Blue Beetle Review | What if Spider-Man was blue?


DC Studios is reimagining their super-verse (again) with an alien robot costume complete with swords for arms. here is our blue beetle goodbye.

If you’ve seen the trailer for blue beetleDC Studios’ latest stab in this whole superhero thing, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve seen this one before.

You might think the boy in the costume is probably a promising young thug given special powers by some sort of alien/parasite/scientific experiment gone wrong. You might guess he has to learn to control his powers, trust his friends and/or family, and stop the schemes of a 90s icon turned infamous corporate psychopath.

You can also safely assume that there will be a villain in a slightly taller and heavier version of the hero costume at the opposite end of the color spectrum, one that is never mentioned by name because in the comics, it’s called something that a Hollywood executive decided was no longer a threatening enough title for a man with missiles coming out of his spine. Something like Red Lobster, but not that.

And, in all honesty, you would be right. The villain’s name, for those wondering, is Carapax, the Indestructible Man. It’s a shame they didn’t have the confidence to ride with it.

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In this version of the standard superhero model, the young boy in costume is Jaime Reyes (Cobra-Kai Xolo Maridueña), a bright young spark back from college with a dream of lifting his Palmera City family out of poverty. Struggling to find a job and stuck scratching gum on deckchairs for the wealthy Kord family, he comes across a glowing blue beetle that transforms him into something closely resembling Iron Man.

But blue beetle is also a bit more than that. Of course, the character is more or less a cookie-cutter stand-in for Marvel’s Spider-Man, with the powers of Iron Man and Green Lantern thrown into a blender. And the film completely wastes Susan Sarandon as the evil show machine, a crime so heinous they really should drop a pound or two off the ticket price. But the movie is also very funny and has just enough quirks and weaknesses to set itself apart from the rest of the super-powered pack.

blue beetle review
To put it bluntly, at least the blue beetle costume looks pretty cool. (Credit: Warner Bros.)

Maridueña is shown to be perfectly charming in the lead role, though several of her scenes are stolen by her extended family. The “stoic superhero with a goofy family” trope might not be the film’s most original addition, but the Reyes clan adds enough inventive humor and a genuine, slightly chaotic group feeling that really scores. blue beetle like something a little more special than you might expect.

The film also embraces its character’s inherent silliness with only a small, sarcastic “can this piece of junk even fly” comment. With this and Shazam! Fury of the gods, it really does feel like DC has finally found the light family adventure tone that the most recent overpowered offerings have been missing.

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If blue beetle had come out fifteen, ten or even five years ago, it could have been a smash hit. As it stands, it seems destined to spend its life condemned to the drawer “not another superhero movie”. And while that’s a bit of a shame, it’s hard to argue that it does much to avoid that charge.

Blue Beetle hits theaters on August 18.

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