Movie Review | Blue Beetle Restores Heart and Humour to the DCEU

Jaime Reyes is a character that is often overlooked by casual superhero fans — a young man that is somewhere between Venom, Iron Man and Spider-man, and with a coming-of-age story that is both beautiful and universally understood. In Blue Beetle, we get to see Jaime’s big screen debut, as he finds his world turned upside down when a piece of alien tech attaches itself to him and begins to form symbiosis.

Xolo Maridueña, of Cobra Kai fame, plays the hero, coming to terms with his newfound powers while juggling unemployment as a recent college graduate and family commitments. Speaking of which, family is the big theme of this picture, with Reyes, his love interest and even the villains — played by Susan Sarandon and Raoul Trujillo — all experiencing the importance of their roots and those around them. It is a powerful film from that point, in that it looks at whether those we love are our strength or whether they can act as a weakness that holds us back.

The plot moves quickly and manages to establish its characters in a way that feels real, yet often, these characters are played as far too over the top, and I found myself consistently frustrated by the constant screaming and shouting that the cast go through for comedic effect. Coming in at just over two hours in length, there are times when the superhero fatigue will hit you, and despite the efforts to keep you engaged, you may well find yourself wishing for the villains to be defeated so you can leave. It is over the top, yet it manages to do something for Mexican-American characters in hero flicks that Shang-Chi did for Asian-American characters; it gives them a voice and representation often overlooked, and for this, I can’t fault it.

There’s a lot here for fans of the comics, some excellent fight scenes and nods to previous incarnations of the Blue Beetle character as well as some strong animation and VFX, that whilst impressive, does sometimes feel out of place in certain shots, specifically when some futuristic tech is on display. The actors give it their all and although I couldn’t see Maridueña as anyone other than Miguel Diaz from Cobra Kai, it is still great to see him branching out into more big screen roles. Some performances felt a bit too overacted, and some line delivery felt wooden, yet it was clear that the cast was having the time of their lives. Blue Beetle isn’t trying to be anything more than a good time with a heartfelt message.


With the recent issues in the superhero genre and the complaints that it has grown weary and over the top, I have to point out that outside of the representation and thematic beauty of Blue Beetle, there isn’t really anything else new or ground-breaking here. That said, I don’t believe that there needs to be. This is a film that I feel families will be able to sit together and enjoy, laugh at and chat about afterwards. It’s a movie that I believe teenagers will absolutely love and be enthralled by, as it takes us back to that origin story of a character trying to find their way, being relatable without being dragged down by decades of need-to-know continuity.

Blue Beetle is just a good time, and a chance to celebrate the importance of family. So, in conclusion, do I believe that Blue Beetle is worth a watch? I would have to say yes, giving us just one more strong character to identify with and follow, a character that brings a hell of a lot to the table.

Blue Beetle is in cinemas now

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