“Blue Beetle” is the first ever Latinx superhero action film to be released by DC Comics, Warner Bros. Pictures and The Safran Company. Remarkably enough it was completely written, directed, scored and starred all by Latinx creatives.
It makes many references to Latinx culture through music, media and even Vaporu! The soundtrack includes songs from artists such as Selena, Los Tucanes de Tijuana, Chalino Sanchez, Vicente Fernandez, Ivy Queen, Luis Miguel and more. The movie also wonderfully pays homage to the original Mexican super-hero, “Chapulin Colorado.”
Let’s get into the movie. Jaime Reyes is a first-generation college graduate who is returning to his diverse, tropical yet metropolitan, cyberpunk home- town, Palermo City, to his proud tight-knit Mexican American family. La familia Reyes includes his cabroncita younger sister Milagro, his blue collar father Alberto, his caring mother Rocio, his (soldadera reggaetonera?) Nana and my personal favorite, “The Mexican Doc Brown,” Tio Rudy played by the one and only George Lopez.
Jaime returns home to find out a lot has happened while he was gone: his family has lost their business, and soon their home as well as their neighborhood is being gentrified by Kord Industries.
Somehow he turns into an indestructible superhero but instead of fighting for the lives of innocent strangers, he is fighting for his family against the powerful and evil Victoria Kord and her army. Within the movie, the family shows their “superpowers” although they are mortals. Jaime’s “enemy” told him his weakness was his family, but they are actually his strength.
This movie wonderfully portrayed what a Latinx family with a superhero son would be like, but they also hit some serious topics as well. The movie portrays struggles Latinx people experience such as gentrification, trauma from colonialism on Native lands, microaggressions in the workplace and fear of deportation.
All in all I’d say it was an amazing, suspenseful yet heartwarming film. Like Jaime, at times I feel guilty being away from my family. But like the Reyes familia, my family also encourages me as a first-generation Latinx student. Like Jaime, my greatest strength to persevere is the love and support from my family.
¡Puro Sonora y Jalisco!