Just when we thought the “Fast and the Furious” franchise was about to get over, taking away its family bit with it, “Blue Beetle” comes out of the shadows giving the relationship a beautiful new voice.
This amazing entry into the world of DC is about a kid named Jaime Reyes and how his life changes drastically after accidentally ending up in the wrong place at the right time.
The plot is simple but what makes it truly remarkable is the execution. It’s classy, it’s funny, it’s heartfelt. Most films in the comic book genre today are finding it hard to find the balance in their film’s tones. Either they’re too dark or not dark at all or maybe unevenly toned. “Blue Beetle” suffers from none of that. It’s funny without having the need to cringe and when the situation demands, it’s pure emotion. Unlike other recent comic book movie entries, this film doesn’t rely on comedy over serious emotions which is, for me, a serious plus. It makes me feel as if there’s something important and genuine happening that is worth the big screen experience.
All the characters are amazingly portrayed by the actors but most importantly, I really loved the growth of the scarab and Conrad Carapax’s (Raoul Trujillo) character. The scarab hosted with Jaime and, although having the killer mechanisms, ended up being more like Jaime towards the end by choosing to not be destructive. Considering it’s an alien technology, I still find the growth amusing. Carapax’s character was shown as someone with a conscience ever since the first encounter and the way he outgrew his nature accepting the voice of his heart was beautiful.
Xolo Maridueña is perfect as Jaime Reyes. He portrayed the character very charmingly with the rest of the badass Reyes family, including Adriana Barraza (Nana), Damián Alcázar (Alberto), George Lopez (Rudy), and Belissa Escobedo (Milagro).
Every scene with Damián as Alberto Reyes was an emotional treat. I really loved how human and heartfelt he made the story feel. Comic book movies thrive on scenes like the ones he was in.
Adriana as Nana is classic badass. She possesses a perfect heart and everlasting sass. Every scene with her is crazy good. Especially her with guns. I could re-watch this film a hundred times for her and Damián alone.
Bruna Marquezine is gorgeously talented. She is mesmerizing in every scene she is in. This movie feels like one with an all new cast that I’ve never known before but someone I’d always want to go back to.
George Lopez is simply awesome as Rudy. Wow, give me more Rudy!
Becky G’s voice for the scarab was perfect and she made the alien technology feel human. I really loved that. Raoul Trujillo is perfect as Conrad Carapax, who embodied the complex character.
Susan Sarandon’s Vicky Kord maybe could’ve been a little bit more layered but the way she portrayed a classic villain was fun.
Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer knows how to write a screenplay. I give a big bow to him for not compromising on emotional scenes and yet finding a way to make the film feel funny. There’s a lot of humor involving urination and genitals that happens in movies (mostly in James Gunn’s projects) that feel cringey but in “Blue Beetle,” it feels funny. So, yes, that’s great writing.
Ángel Manuel Soto is the real deal. The decision to make this film feel like a 2008 era classic origin story while taking a chance with no DC powerhouses for back-up really felt like it paid off. This film doesn’t need unnecessary cameos to feel presentable. It is amazing. It is perfect. Right from the opening credits to the perfectly executed end, this film finally gives DC films a balanced tone that it’s been searching for quite a while. I love how funny this film is yet, when it comes to the emotional scenes, it doesn’t get nerfed down with comedy. This is what real film feels like.
Pawel Pogorzelski’s cinematography was something that had me awestruck. The shots are so grounded and beautiful that it could serve as a good masterclass for filmmakers as to how simplicity and practicality can make a film look beautiful.
This film feels like it figured out how to do action sequences in low light. I’ve had this issue in films for a long time where the film feels a little irritating with the visual due to the night scenes or low light scenes looking too animated. The best examples for this would include “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” and “Avengers: Endgame.” There were times they felt too squished because of heavy reliance on cgi. This is where “Blue Beetle” shines for me. Despite the scale being nothing like the examples I mentioned above, it wins because it looks perfect. The costume design is a plus point that adds up to this film’s flawless looking CGI.
The sounds and music were classic, hitting every note the way it intended to. I felt so invested in this film despite not having a pre-introduction to the character via other mediums. As a comic book fan, “Blue Beetle” never interested me but it seems like now I might go back to those with a new light.
The family theme is on point. It connects with the hero and villain both. Seeing the end play out the way it did was beautiful. Along with it, the Latin culture added a beautiful personal touch to the film that I’d want to see more of.
I really wish this film was a part of the original DCEU. But nonetheless, it’s awesome to see it being the first film of the DCU and it’d truly be a missed opportunity if in the future if James Gunn and Peter Safran decide to not include Blue Beetle in their future plans. Angel Manuel Soto needs to return to the director’s chair for more DC films and Xolo needs to play Blue Beetle for a much hopeful future of the DC Universe.
This film is an amazing way to begin the DCU and it shows a promising future. It stands on its own which, in my opinion, is very powerful considering it’s not as big a property in DC as the other characters. Given the opportunity, we can be assured that “Blue Beetle” is among the major leagues. I’d rate this film a solid 4.5/5