01-09-23 | After scores of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman projects Warner Bros. finally takes a gamble on a lesser know superhero. The hero in question is the Blue Beetle, who has been a cult favourite since the 1930s. But does he have what it takes to rival Marvel’s cinematic output? Or more to the point: can he live up to the standard recently set by Oppenheimer and Barbie?
The film deals with a young man who discovers an ancient Egyptian scarab, which gives him unimaginable powers. Reaction to The Blue Beetle has not been overly negative, but critics find that the film has plenty of faults. The Only Critic, Nate Adams, feels that ‘It’s somewhat of a disappointment, but at least Blue Beetle never takes itself too seriously.’ Faint praise to which Catherine Gonzales of Awards Watch adds ‘Blue Beetle is not a perfect origin story and this entry leaves one with a semi-empty feeling like many other recent superhero films.’
‘And yet – ’ notes Robert Daniels of RogertEbert.com ‘ – Blue Beetle is surprisingly politically spry; the family-bound narrative is shockingly pure; its comedy swerves away from low-hanging memeification. Instead, the film cares more about how these characters mesh.’ Something most critics seem to agree with. Jason Palmer of Entertainment Focus reported how ‘the family life of Jaime Reyes is perfectly laid out for fans to fully get behind the characters and give the film a genuine sense of heart and soul.’
An aspect mentioned time and time again: it is not Jaimes Reyes’ superhero antics which resonate with audiences, but rather his relationship with his loved ones. Gonzales feels that lead actor Maridueña ‘brings warmth, charisma, and sincerity to Jaime and it is expressed in the way he cares about making his family proud and getting them out of their situation.’
But is it enough to save the movie from oblivion? Carla Hay of Culture Mix Online was kind to The Blue Beetle, concluding that ‘Blue Beetle sometimes gets trapped in a familiar superhero formula, but the movie’s comedic charm, rollicking style and authentic chemistry among the cast members are a winning combination.’ Blue Beetle won’t go down in history as a classic of the genre, but it’s not an offensive failure either. It took time for people to warm to the comic book character. Who knows … perhaps the same goes for its feature film adaption?
Read the full reviews here:
Nate Adams at The Only Critic
Catherine Gonzales at Awards Watch
Robert Daniels at RogerEbert.com
Jason Palmer at Entertainment Focus
Carla Hay at Culture Mix Online