The Blue Beetle movie is Iron Man and Guyver rolled into one | Inquirer Entertainment
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The Blue Beetle movie is Iron Man and Guyver rolled into one

/ 01:45 PM August 20, 2023
Blue Beetle. Image from DC Studios and Warner Bros. Pictures.

Blue Beetle. Image from DC Studios and Warner Bros. Pictures.

No way that the resident comic book and superhero movie critic of the overall Number 1 news and entertainment-based website in the country (INQUIRER.net) will not do a comprehensive, informative and analytical movie review of Blue Beetle. This has to be done.

I, for one, am a fan of the Blue Beetle and this was a movie from the DCEU that I have been excited to watch ever since a confirmation of a release date was made official.

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Firstly, I want to say that I understand why the producers of this movie entitled Blue Beetle opted for the third host to portray the Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) who is portrayed by Xolo Mariduena from Cobra Kai fame, and not feature any of the first two hosts for this generation’s audience of moviegoers because it was essential that an unwitting, unassuming unprepossessing person be the one to take on the mantle of the Blue Beetle. In short, someone who is a bit of a buffoon but with a good heart because most people would be able to relate more to him. Sadly, however, that is the downward trend and what has been part of the formula in superhero movies for many years now.

In terms of cinematography, the Blue Beetle has a brightly colored aesthetic and a sheen about it that indicate how polished are the CGI. The visual effects are especially impressive, especially during the transformations and battles. On the other hand, the dialogue is sub-par. Cliche set-ups, some plot holes and missteps come into play when it comes to the scene-to-scene transitions and these flaws are glaringly obvious after the halfway mark of the movie.

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The movie runs roughly around two hours and at times it can feel like a long two hours. Why so? In the first half of the movie, when the Blue Scarab chooses Jaime Reyes to be the host, the latter spends the majority of the time being scared of it, freaked out, and almost losing his wits over the powers that the Blue Scarab possesses.

Then, in the second half of the movie, when he begins to accept being chosen by the Blue Scarab, he is always asking permission and giving requests to the Blue Scarab to create weapons to use in situations that threaten his life and his loved ones around him.

It almost feels like the true hero here is the Blue Scarab and not Jaime Reyes because everything he is able to do is because of the living alien technology that is attached to him. It is an unusual set-up because the third host himself does not have a lot of great qualities beyond the norm of being a young adult coming from a lower middle-class upbringing. Jaime Reyes does not have a detective mind like the first person to be the Blue Beetle (Dan Garrett) and he is not a scientist like the second one and arguably most famous and the one I remember most of all (Ted Kord).

This is a case for comic book readers and moviegoers to accept what is given to them. Well, at least with the third host, the Blue Scarab chose him and thus, we get to see what the Blue Scarab can really do in action.

Comparing this movie to the previously released movies from the DCEU. I would say that this is a better movie than “Shazam! The Fury of the Gods!”. However, it does not rank high enough that I would even consider it better than “The Flash” movie because–as underperforming as that movie was–the star of that movie (Barry Allen/The Flash) had a lot of heroic qualities about him and he had a mission to accomplish, or at the very least he tried his very best. Yes, he is a flawed super-hero, but he would have died trying to complete the mission he himself had set out to accomplish.

With Jaime Reyes, it would be harder for the occasional moviegoer and other people totally new to this version of the Blue Beetle, to root for him because he is a lesser-known host to a majority of general comic book readers and moviegoers. And he is most likely the least believable to be chosen to carry on a legacy of a popular DC superhero in the Blue Beetle when you consider everything about him.

He is just not that likeable; in fact, he is annoying. However, once he has the Blue Scarab on his side, thus becoming the newest Blue Beetle and, mind you, the only host who gets to utilize the abilities of the living alien technology, it makes up for his loss of heroic traits right away because basically, what Jaime Reyes has in possession for any Pop Culture fan here is the mesh of Iron Man technology and the alien symbiotic-like aspects of the Guyver suit which is also alien in origin. So, in a lot of ways, the Blue Beetle is an amalgamation of Iron Man and Guyver all rolled into one.

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Blue Beetle. Image from DC Studios and Warner Bros. Pictures.

Blue Beetle. Image from DC Studios and Warner Bros. Pictures.

Throughout its two and a half hours run, the movie remained almost a 60/40 in terms of the entertainment value. I say this because if you are a 10-or-12 year-old kid, you would find the Blue Beetle very fun to watch primarily because of the CGI and the bond that Jaime forms with the Blue Scarab. However, if you are an educated and well-informed adult, you would find the movie at times to be a bit silly.

Though there could be a dichotomy in reactions, these are to be expected given that the family set-up that Jaime has here is almost that of a sitcom with George Lopez being cast as the uncle of Jaime Reyes (Rudy Reyes), and most of the time he is shrieking his lines and shooting the scenery. This acting style is not a good thing because it distracts the moviegoers a lot of times and lessens the impact of what could have been the more emotionally impactful scenes.

There were two scenes, though, wherein the onscreen character of George Lopez could calm down that made the scenes much better or at least watchable. One scene was in the Blue Beetle basement of Ted Kord in which the two comic-accurate costumes of the first two Blue Beetles were shown, and he knew about them. There was another scene in which he gave a heart-to-heart talk with Jaime. These two mentioned scenes redeemed to a degree the onscreen character of George Lopez. Precisely because in this movie, he was not supposed to play being George Lopez, the comedian that he truly is as a TV personality, but rather to be the caring uncle Rudy Reyes.

The casting of veteran Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon was a pleasant surprise because, as always, she is a dependable actress and able to do justice to whatever role is give her. In The Blue Beetle, she portrays the sister of Ted Kord, who is the second Blue Beetle, and she runs an enterprise that is evil in nature because she wants to capture and exploit the abilities and powers of the living alien technology (Blue Scarab), which is attached to Jaime, to create a battalion of OMACs.

Here in the third arc of the Blue Beetle, a lot of CGI was used, and visually, it was a sight to see the Blue Beetle go into full battle mode and show exactly his capabilities against the OMACs. Then, the moviegoers began to understand why the Blue Beetle is a superhero in the DCEU to be taken seriously because he is the only superhero right now in the DCEU that is this awesome to watch when it fights because of the incorporation of the living alien technology, which is the Blue Scarab. Indeed, again, for me, the real hero here is the Blue Scarab, because without it, there would be no Blue Beetle at all and Jaime Reyes would be nothing but an average Joe.

The Blue Scarab is the X-Factor of this movie, the Blue Beetle. The same way that the Iron Man suits were in Iron Man and there is where the comparisons begin with the latest DCEU movie and that iconic MCU movie.

Adding to that fact, in Blue Beetle, I can’t help but be reminded of “Iron Man” (2008) with Robert Downey Jr. There is no question that the director and writers of Blue Beetle got to watch that iconic Marvel movie like all of us did, as there are elements, influences, and notes from the first Iron Man movie here. Which is alright because that movie inspired a lot of people to get into the movie industry to make superhero movies. Basically, it is not a bad movie to pattern itself to, but it spells the lack of originality for Blue Beetle in terms of its story telling, plot points, and sequences.

However, given everything, it still a safe bet that the DCEU has a solid winner here with Blue Beetle despite its flaws which you can ignore or overlook because in general, it is an entertaining movie for the entire family, and you could not ask for more.

All in all, do I recommend watching the Blue Beetle?

Yes. A one-time viewing of this in cinemas is all that is needed.

Then, wait for it to get to your favorite streaming service in a couple of months if you want to watch it again.

My Final Score: 7/10

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