Blue Beetle: a Mark Kermode superhero movie review (video).

Our man of many movies, Mark Kermode, is here to bring you his take on the new DC superhero movie Blue Beetle. Watch his thoughts above. But what did we think here at SFcrowsnest Towers? Read on, McDuff.

The ever-expanding world of the DCEU – how I’ve come to anticipate each new installment, with the hope that there might be a touch of Christopher Nolan’s Bat-genius or the sprightly spark of Patty Jenkins’ ‘Wonder Woman’. This time, the spotlight falls on a lesser-known (to the general public, at least) character: Jaime Reyes, a.k.a. the Blue Beetle. Directed by Ángel Manuel Soto and given wings by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer’s screenplay, does this scarab-inspired superhero soar or stumble?

First things first – Xolo Maridueña, in the lead, is a genuine revelation. His portrayal of Jaime Reyes – a young lad trying to come to grips with life, love, and a surprisingly clingy alien artifact – is refreshing. Here’s a young man juggling the challenges of adulthood, a deteriorating family situation, and of course, an ancient, power-packed beetle. Maridueña does a commendable job, and his on-screen chemistry with Bruna Marquezine’s Jenny Kord adds layers of depth and heart to what could have otherwise been a fairly straightforward superhero yarn.

The plot is dense, occasionally dipping its toes into melodrama. But, throughout the winding narrative, the film never forgets its central thesis: the challenges of legacy, both familial and societal. What does it mean to step into the shoes – or, in this case, the armor – of those who’ve come before us?

Supporting performances from Adriana Barraza and Damian Alcázar as the Reyes seniors ground the film with heartfelt moments. But special mention must be made of Susan Sarandon’s Victoria Kord. Sarandon’s portrayal of a character, emblematic of “imperialism in the name of democracy”, provides an intriguing undercurrent of political subtext to the narrative. Plus, who would’ve thought we’d get George Lopez as an action sidekick?

Visually, the movie offers some stunning sequences – particularly when Blue Beetle takes to the skies or when the tech-heavy action sequences rev up. These are moments when Soto’s directorial flair truly shines.

However, the film is not without its shortcomings. At times, the story struggles under its own weight. There’s a rich lore here, and occasionally, the film feels overstuffed, trying to do too much in its runtime. Furthermore, the third act’s spectacle feels somewhat generic in the current saturated superhero landscape.

Nevertheless, Blue Beetle is an enjoyable addition to the DCEU, offering an interesting blend of family drama, super-heroics, and a dash of space-age mysticism. It’s refreshing, it’s different, and it leaves you curious for what’s next.

In the end, the real strength of ‘Blue Beetle’ is its heart. And in a genre that’s increasingly about bigger explosions and more sprawling universes, that’s no small achievement.

Blue Beetle: the D.C. superhero film you didn’t know you needed?
Blue Beetle: the D.C. superhero film you didn’t know you needed?


Colonel Frog is a long time science fiction and fantasy fan. He loves reading novels in the field, and he also enjoys watching movies (as well as reading lots of other genre books).

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