Blue Beetle Review: A Cure for the Superhero Blues
In the tempestuous world of superhero sagas, where capes and cowls have grown as common as bad weather, “Blue Beetle” emerges like a serendipitous sunbreak. It’s a luminous spot in the DC Extended Universe, a constellation known more for its erratic flickers than consistent glow. Far from the often formulaic scripts of superhumans and their supervillains, “Blue Beetle” crafts a narrative that returns to the essence, where the only thing more powerful than a punch is the force of #family.
“Blue Beetle” follows the story of Jaime Reyes, who, after an alien artifact known as The Scarab fuses with him, becomes the eponymous hero. Director Angel Manuel Soto crafts a film that is refreshingly intimate, where the extraordinary blossoms within the ordinary, and a kitchen morphs into a stage for metamorphosis.
Xolo Maridueña’s portrayal of Jaime is delightfully relatable, grounding the fantastical with a genuine human touch. Supporting performances by actors like George Lopez, Belissa Escobedo, and Susan Sarandon augment the film’s thematic richness.
The film’s highlights lie in its embrace of family dynamics, a touch that infuses the narrative with warmth and authenticity. The Reyes family’s love, struggles, humor, and decency resonate universally, creating an emotional landscape that’s more gripping than any alien invasion. Jaime’s adventures, narrated with familial quirks and playful snark, turn clichés into charm.
However, some may find fault in the film’s adherence to a tried and tested superhero formula. The corporate villainy, the underdog’s journey to mastery, even the alien voice in Jaime’s head, all carry the scent of déjà vu. Yet, the film’s misses are its paradoxical strengths, reminding us why certain tales are retold.
The memorable retrowave electronic score by Bobby Krlic adds a distinctive personality, conjuring an atmosphere that oscillates between futuristic nostalgia and contemporary resonance. While the story sails on familiar waters, the stylish and crafty execution lends it an unexpected freshness.
In the uneven terrain of DC’s recent superhero films, where brilliance is often shadowed by blunders, “Blue Beetle” shines bright. It distances itself from the grandeur and convolution of crossovers and reboots, offering a heartfelt tale that resonates more deeply than mere spectacle. It’s a return to the human core of superhero lore, a rarity in a universe too often lost in its stars.
“Blue Beetle” doesn’t redefine the superhero genre, but it lovingly restores it to its human roots. The movie reminds us that heroism resides in resilience and decency, even when faced with outlandish challenges. While some elements might feel well-worn, the film’s engaging storytelling, robust character development, and emotional resonance elevate it above the mundane.
In a cinematic universe often criticized for its inconsistency, “Blue Beetle” emerges as a cure for the superhero blues, a beacon reminding us why we once looked up to the skies in wonder. Its story of family, identity, and the dichotomy of power and responsibility may not reshape our expectations, but it tenderly realigns them.
RATING: 4.0 out of 5.
Blue Beetle will be in theaters on August 18th.