For those who may not know the plot – Jaime Reyes (Xolo Mariduea), a young Mexican law school graduate from Palmera City, Texas (a made-up city), travels throughout the film. He discovers the Scarab, a piece of property linked to Kord Industries, a business run by CEO Victoria Kord (Susan Sarandon). The artifact fuses with Jaime, granting him improved powers and cutting-edge weaponry. It can change into a strong, arcane, high-tech suit of armor.
Contrasting Blue Beetle: Comic Book Heroics Meet Live-Action Adaptation
The Blue Beetle is a character associated with DC since 1939, the first Blue Beetle (Dan Garrett) is the original Blue Beetle, created by Charles Nicholas Wojtkoski, in 1939. Dan Garrett was a police officer who used experimental vitamins to gain superhuman strength and agility.
He fought crime as the Blue Beetle in his series, which was published by various companies, including Fox Comics and Charlton Comics. The second Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) was a brilliant inventor and scientist who worked with Dan and decided to continue the legacy of the Blue Beetle on his own after Dan’s death, even though he didn’t possess any superhuman powers.
Ted Kord was created by Steve Ditko and first introduced in 1966, is perhaps one of the most well-known versions of Blue Beetle. He didn’t possess any superhuman powers but was a brilliant inventor, detective, and martial artist. Kord is often associated with the Justice League and is known for his witty and lighthearted personality.
Jaime Reyes is a more recent version of Blue Beetle, created by Keith Giffen, John Rogers, and Cully Hamner. He first appeared in 2006. Jaime discovered a mysterious scarab that attached itself to his spine, granting him a powerful exoskeleton and a host of abilities, this iteration was expanded into a whole saga involving scarab aliens which form symbiotic relations with other species.
In the movie Blue Beetle, we can observe Jaime being the protagonist, while the name of Ted Kord is highly involved in the story but he is nowhere to be seen, though there is a quick mention of Dan Garrett as well and a glimpse of both Ted and Dan’s comic accurate suits.
Fun And Dramatic: Is That All Though?
The new DCEU movie Blue Beetle, in which Xolo Mariduea plays the title role, feels like a rather basic amalgamation of all the superhero tropes. In fact, you can actually spot a lot of situations or screenplay conventions that are shared by numerous DCEU and MCU films.
In an increasingly saturated world of superhero films, Blue Beetle distinguishes out for being quick, amusing, and fervently sincere. With a running time of a little over two hours, the pacing is quick enough that it never feels out of place.
It pulls us back to Earth and serves as a reminder that sometimes the most riveting stories can have the most humble beginnings because we’ve seen the sky split open and cities fall to pieces so frequently.
The saving grace that sets Blue Beetle apart from the rest of the generic superhero movies is the family involved. While we have seen superhero families done well in the past such as Guardians Of The Galaxy trilogy, Jaime Reyes’s case is different. While the dysfunctional theme is expected and set, the real reason this family saves this movie is due to the fact that not only does this family feel overcrowded and rowdy, but also has a heart when the scene demands it.
There are only a few scenes that may pull a tear out of the audience and many can agree that all of those scenes belong to the Reyes family scenes in the film.
Did You Know This About Blue Beetle?
- Adriana Barraza who plays Nana, Jaime’s grandmother, is actually three years younger than Damián Alcázar, who portrays her son and Jaime’s father.
- The movie was given a theatrical distribution even though it was originally intended to be an exclusive for Max (previously HBO Max).
- Although the movie is set in the DC Extended continuity, according to DC Studios CEO James Gunn (who was hired after the movie’s production), it is eventually “disconnected” from the continuity. In addition, he planned to have Xolo Mariduea reprise his role as Blue Beetle in his impending relaunched DC Universe.
- The first DC film centered on a character who made their comic book debut in the twenty-first century. Infinite Crisis #3 debuted by Jaime Reyes in February 2006.
- The Reyes family resides in El Paso, Texas, according to the comics. They occupy a real-world setting in Palmera City, Florida, in the movie. Angel Manuel Soto intended the Blue Beetle to have his own town, similar to Batman’s Gotham City and Superman’s Metropolis. He called the place a “Latino metropolitan” and cited Miami, Florida, as well as the works of anime writer/designer Katsuhiro Tomo as influences.
- The choice to let the Reyes family see Jaime’s change was deliberate. Angel Manuel Soto believed that Latino families were “very nosy and boisterous” while also demonstrating that “family is our superpower to some extent.”
- The Blue Beetle outfit worn by Xolo Mariduea was practical clothing.
- The “Infinite Crisis” comics, Injustice 2 (2017), Batman: The Brave and The Bold (2008), and Young Justice (2010) cartoons served as inspiration for the Blue Beetle costume in the movie.
The New DC Universe Seems Cheerful And Colorful
Fans have waited long and hard for the cruelty of the old DCEU to stop as it consistently made flop films with some bangers sprinkled in. Now we finally have a taste of what the new DCEU may look and feel like under James Gunn.
As far as aesthetics go, it does not even scratch the surface of what Zack Snyder accomplished. However, the film does fairly average in terms of color grading and story-telling. The fact that Blue Beetle confirms that Dan Garrett and Ted Kord exist in the history of this new DCEU shows some promise.
It does not go out of its way to try and connect with other big-name DC heroes to get some extra clout from the fans. Yes, many are name-dropped within the film but that is only to let us know if this fresh universe has other superheroes that pre-exist the Blue Beetle.
As far as this film lets us in on what the new DCEU could look like, it tells us that it may take a turn for a more youthful and brighter version that may still have dark themes, but not necessarily along with darker shades of color in comparison to its predecessor.
Is It Worth The Watch?
Blue Beetle, directed by Angel Manuel Soto, is a superhero film that stands out in the crowded genre thanks to the close ties between Jaime and the Reyes family.
The fast pacing and bright aspects might keep it from becoming an incredibly uninteresting movie. However, it is one of those quickly forgotten movies that lack any scenes or moments that we would want to talk about or revisit to admire.
Although the final act’s drive is hindered by genre clichés and the villain’s comparatively dull reason, the movie’s emotional impact is strong enough to justify a viewing.
Even though it may not be a grand movie with end-of-world stakes at hand, Blue Beetle does just fine. As we all know, even if a character starts off basic, their character arc will evolve over time in the universe as more films get added to the roster. Jaime Reyes perfectly fits the bill of a character I would want to see evolve over time in the new DC Universe led by James Gunn.
In the end, Blue Beetle is a huge step in the right direction even though it may not be a perfect jump. There is always room for lesser stories that speak to the human soul, even amid a landscape packed with capes and cosmic confrontations.