Blue Beetle Parent Guide
With this film, DC isn't even bothering to microwave Marvel's leftovers: they're just serving them frozen on the tray.
Parent Movie Review
The first member of his family to graduate from university, Jaime Reyes (Xolo Mariduena) comes home expecting to land a cushy corporate job and singlehandedly lift his family out of poverty. Unfortunately, things have changed since his last home visit: the family business went under, the house is in foreclosure, and the job market just isn’t what it was. Jaime finds himself cleaning houses with his sister Milagro (Belissa Escobedo).
The job appears to be a blessing in disguise, as Jaime winds up cleaning Victoria Kord’s (Susan Sarandon) home where he meets her niece, Jenny (Bruna Maruezine). The Kord family operates Kord Industries, the biggest game in town, and while Victoria is uninterested, Jenny offers to try and find Jaime a job if he drops by the Kord building the next day. When he gets there, however, Jenny shoves a mysterious fast-food box at him, instructs him to get it out of the building and look after it until she comes to get it, and under no circumstances to open the box.
Of course, as soon as Jamie gets home his exuberant family insists on opening the box, which reveals a large blue scarab beetle, which promptly attaches itself to Jamie. With the strange bug attached, Jaime is encased in near-indestructible armor and equipped with weapons the military can only dream of. Unfortunately, that little beetle was the basis for Victoria Kord’s new military project, and she’s willing to kill anyone to get it back. Worse, there doesn’t seem to be any way to remove the bug. Jenny offers to help him figure things out, but with Victoria coming for both of them, they’re going to have to learn on the run.
This movie has some of the worst dialogue I’ve ever heard, and paired with some intermittently shoddy digital effects, there are whole sections of the movie that feel like a bad video game cutscene. I’ve never been in a movie that managed to make Susan Sarandon boring, but Blue Beetle sure pulled it off – and then some. I don’t really remember much of the middle of the movie, but around that point in my notebook I appear to have written “somebody kill me please” in block capitals. Hopefully that gives you some indication of how much fun I had.
Dialogue aside, the movie isn’t particularly bad. It’s just exactly like every other superhero movie that’s been made in the last twenty years. The Blue Beetle suit is basically off-brand Iron Man (and a little Green Lantern), but with the symbiosis/evil corporation trying to weaponize the symbiont from Venom. DC isn’t even bothering to microwave Marvel’s leftovers anymore, they’re just serving them frozen on the tray. We know that DC isn’t incapable of being good (see The Batman), they just don’t seem interested in making the effort.
Parents are unlikely to be thrilled with the violence and higher-than-normal levels of cussing and innuendo in the film, but like I said, this is exactly like every other superhero movie so you should have a good idea what to expect. Look, maybe if you’re not me and you haven’t had to sit through nearly every film in the genre for the last five years or so, the featureless familiarity of this film might just wash over you. Maybe you’re just less of a whiner than I am. Maybe you’re just excited to see some big-budget representation for Mexican characters and actors, which I can certainly understand. Hopefully you have a better time than I did.Directed by Angel Manuel Soto. Starring Xolo Maridueña, Harvey Guillén, George Lopez. Running time: 127 minutes. Theatrical release August 18, 2023. Updated August 17, 2023
Watch the trailer for Blue Beetle
Blue Beetle Parents' Guide
Violence: People are non-fatally beaten and involved in explosions, and a number of people are fatally crushed, shot, or blown up. There are depictions of child soldiers. A man dies of a heart attack. Blood is seen in some of the fatalities.
Sexual Content: There are repeated jokes and innuendoes about testicles and erections. A man is briefly seen partially nude in a non-sexual situation.
Profanity: There are 14 scatological curses, frequent use of mild profanities and terms of deity. There are also a number of profanities in Spanish, but not all are translated, so I can’t give you more details, since I am tragically unilingual.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are seen drinking socially.
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DC’s recent offerings include Black Adam, The Flash, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman ’84, and my favorite, The Batman. Your Marvel options include Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Thor: Love and Thunder, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, The Eternals, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Spider-Man: No Way Home. For anyone who doesn’t think that there’s a serious glut in superhero movie production, those movies all came out in the last two years.