With less than 48 hours to go until Blue Beetle starts making its rounds in cinemas, it looks like a fair shake of the jury is finally out, and Jaime Reyes has emerged as only a sparsely disputed champion of DC’s cinematic endeavors.
Indeed, with an 87 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes after 46 reviews at the time of writing, it sounds like Blue Beetle has all but exceeded its expectations, with Xolo Maridueña reportedly embodying the protagonist with palpable purpose, and director Ángel Manuel Soto apparently making good on all of those delectable influences he brought into the film.
DiscussingFilm‘s Ben Rolph gave the film four out of five stars, noting that while Blue Beetle isn’t without its flaws, its many strengths — namely a highly engaging core cast spearheaded by the “charming” Maridueña — makes for a surefire win and a fantastic springboard for the incoming Gunnverse.
“Director Ángel Manuel Soto delivers a thoroughly engaging and emotionally impactful film. Xolo Maridueña is undoubtedly a star in the making, he was born to play Blue Beetle and knocks it out of the park with his personable and charming performance.”
Owen Gleiberman of Variety praised the film for its relatively low stakes that have become less and less common in the superhero genre, as well as its insistence on full-sending the origin story ethos of Jaime Reyes’ first-ever plight.
“In that light, the brisk, cheeky, unabashed gizmo-happy triviality of Blue Beetle, a superhero origin story from the DC side of the tracks, is enough to make the film feel like a breath of fresh pulp.”
And IGN‘s Alyssa Mora, in a 7 out of 10 review, was all too happy to declare Blue Beetle as a heartfelt triumph that — against all odds — managed to escape genre trappings and establish itself as a bright blue standout.
“Though it doesn’t always escape some of the genre’s worst tendencies, the affectionate Reyes family energizes the entirety of the story. When the stakes are this personal, when the family feels so familiar, when their love is so true, it demonstrates just how special Blue Beetle really is.”
It hasn’t been without its detractors, of course, but the overwhelming consensus points toward Blue Beetle being an absolute boon for not only DC, but for superhero movies in general; indeed, it sounds like Gunn was smart to rope this protagonist into his upcoming mythos.
Blue Beetle arrives in theaters on August 18.