Blue Beetle (2023) Review

Boisterous but bland


Blue Beetle has some nice visuals and an awesome music score with Xolo Maridueña making for a star in waiting; it’s let down by a poor script which feels like it could have been written by A.I. and some of the characters were just plain annoying. There are some decent action scenes with the final showdown being a highlight, but it’s nothing we haven’t already seen.

Plot: Jaime Reyes suddenly finds himself in possession of an ancient relic of alien biotechnology called the Scarab. When the Scarab chooses Jaime to be its symbiotic host, he’s bestowed with an incredible suit of armour that’s capable of extraordinary and unpredictable powers, forever changing his destiny as he becomes the superhero Blue Beetle.

Review: I wasn’t especially looking forward to Blue Beetle as it just looked like yet another superhero origin story and with all the nonsense going on with DC recently I wondered if it would be pointless. I really only went to see it because I like Xolo Maridueña from Cobra Kai and wanted to support him; he makes for an appealing lead and the ladies in our audience certainly seemed to be fans.

Blue Beetle is pretty much exactly what you’d expect delivering a sometimes entertaining but flawed origin story for a lesser known superhero (he’s basically Iron Man). It takes a while for any action to happen but it certainly has its moments with a few showdowns giving us the usual superhero laser battles, but I’d be lying if I said they weren’t well done. We get some nice practical explosions and some shoot-outs too but nothing that really makes this truly memorable.

I like the setting of Palmera City (which was basically Miami) as it’s not somewhere we see often in DC movies; normally we get dark and gritty visuals but here it’s bright and colourful (similar to Shazam!); the action was easy to see and it was really elevated by the music score which was almost Tron-like at times and easily my favourite aspect of the entire film.

The second half is definitely superior as I almost walked out in the first 30 minutes as I found the family annoying at times (especially George Lopez who wasn’t funny at all) and the script was mostly terrible. Blue Beetle does have heart however, and I was emotionally engaged with the story and even teared up at one point but that’s also due to the fact I recently lost one of my best friends.

There’s more mention of family than a Fast & Furious movie and there is nothing subtle about any aspect of it; there are also no surprises and we were even saying some of the dialogue before the characters which shows how generic the script was.

Susan Sarandon was certainly hateful in it but she was pretty terrible as the villain and never remotely intimidating. I think it would have been better if Raoul Max Trujillo as Carapax was the main antagonist rather than the henchman as he had a fierce presence.

Overall, Blue Beetle likely won’t make much of a dent in the box office and will probably be forgotten by audiences in no time but it did get a round of applause in our theatre and people cheered at a few points, so it will have a fan base. I think it will become a cult favourite in later years as it’s not awful and has some decent action scenes but there’s nothing that ever really stands out in an already over saturated genre. You can wait for streaming for this one.