EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The First Latino Superhero has arrived, and he is from El Paso… He is. “Blue Beetle” is the newest D.C. film that, although it should have been filmed in El Paso, Critic’s Choice Film Critic Felipa Solis says there are many reassuring references that DC and Warner Brothers could bring the story “HOME.”
What a wonderful summer for films, and “Blue Beetle” brings it all home…literally. Jaime Reyes, played perfectly by Xolo Mariduena, who you may remember as Miguel in Cobra Kai, is a young Latino man who cannot wait to get home from College to see his beloved family. His parents, his Nana, his Sister, and his wild and crazy Uncle Rudy, played by scene-stealer George Lopez, decide to feed the young man tacos before telling him about their plight, from a prospective foreclosure on their home to their business falling apart, and when Jaime is fired alongside his sister, it brings him to Kord Industries, and an opportunity to save the day for a very pretty girl named Jenny up against her evil Aunt, who is played by non-other than Susan Sarandon. He manages to “save the day” again for Jenny and comes across an ancient relic, the Scarab, thanks to alien biotechnology. The Scarab makes Jaime his “host,” and suddenly, the young man with dreams of law school finds himself in an amazing suit of blue armor with unpredictable powers. I have never seen a prospective superhero trying to reject the powers the way Jaime does… but he’s charming, and the love of his family is what brings this story together.
Blue Beetle was created for El Paso, but the powers at DC Comics decided that all cities should be unidentifiable. Director Angel Manuel Soto does an amazing job of bringing the story together and bringing the Latino culture to the forefront on the big screen. Blue Beetle takes place in fictional Palmera City, and whereas, again, it would have been nice to see a movie of this magnitude filmed in El Paso, I will say there is a great deal of El Paso satisfaction. Murals created by Cimi Alvarado in Puerto Rico, where the film was shot, are very apparent. Jaime drinks Beer from Old Sheepdog Brewery. There are beautiful gardens filled with nopales, and El Paso Street appears prominently. My favorite reference, not a spoiler alert, is the appearance of a childhood favorite, El Chapulin Colorado. Wait for it because it’s worth every minute of El Paso nostalgia.
Look for great performances by Belissa Escobedo as Jaime’s sister, Milagro, Adriana Barraza, Raoul Trujillo, and Harvey Guillen, who plays Guillermo from “What We Do in the Shadows,” on HULU. A show I adore…
So the good news is … it’s very cleverly written, with a theme of family love and non-stop fabulousness by George Lopez. Keep your eye out for Xolo Maridueña. He’s a good young actor who shows great pride and love for his character. I’m rooting for the sequel… with maybe a little more El Paso… Stay tuned.