Blue Beetle is full of heart from beginning to end as a film. It’s a celebration of family in a genre that often gets associated with orphans (i.e. Batman, Iron Man).
Xolo Maridueña nails it as the first live-action Jaime Reyes. He subverts the reluctant hero trope by having the love and support of his family to step into his role as Blue Beetle, demonstrating that heroes don’t have to be afraid to share their whole lives with their loved ones. This is such a key part of Jaime Reyes’ stories in the comics as his family is not only aware of his role and responsibilities, but supportive and standby him. As a fan, it is great to see the film adaptations having such a willingness to incorporate these traits into the stories shown on screen.
At the same, the film was bold enough to expand from the source material by creating new characters tied to former Blue Beetle Ted Kord: his less-than-moral sister Victoria Kord and his daughter Jenny Kord. The two Kords (played by Susan Sarandon and Bruna Marquezine respectively) find themselves at odds with the direction of Kord Industries, especially as Jenny wants to honor her father’s humane efforts in contrast to how Victoria pursues her ambitions by any means necessary.
Director Ángel Manuel Soto really fleshed not only a story but a part of the world of the DC Universe where the story of a young adult returning home from college feels familiar, but also the possibilities feel optimistic and fantastic with the technological advancements shown.
Some of the film’s more outlandish, comedic moments such as referring to Batman as a fascist, come courtesy of George Lopez, who plays Jaime’s Uncle, Rudy Reyes. It’s primarily through Rudy that Jaime comes to learn about the legacy of the Blue Beetle left behind by Ted Kord. In a way, his character serves as an additional access point for audiences who come into the film with knowledge about the comics and animations.
With DC Studios CEO James Gunn confirming that Blue Beetle is a part of the DCU, I look forward to seeing the continued adventures of Jaime Reyes in future releases.
Where to watch Blue Beetle
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