The Chicago Journal

Blue Beetle stands as DC’s lone positive film in 2023

Blue Beetle
Image Commercially Licensed from: DepositPhotos

Blue Beetle — So far in 2023, the audience has witnessed a run of superhero film blockbusters and disappointments. While Marvel’s Ant-Man sequel film and Secret Invasion series were largely disappointing. However, the most recent Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse episodes were significant attractions.

Meanwhile, DC Studios has yet to achieve equivalent success. Shazam: Fury of the Gods and The Flash have been unimpressive, falling short of the expectations set by its predecessors. Blue Beetle’s debut, on the other hand, may be prophetic, with rave reviews flooding in.

Read also: Theaters witness renewed interest in 2023 with Barbenheimer success

Good news for DC Studios

As previously mentioned, DC Studios has had a disappointing year, with Shazam: The Fury of the Gods mostly forgotten. The reviews that have come out have been harsh, attesting to DC’s failure to sell the film.

The Flash had the potential to be a huge smash, but years of production troubles, as well as personal disputes surrounding lead actor Ezra Miller, have prompted calls to boycott the Scarlet Speedster’s solo feature debut. Many individuals have also raised concerns about the use of CGI and the frequent cast changes.

The Blue Beetle crew may have remained silent in the run-up to the premiere due to the timing of the Hollywood strikes, but the feedback has been favorable thus far. In fact, of DC’s big-screen movies in 2023, Blue Beetle has the greatest Rotten Tomatoes rating.

Reviews for the film

The latest DC film is best described as “entertaining,” with many complimenting the Cobra Kai star’s portrayal as “fresh.” Some of Blue Beetle’s positive reviews are highlighted below.

Armchair Auteur: “It’s a miracle that this film survived the leap from ‘throwaway streaming vehicle’ to ‘bonafide blockbuster release.’”

But Why Though?: “Blue Beetle is a film that earns a… grito. As a story, it knows who Jaime is and leans into the character beyond his suit and powers… While some characters have just become a mantle you can change from one person to the next, Jaime Reyes is Blue Beetle.”

Digital Spy: “There is a future for Cobra Kai star Xolo Maridueña’s DC superhero, and fortunately, the entertaining Blue Beetle leaves you wanting to see more – even if it can’t help suffering from familiar superhero issues.”

Guardian: “There’s a perkiness that’s hard to resist and a base-level competency that’s hard not to appreciate, a small beam of light in an otherwise dark time for superheroes.”

Punch Drunk Critics: “Quite simply the best DC movie in years, and should be the blueprint for James Gunn as he moves forward with the new DCU.”

The Independent: “Blue Beetle is broad and endearingly kid-friendly in its humor. It is also precise in its homages to Mexican culture.”

TheWrap: “A self-contained and smartly crafted film that ranks among the DCEU’s very best. Even though, admittedly, that doesn’t say nearly as much as it ought to.”

Total Film: “Stand down the undertaker: this spirited outlier shows there’s life in the old DCEU yet. Over to you, Aquaman 2.”

However, not everyone was delighted with the latest DC film, with some saying Blue Beetle simply maintained the history of underwhelming DC films.

Telegraph: “The emotional beats are strenuous yawns, the crashing lack of novelty disguised desperately, but not well. It’s dim, and it’s dull.”

Uproxx: “It’s the kind of thing we’ve all seen way too many times before and felt extra disappointing here because there’s a lot in this movie that does feel unique, but then it feels squandered.”

What is the film about?

Blue Beetle’s debut in the theaters is more than another attempt by DC to counter Marvel’s once-unmovable box office dominance. It has been marketed as both an origin tale for Xolo Mariduea’s Jaime Reyes and a new chapter for James Gunn and Peter Safran’s new DC Universe.

Younger audiences are introduced to DC’s first prominent Latino superhero on the big screen in this action-packed film. The Cobra Kai actor portrays a budding hero who comes face to face with an all-powerful alien Scarab that attaches itself to him, choosing Jaime Reyes as its new host.

Blue Beetle is marketed as a family-friendly comedy, distinguishing it from the last batch of DC films that turned out to be box office flops. Although it takes itself apart from the old, afflicted DC universe, the film establishes that its universe is already home to superheroes such as Superman, Batman, and the Flash.

Blue Beetle’s score

Blue Beetle has received an 89% rating on Rotten Tomatoes taken from 109 reviews, a massive improvement from Shazam: The Fury of the Gods’ 49% and The Flash’s 64%.

When compared to last year’s batch of DC films, it’s a long way from Black Adam’s 39%. However, it is somewhat lower than The Suicide Squad’s impressive 90% critics rating.