“I think I cut a bus in half…”
If someone told you that Blue Beetle was a bad movie, THEY WERE LYING. However, I do know the movie may not be for everyone.
Blue Beetle is a coming-of-age film that was released on Aug. 18 about the main character Jaime Reyes played by Xolo Maridueña, most well known for his former role playing Miguel Diaz in the popular Netflix show Cobra Kai. At its core, Blue Beetle is a film about family and the people that we cherish. The film promotes a powerful message that your family will always be there to support you in your endeavors.
Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, the head screenwriter for the movie, captures an average Latino family with the main characters speaking Spanish, the grandma making lots of food, and it makes it easy for siblings to relate to Jaime Reyes when his family inevitably makes fun of him directly in front of his love interest. This movie oozes warmth and comedy.
The film has a witty sense of humor that adults and kids alike can enjoy. Throughout the film, they often speak Spanish which could be off-putting to non-Spanish speakers. The movie does make a few jokes about immigration and not being a legal citizen–which was a little unsettling, but otherwise, I enjoyed the experience.
Sprinkled in are a few references to the past comics and even direct mentions of the original Blue Beetle hero–not even wielding the scarab that the original character is known for. Initially, the character gained power from a “special vitamin,” however this would later be retconned to a “sacred scarab.”
Blue Beetle is amusing from start to finish and rarely ever stops giving you thrills and excitement–and even then, still gives you details or emotional scenes like with a character dying or a loved one in danger to help connect viewers to the coming-of-age, quickly changing life story. Not once did I feel like something in the movie did not make sense, as the main plot points seemed to flow into each other very well.
Moreover, the film has a bit of a problem with classicistic divide. There’s a bit of a subplot some of the characters talk about how the super-rich want to move into the neighborhood where they live with the large corporations beginning to buy out the homes in their neighborhood. The neighborhood in question belongs to the people who are somewhat poor and it brings in this good question of rich versus poor.
However, while Blue Beetle can be empowering and engaging for some fraction of the audience, the film has some elements that can sour the experience for some people. The film is targeted towards Latino people and families, possibly leading to the exclusion of some who do not have a family or do not fit into the minority category.
Nonetheless, a great aspect is the special effects. This film shines throughout its fight scene, especially when using long-range weapons that use energy. The creative directors who chose bright lights knew that they worked wonderfully in conjunction with the film’s blue and neon pink color scheme.
This incarnation of Blue Beetle boasts an arsenal of weapons ranging from shockwave blasters, a weapon that locks enemies in place, a chest blast (similar to that of Iron Man), a two-handed cannon, and even a two-handed blade akin to a buster-sword.
Warner Bros. did a great job with the licensed music, with most of the songs being in Spanish and only a few of them in English. The score was composed by Bobby Krlic (also known as The Haxan Cloak) who excels at making music that captures some of the rawest moments in the film when the scenes tug at the audience’s heart. Blue Beetle heard the phrase “nail the third act” and took it to heart. The stakes in this movie are not world-scale and the director has said “He’s not going to save the world. He doesn’t deserve to yet.” Blue Beetle has great potential to be a fan-favorite possibly on the scale of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Peter Parker.