Plot: What’s it about?
By now, most of us are at least somewhat familiar with DC and their plans of rebooting their superhero films. That makes Blue Beetle as something of an odd duck in the grand scheme of things. I am more than a little fatigued with the surplus of superhero films, and this one, while far from terrible, hardly makes a case for its existence. It can pass the time easily even if it has a slight, redundant feeling.
Jamie Reyes (Xolo Mariduena) is a recent college graduate who seems to have a bright future ahead of himself. Unfortunately, he struggles to get a job, and his family is having serious financial problems. Along with his sister, he can get a job doing security for the wealthy technology expert, Victoria Kord (Susan Sarandon). There are complications that cause Jamie to lose his job, and this ultimately leads to a scarab landing with him and attaches to Jamie. When activated, he becomes the title character: Blue Beetle. Susan Sarandon as a power-hungry CEO isn’t the most compelling villain, and that just may be one of the film’s biggest issues. It’s not that she doesn’t give a good performance, it’s just that the character really isn’t all that interesting. The film builds decently to the all-too-familiar action filled climax where the special effects take over. It’s somewhat exciting, but, like many films today, it carries on too long. There’s still some nice chemistry among the cast, and the film didn’t irk me as much as I had feared going into it. It also doesn’t hurt that Bruna Marquezine as Jenny Kord who is the love interest is so easy on the eyes. She and Xolo have some sweet moments together which do help elevate things here a bit.
Despite a few lame attempts at humor (I really didn’t need to hear his sister comment about having just used the bathroom and the size of it), Blue Beetle mostly passes along nicely. It’s just that, after so many countless superhero movies in the last several years, there’s just nothing here that I haven’t seen before. The struggle is there, the origin story, the action and even the heart, but who cares? We have been down this road too often. The filmmakers took serious pride in the film and having a diverse cast, but that shouldn’t be what we base quality on. The title character looks neat, with the suit and all the bells and whistles, but it just felt that something was lacking here. Maybe had this been released about 10-15 years or so ago it might’ve resonated more, but there’s little here that stands out from the pack.
Video: How’s it look?
The HEVC 4K 2.39:1 transfer has a natural look to it that pops almost during every frame. There are familiar colors here such as teal and amber, but the results remained impressive throughout. The HDR added nice depth to the transfer that improved on the already great Blu-Ray transfer (I checked it out to compare). Viewers should feel pleased with the results here, but that isn’t surprising for a new, big budget film.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The Dolby Atmos (downconverted to Dolby TrueHD) worked amazingly too. Vehicles zipped by and background noise stayed active throughout. There is plenty of noise and action in the film, and the track displayed it all wonderfully and accurately. Vocals had the expected clarity as well.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Generations: Blue Beetle – A 4-part documentary that covers the bases of the film. Told in distinct chapters, explore the journeys of actors and filmmakers bringing the film to the big screen for the first time ever. Audiences will be immersed in the POV of filmmakers who showcase their experiences on set and in their creative studios making the story of this DC character a reality.
- Production Begins
- In Full Flight
- A Hero’s World
- Nana Knows Best – Witness Nana’s transformation from an adorable ‘abuelita’ into a machine gun-wielding revolutionary, and stop in for a few of her most fun moments on set throughout production.
- Scarab Vision – Xolo Maridueña hosts this series of scene study walk throughs that showcases how the scarab works and the role it plays in some of the movie’s most epic moments.
The Bottom Line
I don’t mean to sound too harsh on Blue Beetle as I find it to be a perfectly entertaining film. Perhaps it’s simply a victim of bad timing as we’ve seen far too many superhero films as of late, mixed with the news of DC getting retooled before long. It makes this already rather slight film even more so. For already established fans, have at it. For all others, a rental should suffice.