‘Blue Beetle’ Blends Heroics with Victimhood 101

Family-friendly action meets Identity Politics in harmless DC Comics romp

One of the laziest things a critic can say in 2023 is that a film feels like it was cranked out by an A.I. bot.

Blame Hollywood. The industry keeps making safe, formulaic movies. Like “Blue Beetle.”

The superhero yarn might have felt fresh a decade ago. Seen today, after countless super heroics have danced across our screens, the film feels too familiar, from the cookie-cutter script to the generic CGI fights.

The charming cast saves scene after scene, but there’s only so many times an actor can carry that burden.


Xolo Maridueña of “Cobra Kai” fame stars as Jaime, a recent college graduate struggling to find his first big job. He settles for blue-collar work, where he stumbles into a clash between the head at Kord Industries (Susan Sarandon, given nothing interesting to do or say) and Jenny (Bruna Marquezine), the company’s rebellious voice.

Jenny sneaks a mysterious blue scarab to Jaime, one of many silly plot points which push the story along. The device bonds with the young man, transforming him into … Iron Man, complete with a Jarvis-like talking assistant!

Except the suit is blue and he struggles to command its powers a la “The Greatest American Hero.”

Now, Jaime must protect his tight-knit family, including an over-the-top George Lopez as Uncle Rudy against Sarandon’s villain and her muscle – an enhanced super soldier with powers not unlike the Beetle.


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Director Angel Manuel Soto teased a film brimming with woke story elements, and he wasn’t kidding. Jaime’s annoying sister Milagro (Belissa Escobedo) would make Titania McGrath blush with her victimhood cries.

White characters constantly shame Mexicans by mispronouncing their names or pretending they’re “the help.” We even get a scene echoing an I.C.E. immigration raid.

It’s Identity Politics: The Movie!

Yet we’re also told, again and again, about the resilience of the Mexican family unit. That’s personified by Nanna (Adriana Barraza), who joins the action in ways meant to make audiences cheer.

They just might, thanks to the energy Barraza brings to the performance.

Of course Uncle Rudy is part radical, part tech guru, able to fix anything in seconds flat. And, naturally, the empowerment messaging comes at us like a bolt of energy from a super suit.

Hollywood has been notoriously late to the party when it comes to letting all nationalities get their closeup. Movies like “Moana,” “Easter Sunday” and “The Farewell” are changing that.


Yet “Blue Beetle,” so close on the heels of “Flamin’ Hot,” makes the blunt representation angle feel cliched already. The film name-checks “family” more often than a “Fast & Furious” sequel.

“Blue Beetle” overstays its welcome by pushing past the two-hour mark. It’s never dull, and the sweet bond between family members never wears out its welcome.

HiT or Miss: “Blue Beetle” is an adequate time waster, a well-meaning DC extension heavy on family and victimhood cries.


  1. I couldn’t take my family to see blue beetle because of the way the Director spit on fans. Also the rich actors didnt even try to be grateful for the fans.However I did see it on MAX and it was sadly very racist towards whites depicting them all basically as racist ignorant and etc. The main villain is a white rich woman with no reason to be evil other than maybe because of her race. She even kidnapped a young hispanic teen after she slaughtered his family and basically brain-washed him into being her bad guy. And in the end he was freed of her evil brain-washing, I dont like seeing any movie pushing hate on a specific race even if that race is white. I like seeing ALL races band together to fight evil of ALL races. I have no interest in seeing all whites portrayed as evil because they are white.

  2. “White characters constantly shame Mexicans by mispronouncing their names…”

    Heh! Speaking as someone who is Hispanic and gets his name butchered by anglos *every time* I know how annoying it is but if the filmmakers are portraying it as a form of shaming or prejudice? That’s just stupid.

    Hey, some names are just hard to say. I’m not being a jerk if I can’t pronounce some Polish or Hindu names. Sometimes those names are just freakin’ hard. And honestly I don’t expect most anglos to be able to properly pronounce Spanish vowels or even know what a tilde is (this ~) or what it means. Some people are just insecure children.

    1. I’ve had people mispronounce my first AND last name most of my life. Lately, given the popularity of Toto (the band, the toilet, etc) it’s getting better!

  3. My wife and I saw it together. My wife is Mexican/Puerto Rican, I’m European mix/white. She loved it! She’s actually a registered Republican, I’m Green Party. I think she enjoyed having representation in a film. I’m a huge fan of the Blue Beetle character, so I had some qualms about how the filmmaker changed the character for the big screen, but overall, we both really enjoyed it.

    I don’t think anyone could say that there are not an abundance of families in the USA that didn’t have this experience, other than the fantastical sci-fi elements. Getting priced out of one’s generational home or city, getting a college degree and finding gainful employment nearly impossible, or being treated with suspicion, even contempt, based on one’s economic class. We both grew up in California… this happened to both of us. Today, we live in a very nice area, renting, with a landlord that has been gracious enough not to increase our rent, even though they could be getting much more for this place. The part that is less, or not at all believable is that, all of the sudden, one’s fortune would change because they found an alien technology that gives them super powers. That, however, is why we went to see the movie… because of the scifi elements. My wife is a big fan of Asimov, Herbert, etc… I’m more into to Orwell, Camus, and Celine. Mostly I’m just trying g to say that we both thought it was a pretty good movie.

    1. if you both loved it… that just means you are biased. if you swap the races of the characters where the good guy was white and all evil people were hispanic or mixed… you both scream of racism. My family and wife are all immigrants and I thought the movie was very racist towards whites. the movie could have easily been changed where all races depicted BOTH GOOD AND BAD. The good guys bad together to take down the bad guys.

  4. If you were anything other than an IDEOLOGICAL HACK , instead of getting “tired” of these “Victimhood” claims, you’d examine them for their veracity.

    Were Mexicans, Blacks , Indians , Asians etc represented in Hollywood all these years and we just missed it? Or was Mexican/Black/Indian/Asian FACE where WHITES PLAYED THESE ROLES ever a thing?
    Oh wait you un-ironically answer that!
    “Hollywood has been notoriously late to the party when it comes to letting all nationalities get their closeup. Movies like “Moana,” “Easter Sunday” and “The Farewell” are changing that.”

    So you acknowledge that Hollywood DID NOT GIVE ALL THESE NATIONALITIES ( forget about Race huh?) their fair shake BUT THEN YOU WHINE LIKE A BUTT HURT B*TCH WHEN THEY TRY TO DO SO! It’s like Right Wingers TELLING ON THEMSELVES by being BUTT HURT about the statues of DEMOCRAT SLAVE OWNING RACISTS BEING TORN DOWN!!! When the F has a Republican EVER gone to bat for a DEMOCRAT???? Only when their racism is criticized!!! f u all.

    1. Didn’t realize it was anybody’s duty to give fare shakes to anyone. Does Korean, Mexican, African cultures depict movies this way? Get over yourself.

  5. I refuse to watch any more comic book movies, A.I. or otherwise. Holly-weird has been using Artificial Intelligence to write movies for decades, but they have done the “super hero in tights” enough! It’s because it’s easy to hit all the woke’s greatest hits in a comic book (where that B.S. belongs), and I will not see anymore of these talentless pieces of propaganda.

  6. Bless you, Christian, for sitting through this garbage and warning us. I couldn’t do it. I’d be out of the theater after the first sanctimonious lecture.
    Nominate this man for the Congressional Medal of Honor!

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