Blue Beetle Brings Diversity to the Screen

XOLO MARIDUEÑA as Blue Beetle in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “BLUE BEETLE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/™ & © DC Comics. © 2023 Warner Bros. Ent. All Rights Reserved. TM & © DC.

Blue Beetle was initially planned for an HBO Max release but Warner Bros. Discovery made the decision to give it a theatrical release.

There is a mid-credits scene. I do not know if there is a post-credits scene because I didn’t stay that long.

I almost didn’t even review the film. It’s not for the lack of trying on my part. A set of parents brought their child–under a year old–to the press/promo screening on Monday night. Their child kept crying throughout the film as the parents kept going in and out of the theater. When this happens once, fine, you get a warning. But the whole fricking film? Absolutely not. This is not fair to the rest of us as it distracts from our viewing experience. I’m there to watch a film, not continually turn my eyes over to see who is distracting the rest of us from watching it. Parents, please get a sitter for the sake of other moviegoers.

This marks the first time that DC has brought Jaime Reyes/Blue Beetle (Xolo Maridueña) to the big screen. The Mexican superhero is the third version of the character. His arrival comes during a transition for the studio. How much am I supposed to care about this character when DC is doing a reboot? The fact that the current SAG-AFTRA strike is preventing actors from doing press and promotion is doing the film no favors. Right off the bat, I have no idea if this is a one-off film or if the character of Blue Beetle will play an active role in the future of the DC Universe going forward. This isn’t on the cast or crew but it shows the state of DC Films at the moment.

What we know about Jaime Reyes is that he’s a new college graduate. Unfortunately, his home is no longer what it once was as his parents are about to lose their house. After coming home, Jaime joins his sister, Milagro, in getting a job cleaning up at Victoria Kord’s (Susan Sarandon) mansion. It turns out to be a blessing in disguise because this puts him in contact with Jenny Kord (Bruna Marquezine) for the first time. Jenny invites Jaime to Kord Industries for a potential job offer but next thing you know, he’s protecting the Scarab for her. Despite explicit rules to not open the box, he opens it and the Scarab–alien in origin–attaches itself to his back. Kord comes for him and his family and the rest is history. Blue Beetle largely plays to comic book formula in that regard–good triumphs over evil.

All the issues with DC Films put aside for a moment, one of the nice things to enjoy about Blue Beetle is that it gets points for diversity. I do think that the studio also made a solid decision in scrapping the streaming release for a theatrical one. The thing about streaming is that it’s so easy for films to not find an audience due to the algorithm. Actors not being allowed to do press because of the strike only ends up bringing another factor into play. People familiar with the character will probably end up watching the film. What about the casual movie fan? Whether the film earns its $120 million production back is a different story. We’ll certainly have to wait and see what happens.

Blue Beetle brings necessary diversity to the screen but this critic spent the screening being distracted for much of it. Seriously, if your kid is going to cry throughout much of the film and you don’t have a sitter, please stay home!

DIRECTOR: Ángel Manuel Soto
SCREENWRITER: Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer
CAST: Xolo Maridueña, Adriana Barraza, Damían Alcázar, Raoul Max Trujillo, Elpidia Carrillo, Bruna Marquezine, Belissa Escobedo, Harvey Guillén, with Susan Sarandon and George Lopez

Warner Bros. will release Blue Beetle in theaters on August 18, 2023. Grade: 3.5/5

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.