An alien scarab chooses Jaime Reyes to be its symbiotic host, bestowing the recent college graduate with a suit of armor that's capable of extraordinary powers, forever changing his destiny as he becomes the superhero known as Blue Beetle. (from IMDB.com)
It's hard to discuss a DC Comics film without dwelling on the utter trainwreck that the cinematic universe has become. But with the entire DC movie-verse full-on reboot looming, perhaps there may be a little hope on the horizon. In the meantime, two final DC Comics films remain, the Aquaman sequel, due out at the end of the year, and a much more lesser-known hero in Blue Beetle.
Blue Beetle seems like something new on the surface. The movie is positively steeped in Mexican culture, giving the story a much different tone than one expects from a superhero movie. Our hero here is a reluctant one, named Jaime, whose interest in a wealthy young woman lands a magical scarab of alien origin virtually in his lap. But when the fresh-faced college graduate comes face-to-face with a parasitic supersuit, we find him surrounded - often intrusively - by his family. When you start to think about it, Blue Beetle begins to have serious Iron Man vibes (one villain even kind of resembles Whiplash from Iron Man 2), with a dash of The Incredibles, and a hearty side of silly. His family tends to flip-flop between irritating and endearing, but for the most part, they add a unique flavor to a now-flooded genre.
On the one hand, Blue Beetle feels unique and fun, but the more one ponders what they've just seen, one starts to realize how much of a mixed bag the movie is. For me, it really lost me when his family joined in on the heroics for the finale. Jaime finds himself desperately in need of help, and his entire family - including his grandmother - spring into action. A plot angle has some serious Spider-Man and maybe Black Panther vibes, but all turns utterly ridiculous when his grandmother is seen channeling her "revolution" past experience into a fearsome warrior of sorts. Seeing her gleefully wielding a futuristic chain gun and mowing down bad guys is probably supposed to be cute and funny, but I found it to be neither.
Jaime is a pretty down-to-earth hero. He's very much your average guy who just happened to be in the wrong place at the... right time? It takes some coercing for him to embrace his Blue Beetle destiny, but his struggle with purpose, career, and not necessarily wanting the responsibility of a symbiotic supersuit is certainly relatable (well, maybe not that last part so much). However, Blue Beetle is forcefully a team effort... sure, it's great to have friends and family to help, but the movie just might have a few too many characters along for the ride. Again, it can't help but get quite cheesy as the story progresses. Comedian George Lopez may be the funniest character in the bunch, playing Jaime's eccentric uncle, Rudy, while his sister, Milagro, played by Belissa Escobedo, borders on obnoxious most of the time. Bruna Marquezine plays Jenny Kord, the object of Jaime's affection, and the two prove to have some decent chemistry together along the way.
The only actor that doesn't seem to know where they are for the length of the film is the painfully miscast Susan Sarandon, who plays the villainous Victoria Kord. Sarandon is a celebrated actress, but seeing her in the world of Blue Beetle is not only jarring, she almost seems resentful of the very role she's playing. Her line deliveries seem so forced, you almost expect her to break the fourth wall and ask the audience how exactly she ended up here in her career. It's a shame, too, because I'm sure the filmmakers were positively stoked to land such a name as Susan Sarandon for their film. Who knew it'd actually be a bad thing?
While the characters in Blue Beetle make the atmosphere a family affair, the content isn't entirely family friendly (although I'm sure the filmmakers think it is?). There's a surprising amount of profanity, including an incomplete "F" word, almost 20 uses each of the "S" word, "h*ll," "Oh my G-d," and many other cuss words. A character suffers a heart attack and dies in what ends up being a pretty emotional sequence. The violence is often just your standard superhero fare, but one shocking moment shows blood splattering onto a window as a man is killed behind it, and we see some blood splattering onto a man's face during a flashback while he's being operated on while awake. Jaime's transformation scene into Blue Beetle might be disturbing for some, as black liquid - like nanites - consumes his body. There isn't much by way of sexual content, but Jaime is naked the first time he transforms back into himself after being Blue Beetle, and his family reacts to his nakedness that we don't see. There are also two references to Jaime getting aroused around Jenny, but they're mostly relatively subtle.
Blue Beetle is kind of that guilty pleasure kind of action/superhero/comedy hybrid. My 13-year-old son loved it enough to say Blue Beetle is one of his favorite new heroes, but for the rest of us, it may not really be anything more than just some forgettable popcorn-munching entertainment. It's certainly not the worst DC has put out, but it won't ever be mentioned among the best the studio has produced either.
The 4K UHD transfer for the movie, however, is quite good. It's a very colorful film, and the 4K presentation comes across great and really punches up the visuals. If you're equipped for 4K viewing, I do recommend this one in that format.- John DiBiase (reviewed: 11/8/23)
“Blue Beetle” Premium Digital Ownership, 4K UHD and Blu-ray contain the following special features:
Disclaimer: All reviews are based solely on the opinions of the reviewer. Most reviews are rated on how the reviewer enjoyed the film overall, not exclusively on content. However, if the content really affects the reviewer's opinion and experience of the film, it will definitely affect the reviewer's overall rating.
|Housefires Release "You Know My Name" Performance Video|
Tue, 28 Nov 2023 17:30:00 EST
|Dwan Hill's "Mansion" One of Billboard's Top 100 Hot Songs|
Tue, 28 Nov 2023 17:10:00 EST
|Paige King Johnson's New Single "I Thank God" Available Now|
Tue, 28 Nov 2023 17:00:00 EST
|Mawcore Releases New Single, "War Cry," Ahead of Upcoming Full Album|
Tue, 28 Nov 2023 16:30:00 EST
|Michael Boggs Releases First Solo Christmas Single, "Come You Unfaithful"|
Tue, 28 Nov 2023 15:35:00 EST
|Matt Sassano Launches Nonprofit Full Armor Ministry for Giving Tuesday|
Mon, 27 Nov 2023 23:35:00 EST
|Trail Life partners with BRAVE Books to aid parents during digital dilemma|
Tue, 28 Nov 2023 21:37:11 +0000
|20 Best Nintendo Switch Family-Friendly Multiplayer Games by Christopher Smith|
Sun, 26 Nov 2023 05:10:28 +0000
|‘Stories of the Messiah’ with Rabbi Kirt Schneider Podcast Reveals How the Bible’s Most Prominent Characters All Point to Jesus|
Tue, 21 Nov 2023 18:14:45 +0000