges sharply from this implicit directive.

Guided by Ángel Manuel Soto ("Charm City Kings"), this heartwarming, crowd-pleasing comic book feature possesses a lighter, more vibrant tone compared to the prevailing somber mood of contemporary superhero films.

A surge of affectionate emotions inundates as Jaime (the endearing Xolo Maridueña) returns from college to the fictitious Palmera City; warm embraces, jests, and genuine fondness characterize these early sequences. However, the Reyes family faces challenges: Jaime's father, Alberto (Damián Alcázar), recently lost his auto repair business. Consequently, the threat of repossession looms over Jaime's childhood home due to Kord Industry. Despite holding a pre-law degree, Jaime struggles to secure employment. He finds work alongside his lively younger sister, Milagro (Belissa Escobedo), at a resort.

A significant portion of "Blue Beetle" explores the economic divide between the privileged and the disadvantaged, particularly within the context of imperialistic powers. Jaime, despite pursuing the right path—attending college, remaining modest, and exuding affability—finds his future perpetually constrained by his background as a financially challenged Mexican residing in the marginalized Edge Keys neighborhood. However, a glimmer of hope emerges when he intervenes between the philanthropic Jenny Kord (played by Bruna Marquezine) and her ruthless aunt, Victoria. Although Victoria dismisses him, Jenny extends a job offer contingent on a meeting the following day at Kord headquarters.

From this point, Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer's script takes a convenient turn to hasten the narrative: Jenny endeavors to pilfer a technologically advanced blue scarab before Victoria harnesses its power to create super-soldiers; Jenny entrusts Jaime, unknowingly, with the scarab for smuggling; Jenny fails to follow up on the scarab, despite having Jaime's contact information, until Jaime embarks on a search for her. This series of events appears as a jumbled amalgamation, propelling Jaime into a symbiotic bond with the scarab and granting him a technologically sophisticated blue suit.

Subsequent to some preliminary preparation, Jaime must acquaint himself with his newfound abilities; inklings of romance arise, origin stories unfurl—typical occurrences within the realm of comic books. These aspects arguably constitute the weaker elements of "Blue Beetle," primarily due to their lack of articulate composition. The impending threat posed by Victoria fails to resonate, but Sarandon's adept portrayal infuses shrewd nuances, elevating this baseline villain above banality. Victoria's stoic henchman, Conrad (Raoul Max Trujillo), who remains largely silent and imposing throughout much of the film, ultimately receives an entire backstory crammed into the narrative's final ten minutes by Dunnet-Alcocer. The chemistry between Jenny and Jaime also falters, partly due to Marquezine's tendency to overact, pushing facial expressions to their extremes.

However, these shortcomings do not overshadow the strengths of "Blue Beetle." Notably, the script and actors interweave culturally specific references from the superhero parody series "El Chapulín Colorado" and the telenovela "María Mercedes," infusing vitality and novelty into the scenes (a jest involving Vicks Vapor Rub left me in fits of laughter). The film's political undertones, including allusions to the School of the Americas (a substantial theme for a big-budget production) and a harrowing depiction of a raid on the Reyes' home, albeit exaggerated in its use of slow-motion, humanize imperiled immigrant families, constituting audacious subplots.

While the action sequences may lack distinction, they still possess vigor, bolstered by the infectiously entertaining ensemble cast: Adriana Barraza ("Babel") epitomizes a repository of punchlines, while George Lopez, portraying the conspiracy theorist Uncle Rudy, demonstrates remarkable flexibility, effortlessly executing animated pratfalls and delivering side-splitting one-liners.

At the outset of "Blue Beetle," the assertion "The love you feel for your family makes you weak" is destined to be disproven through a narrative mechanism. However, Soto's superhero film also transforms family bonds into the movie's cornerstone, delivering an enriching cinematic experience. "Blue Beetle" may not shatter conventions, but it does defy expectations.

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  • Fahim Sheikh
    Fahim Sheikh August 19, 2023 at 2:20 AM

    It was really nice

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous August 19, 2023 at 7:59 AM

    Very nice

  • Faridur Rahman
    Faridur Rahman August 19, 2023 at 8:00 AM


  • Anonymous
    Anonymous August 19, 2023 at 10:55 AM

    Very nice

  • Nk
    Nk August 20, 2023 at 4:57 AM


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