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A Family-Driven Story And Bruna Marquezine Make 'Blue Beetle' A Refreshing Standout Among Recent Superhero Movies

I was legitimately shook by how good Blue Beetle was upon walking out of the theater last night. Can't say I saw that one coming. 

So many times after watching recent superhero fare at the cineplex, the reaction has ranged from "meh" to just sort of not feeling much of anything. After seeing The Flash twice, even with problematic star Ezra Miller's strong lead performance, the more I reflected on it, the worse it seemed to get. Since James Gunn and other big-name celebrities had come out saying how great that movie was, my expectations plummeted for Blue Beetle.

Well, well, well. I'll be damned. The thing that stands out most story-wise about Blue Beetle is the family relationship between Xolo Maridueña's titular character, Jaime Reyes, and his loved ones. The Flash did this pretty well with Barry Allen and his mom, but since we never even saw who killed her, it was kinda like, "Aight." 

Every single actor in the Reyes family supporting cast brings the heat. George Lopez's Uncle Rudy reminds you how strong his comedic chops really are. Jaime's younger sister Milagro is played by Belissa Escobedo. Their chemistry is excellent, she has some really funny moments, yet she also packs such an emotional weight in her scenes that really stand out.

Don't know what the hell was in the water on this production, but the entire cast fits so damn well together. Like way better than any other superhero ensemble I can recall in recent years. Adriana Barraza as Nana, it turns out, knows how to wield weaponry surprisingly well.

Finally, Elpidia Carrillo is excellent as Jaime's father. It's a pretty by-the-numbers mentor role where he tries to get his son to see his greater destiny and believe in himself. For whatever reason, Carrillo sells it so well and helps the part transcend beyond stock character status.

I swear, I literally could not give a fuck about most superhero movie characters lately and their relationships. When the inevitable messy CGI-mess of a climax comes, you just sort of figure the hero will make it out alive somehow. Much of what happens along the way feels like obligatory filler than actual character development. The villain is there to achieve mega-macro-level goals. Take over the world, end it, or something to do with some outsized stakes. Ever since Avengers: Endgame, establishing live-action superhero stakes that an audience can really grab onto has proven surprisingly elusive. One major exception here being Spider-Man: No Way Home.

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Since the DC Universe is rebooting everything in its main cinematic continuity, Blue Beetle has the chance to breathe. Yes, there are some plot points that are eerily reminiscent of Iron Man, but so what!? Iron Man fucking rocks. And if you're going to pay homage to a superhero pic, might as well be that one!


What's nice about Blue Beetle, too, is it's not on some bloated budget and yet the CGI looks fine, the action is solid and it has a chance to not be a mega-flop. That is, if people realize how worthwhile it is to see it in theaters…

It's been a thrill to see a resurgence in moviegoing of late thanks to the momentous thrust of the Barbenheimer double feature. I'm here to tell you that Blue Beetle is way better than you could ever imagine, and that you will actually feel something good walking out of that movie.

OK I'm many words into this blog and haven't even mentioned the full-ass name I dropped in the headline. That'd be Bruna Marquezine, who plays Jenny Kord and is a formidable corporate rival to her aunt, Susan Sarandon's sinister Victoria Kord. The scarab that gives Blue Beetle his powers is what Victoria is after, and Jenny is doing everything she can to stop her.

Not only is Marquezine a phenomenal actor who plays an excellent love interest and stands alone in her own right as a complex, three-dimensional lead role. She's the first Brazilian ever to play a lead role in a superhero film. In fact, Blue Beetle is the first-ever live-action comic book movie to star a Latino hero. This movie is groundbreaking on a representational level, and even with a sort of by-the-numbers story, there's so much damn heart and emotion on display that it transcends those "flaws" if you like.

Anyway, I hadn't heart of Marquezine before. She's huge in her native country and evidently elsewhere in the world. She has almost 45 million followers on Instagram. While I hesitate to, you know, smuttinize this post and I've not done so in pretty much any blog to date, this is a special instance. The writers and actors are on strike. Blue Beetle's core creators can't make the usual press tour rounds to promote the movie.

So here you go. If for no other reason than to witness the acting chops and stunning beauty of Bruna Marquezine, do yourself a favor and see Blue Beetle. Help this film have strong beetle legs to avoid a big second-week drop at the box office. It deserves a big audience, and again, you will be hit in all the feels multiple times.

Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen: Bruna Marquezine.



Twitter @MattFitz_gerald/TikTok