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Welcome, World Travelers! Blue Beetle is a Blue Blast!

Welcome, World Travelers! Blue Beetle is a Blue Blast!

by James Coulter

Look! I’m skipping the formalities and jumping straight to the conclusion. The only thing preventing me from calling Blue Beetle the best superhero movie of the year is Across the Spiderverse. Other than that, second place isn’t bad. Blue Beetleis a fun movie, and if you love fun with your superhero flicks, you’ll love it.

Currently, Blue Beetle sits at the crossroads between the former DCEU/Snyderverse and the upcoming James Gunn-helmed DC franchise. Only time will tell whether this movie will be included as part of the former or the latter. But one thing is for certain: Blue Bettle certainly stands out as one of the better DC films to be released these past couple of years—of course, compared to The Flash and Shazam II, that’s certainly a low bar to clear!

Blue Beetle follows the story of Jaime Reyes, a fresh college graduate who’s returned home to his family in Palmera City. With him straddled in college debt and his family being forced to sell their home, Jaime needs to find a good-paying job to help them out of their lower-class straits. However, his job search has him unwittingly smuggling a top-secret weapon from One Man Army Corps (OMAC). That weapon transforms him into the Blue Beetle, a superhero with high-tech power armor. Will Jaime be able to master his new abilities and save his family from the evil corporation hunting him?

Blue Beetle is what happens when you cross Spider-Man with Iron Man and combine them into RoboCop. Admittedly, the plot is rather basic with story beats you can see coming a mile away. However, the movie more than makes up for its familiar formula with high-octane action and comedy with a colorful and energetic cast of characters.

Believe me when I say that Blue Bettle is the best kind of superhero movie: the fun kind. Those types of superhero flicks are the best. Guardians of the GalaxyDeadpoolShazamAnt-Man. Movies that take themselves seriously enough to maintain dramatic tension but not too seriously as to allow themselves to go hog wild and have the funnest of fun times.

The setting of Palmera City, with its sleek futuristic metropolis contrasted against the backdrop of the main character’s culturally-rich neighborhood, offers an overall vibrant environment that provides a unique ethnic flare. From its predominately Hispanic cast to its Latino-influenced setting with the occasional Spanish dialogue and Latino musical scores offers a culturally unique moviegoing experience that can be appreciated by Hispanics and non-Hispanics alike (with the exception of people who unironically use the term “woke”). This movie, along with movies like Black Panther and Shang-Chi, help make superhero films into a true melting pot with an infusion of multi-cultural diversity into the otherwise American-centric genre.

Perhaps the movie’s shining gem is its family dynamic. Most other superhero films have the main character trying to hide their superhero identity from their loved ones to protect them. However, with him getting his new superpowers with his whole family present in the room (with wacky shenanigans ensuing), Jaime already has his entire family clued into his superhero shenanigans. What results are very comedic moments with his family reacting to him being a superhero. And while this movie does have the familiar story beat of the hero having to defend his family against the bad guys—well, no spoilers, but let’s just say that the trope gets wonderfully subverted later in the movie.

Overall, don’t let the movie’s disappointing opening weekend deter you. If you love fun, and you love super hero movies that are fun, then you should give Blue Beetle a chance. Otherwise, if you prefer your superheroes to be dark, brooding, and very un-fun, don’t worry: you can still watch Batman v. Superman and the rest of the Snyderverse streaming on HBO Max.

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