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Blue Beetle

  • Film
Blue Beetle
Photograph: Warner Bros./DC Comics

Time Out says

DC’s well-cast superhero adventure drowns in its own clichés

In some ways, Blue Beetle, the latest addition to the beleaguered DCEU, is a rarity: a comic-book movie with a Mexican-American hero, a mostly Latinx cast and a distinct retro-’80s vibe. In other, more dominant ways, though, director Ángel Manuel Soto’s adaptation is something we’ve seen many times before.

Cobra Kai’s Xolo Maridueña is Jaime Reyes, a working-class kid who, after returning home from college, is gifted a superpowered suit by an alien artefact known as ‘The Scarab’. There’s plenty of warmth – and the occasional good joke – in Soto’s depiction of the Reyes family, along with a refreshing wealth of esoteric references to Latin American culture. Maridueña is charming and bounces off the rest of the cast well, particularly American comedian George Lopez as his uncle Rudy, whose energy keeps the film afloat.

But any moments of genuine character interaction are subsumed by rote superhero world-building, plot points seemingly borrowed from other franchises, and trite dialogue. The Power Rangers-flavoured action sequences are genuinely exciting, and the early scenes depicting Jaime’s transformation are about as close as any of these kinds of movies have gotten to body horror. Those inspired moments, however, are ultimately drowned out by too many contemporary superhero clichés. It all just feels too familiar. 

In cinemas worldwide Fri Aug 18.

Kambole Campbell
Written by
Kambole Campbell

Cast and crew

  • Director:Angel Manuel Soto
  • Screenwriter:Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer
  • Cast:
    • Xolo Maridueña
    • Harvey Guillén
    • Susan Sarandon
    • Raoul Max Trujillo
    • Elpidia Carrillo
    • George Lopez
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