Director: Angel Manuel Soto
Expectations were ridiculously low for the success of Blue Beetle. After all, DC hasn’t exactly been pumping out the hits, and the Beetle is a superhero most people have never even heard of; not like the members of the Justice League, whose fame didn’t save their franchise at all. He’s a two-bit Batman-Spiderman hybrid, he’s not popular, we’re already out of Summer Blockbuster season, DC has been floundering; this movie just had disaster written all over it. But, if you’re waiting for the ‘but’ you can see coming a mile away, none of that matters; Blue Beetle is totally awesome and surprisingly well-made.
Jaime Reyes returns to his roots after graduating college, only to find that there aren’t jobs to be had, his family is in financial trouble, and his dreams will have to be put on hold, if not cancelled, until further notice. But his fate changes when he runs into the lovely and angry Jenny Kord, who has just stolen an ancient alien artifact from her evil Aunt Victoria, who wants to use its power to turn their family empire into a weapons giant. Jaime hides the artifact, a scarab beetle, for Jenny, until, that is, it comes to life, enters his body, and morphs him into a superpowered superhero. The suit is alive, it wants to meld with him, but the Kord goons sent by Victoria want the potential weapon back. The entire Reyes family, down to old Nana, will join together to fight this evil, because they always have each other’s backs and they never give up hope.
I’m so happy to report that Blue Beetle is a good superhero movie. And that’s so weird, because this is an odd story, it’s old, it’s unpopular, and DC just hasn’t been able to get their shit together at all to rival Marvel in value and entertainment. But this film changes that, this film is fun, sort of on par with Shazam, and that’s where (hopefully) they’ll keep targeted. Beetle is really a mix of so many other comic book characters, and that’s a little cheap I guess, but the film made it work anyway, giving us this modern iteration of a Latino Beetle and focusing on family over something dumb like the multiverse; keep it simple, stupid. The music was killer, the action scenes were so awesome, Xolo & Bruna were good together (and so hot), and the comedy worked well; credit to Lopez who I’ve never found funny but couldn’t help cracking up at. Sarandon was pretty bad, a really shallow villain with terrible dialogue, but other than that I just had the best time watching this smart-action laden and quick-dialogue driven comic book spectacle.
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆