Synopsis: An alien scarab chooses college graduate Jaime Reyes to be its symbiotic host, bestowing the teenager with a suit of armour capable of extraordinary and unpredictable powers, forever changing his destiny as he becomes the superhero known as Blue Beetle.
Director: Angelo Manuel Soto
Stars: Xolo Mariduena, Bruna Marquezine, George Lopez, Susan Sarandon
Many were introduced to actor Xolo Marideuna in the hit Netflix show Cobra Kai. The show has been wildly successful, and his portrayal of Miguel is a fan favourite.
Director Angel Manuel Soto likely saw Marideuna’s many likeable qualities in the Karate Kid spin-off; he is an excellent choice for the lead role of this new film.
In Blue Beetle, Mariduena plays Jaime Reyes, a graduate who returns home to find that his family is in financial trouble. Their rent is being tripled, and they risk losing their home. His father has survived a heart attack, and their options of getting out of this jam are slim to none.
Jaime and his sister Milagro (Belissa Escobedo) take a job cleaning the very wealthy Victoria Kord’s (Susan Sarandon) house. To Victoria, the duo are ‘the help.’ They are invisible to her as they scrape the gum from under her tables.
Victoria’s niece Jenny (Bruna Marquezine) does not like how her aunt is running the company that used to be under Jenny’s father’s control. A confrontation between aunt and niece develops, and when Jaime steps in, he is fired. His chivalry doesn’t go unnoticed, and Jenny assures him she can find him a job elsewhere in the company.
Jenny’s main concern is that Victoria is developing weapons, which the company vowed to stop doing. When she finds a prototype of a Scarab in the lab, she decides to get it away from her aunt and gives it to Jaime for safekeeping.
At home with his family, his mother, father, grandmother, uncle and sister, curiosity gets the best of them, and they start examining the Scarab. The Scarab comes to life, chooses Jaime as its host, and transforms him into The Blue Beetle. Based on the sophisticated research and development of Kord Industries, this is a highly sophisticated weapon built for all sorts of scenarios. While Jaime has no idea what is happening, he learns to adapt to his new powers.
Meanwhile, Victoria realizes the tech has been taken and wants it back. She sees the Scarab as her way to have even more power, and her ruthlessness will stop at nothing to make this happen.
There has been a lot of commentary surrounding superhero fatigue in the movies. This may be true, but Blue Beetle shouldn’t be a victim. This is a very entertaining movie.
This is a very strong origin story for a film whose primary purpose is to introduce a character. Xolo Mariduena is great in this film; he plays it how it should be — Wait, I have superpowers . . . what the heck!
Soto has done a great job directing the film, which is the first Latino comic book character to headline a live-action superhero movie. The casting and the music all showcase Latino culture.
In addition, the scenes with Jaime and his family are touching. Whether they are laughing or arguing or anything in between, a level of authenticity is captured in these moments.
While many comic book movies fly around (no pun intended), this one stands out.
With its appreciation of and a nod to Latino culture, its pure origin story, and some great action scenes, Blue Beetle is a well-crafted film.