Okay back to the Warner Bros/DC comedy show with Blue Beetle. James Gunn of Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy fame decided to reboot the universe now titled the DC Cinematic Universe. This time around, everyone’s favorite Latino Teen Titan member Blue Beetle is going to kick things off with his first standalone entry which is pretty good.
Taking place in an alternate universe where Superman and Batman already exist, finds Jamie Reyes (Xolo Mariduena) returning to Palmera City as a college graduate looking to get a job. The problem is that his family is facing eviction due to financial difficulties and possibly their homes and many other people’s potentially relocated in place for other developments from Kord Industries. One day while trying to get employed, Jennifer Kord (Bruna Marquezine), steals and hands off Reyes a very strange beetle that suddenly latches itself on to him. The beetle, however, was not from Earth and gave Reyes a cool new suit and powers. When news of the stolen beetle reaches her desk, Victoria Kord (Susan Sarandon) has her plans for the beetle and eventual world domination. Reyes is put on a collision course to accept the fact that he’s a hero and must step up to protect his family and stop Kord’s plans for conquest.
The movie was pretty good albeit long. Audiences will feel the 2-hour runtime when all of the superhero origin checkbox starts going. After reminiscing on this movie, It reminded me of the first Spider-Man movie directed by Sam Rami in 2002. Mariduena’s Reyes was pretty good and relatable because he just wanted to support his family and wanted a normal life. Of course, in any superhero movie that’s never the case. His family has been the backbone of the entire movie as it is an unapologetically Latino-centric movie. George Lopez as Rudy Reyes was the comedic relief that managed to keep things lighthearted besides the one joke about Batman being a fascist can potentially rub someone off the wrong way. Marquezine’s Jenny Kord was good as it goes by the hero’s romance’s playbook of tragedy and reigniting a sense of purpose for herself and the future of her company.
I only liked one of the villains in this movie. Raoul Max Trujillo as Ignacio Carapax/OMAC was tragic in the sense that he’s not a villain. He was a victim of corporate enslavement and how it changed him into the person he is today under the guise of “making life better”. As for Sarandon’s Kord, while her subtle racist tone towards Mexicans and corporate ignorance is shown in full force, she’s almost a carbon copy combination of Obadiah Stane and Justin Hammer from Iron Man and Iron Man 2, where her goal is to create OMAC soldiers to protect the world but with sinister motivations. Nevertheless, the villains serve their purpose in this movie.
Blue Beetle is a DCU movie that is trying to start fresh and is an entertaining movie. It showcases Latino representation in full force, and it never hinders the movie at all. Even as it is a tad long, and retreads familiar beats from the superhero origin checkbox; it manages to at least distance itself from the chaotic DC Extended Universe that is set to end with Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom coming in a couple of weeks. Here’s hoping they’ve learned their lesson or else, Hollywood superhero cinema can finally end for good.