Blue Beetle is the latest superhero blockbuster from DC Comics which is set to hit cinemas on 18th August. I had the pleasure of watching it a few weeks ago, thanks to Warner Brothers UK and here is my non-spoiler review.
Whilst the film itself feels unconventional (which is not a judgement in the slightest), Blue Beetle is a thoroughly enjoyable experience, filled with laughs, culture and excellent action. The film follows young Jaime Reyes as he returns home after graduating college. In a bid to find employment to help his family, he finds himself in possession of The Scarab, a piece of ancient technology which chooses Jaime to be its host. The Scarab grants him access to extraordinary powers and technology, which essentially forces him to become a superhero, Blue Beetle.
The story itself is solid, it isn’t ground breaking, but makes for an enjoyable experience and touches upon current real world issues which really works in favour of this character. There are extremely strong family themes, which was great to see and added a really emotional drive to the film for viewers but also the characters involved. In this case it isn’t just one hero that can save the day, it is the family and the people that surround them that make it possible and that is incredibly inspiring. There is both a villain (Susan Sarandon) and an anti-villain (Raoul Max Trujillo) in this film, whilst Sarandon plays the usual business owner hungry for power type, Trujillo really adds a compelling twist to a rather terrifying character.
The visual effects are excellent throughout, specifically during the suit up moments and that first flight. The same can be said for the fight choreography too, every sequence was immensely exciting and had me in awe. It really gave Xolo Maridueña a chance to flex his martial arts abilities. There are tonnes of video game, anime and comic book references peppered throughout the film, especially during these fight sequences. The soundtrack has a great mix too, the moments where the original score by Bobby Krlic kick in are electrifying and it really adds to the excitement. The rest of the music, which again adds a lot of atmosphere and feeling to the film, is heavily inspired by Latino culture, which of course works perfectly for this film.
Speaking of Xolo Maridueña, the role could not have been casted any better, he is Jaime Reyes, he is Blue Beetle and he absolutely nailed every aspect of the character, his humour and personality. The entire cast in fact were prefect for their roles too, a particular highlight for me was George Lopez as Uncle Rudy, his character had me in stitches throughout the film, but was also able to add a lot of emotion to it. Also watch out for Nana (Adriana Barraza), she is a hidden gem who I need to know more about immediately.
There are references to other DC characters and lore too, Blue Beetle really goes a long way to establish the fact that the DC universe already exists, which is intriguing as James Gunn recently announced that the film exists within his newly revamped universe. With the character not being one of the biggest hitters in the DC Universe, I am so glad that this film exists. It acts as a great introduction to the character, whether you know the comics or not and I really hope it draws in new audiences for the character, specifically with this version being Jaime Reyes.
Blue Beetle is a surprisingly emotional, yet hilarious and exhilarating superhero blockbuster like no other. It’s filled to the brim with heart and it’s safe to say that Director, Angel Manuel Soto has created a perfect celebration of Latino culture.
Blue Beetle hits cinemas on 18th August and be sure to stay seated – there is both a mid and post credit scene.