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Blue Beetle Review: Xolo Mariduena Lives In This DC Superhero Film

Blue Beetle

Blue Beetle Movie Review: Superhero films have been disappointing lately. DC and Marvel Cinematic Universe films were fun to watch. Shazam! Fury of the Gods (Shazam 2) is one. I had low expectations for Blue Beetle because he’s not as popular as other superheroes his age. However, I found myself shushing individuals conversing between the finale sequence and realising I was engrossed in the Angel Manuel Soto directorial.

Xolo Maridueña and Bruna Marquezine star in Blue Beetle, DC Extended Universe’s third theatrical release this year. Unlike Shazam 2 and The Flash, Blue Beetle did not bring the filmmaker’s will-there-won’t-there Zack Snyder universe to the big screen. This freedom from the past lets Blue Beetle play any tone. Director Angel Manuel Soto used ’80s and ’90s film gimmicks and relied on emotions, which worked in the picture’s benefit.

Blue Beetle follows 22-year-old Jaime (Xolo Maridueña) who discovers a deadly technology resembling a beetle. Jaime’s life changes when his family becomes curious about the gadget and he becomes the beetle’s host. This metamorphosis endangers his family and girlfriend Jenny, played by Bruna Marquezine. Jaime must face Susan Sarandon and Raoul Trujillo’s Victoria Kord and Conrad Carapax. He saves himself and his family or Victoria extracts the ‘Blue Beetle’ is the film’s plot.

The flick seems lacklustre on paper. It is linear and told from Jaime’s perspective with minimal layering. However, the writing, dialogues, and performances make Blue Beetle stand out. Angel Manuel Soto narrates crisply while highlighting each character. The star of the play is Blue Beetle, but you care about Jenny, Rudy (George Lopez), and Nana (Adriana Barraza). Each character has enough flesh to make an impact without overshadowing the superhero.

The film relies on dialogue. The director added Latino lines to the English-language script, which was understandable. This connected me to the film’s emotions and motivation. Xolo Maridueña excels as Blue Beetle. He’s friendly and real, reminding me of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man debut.

Bruna Marquezine mostly matches him, but the character is poorly constructed. At points, especially towards the conclusion, I nearly forgot she was there. Wish her character was better written. The show’s stars are the supporting cast, especially Adriana Barraza and George Lopez. Adriana takes the spotlight in the second half while George dominates the first. I particularly liked how Angel Manuel Soto discreetly combined immigration anxiety and the idea that migrant families speak their own language. It helps represent Latinos abroad.

The VFX was superior than most DC movies lately. But it does remind you of Marvel and DC movies. I compared Batman, Spider-Man, Ant-Man, and Iron Man. I didn’t mind as a fan of both realms, but DC fanatics might. Fans may also find Blue Beetle a basic superhero film. It is not among the best DC films. It doesn’t impress like Man of Steel or Wonder Woman. As a single film, Blue Beetle is enjoyable.

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