Introducing a new hero into the roster of your cinematic universe always brings with it a sense of excitement and that's exactly the case with Blue Beetle in the DCEU. It's a hero that many won't have heard of which, in my opinion, makes it even more exciting. It's the equivalent of Ant-Man being introduced into the MCU, granted he is more well known as a character, that brings with it freshness at a much needed time.

Jaime Reyes (Xolo Maridueña) 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 armor that's capable of extraordinary and unpredictable powers, forever changing his destiny as he becomes the superhero Blue Beetle.
It's easy to look at Blue Beetle and just dismiss it with the current state of the DCEU however, that really shouldn't be the case because this is the best film from the DC side of things since The Batman. Obviously it's not up to that standard but it acts as such a breath of fresh air when the DCEU has faced a lot of criticism for not knowing which direction it is going in. With James Gunn now at the helm, plans have become a little clearer and Blue Beetle works as a fine launchpad for the new route they might wish to take.

The family dynamic is an integral part to Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer's writing, giving the film the heart and soul it needs to keep the audience captivated. It's incredibly funny while also hitting you right in the feels a number of times throughout, even if it does nearly cross the line in becoming too melodramatic. Ángel Manuel Soto directs the film with a sense of joy and vibrancy that combines with elements of body horror that give it such an 80s vibe, the score from Bobby Krlic and soundtrack only solidifying the vibe and giving the film a real playful nature. It's a superhero coming-of-age film so the playful side of things is most welcome.
Xolo Maridueña leads the film with an energetic and commanding turn as Jaime, unwillingly thrust into a position of power and responsibility that nearly breaks him. Maridueña has been impressive throughout his run on Cobra Kai so it's great to see him getting his chance in the big time. George Lopez is having an absolute blast as Rudy, Jaime's uncle, with his loud persona and tendency to not take life too seriously. Susan Sarandon gets a chance to chew all the scenery as the film's villain but annoyingly feels as if she's holding back from totally hamming it up. It's an odd choice as this is the kind of film where that would have really worked and it ends up leaving the final product lacking a memorable villainous presence.

Blue Beetle really is a joyous summer blockbuster experience that does a great job in introducing a new hero. If reports are to be believed, it could flop at the box-office. If you are looking for a good time at the cinema this summer though, make sure you give this film a chance because it really deserves it.

Verdict: ★★★½


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