Blue Beetle (2023)
I didn't hold too many high hopes for this, hence the reason for not rushing out to see it upon release, given that my recent DC experiences have been so underwhelming.
But I was surprised by the feels more than the flashing lights, bells and whistles that inevitably come with it.
It's formulaic in the extreme, doing the unwitting but likeable hero to a tee, as if lifted from the superhero 101 manual, word for word. You would be forgiven for rolling your eyes in the first hour at how predictable it actually is, only with a Latin-American slant that feels satisfying at the same time as slightly culturally patronising and allegedly stereotypical.
It's completely ridiculous, but that's par for the course, providing enough escapism for the general superhero popcorn consumer, but interlaced between all the explosions and wild tech is the quite endearing story of a family prepared to support one another in the face of insurmountable odds, which is to be admired and echoes the likes of Peter Parker et al.
There is heart and soul in this which is as much, or even more, what this tale relays most succinctly. The bad guys are inherently bad and the opposite is also true, so there is no real challenge for the viewer to contend with, as it is easy to know who to root for.
The performances are mostly fine, if far from actually cerebrally challenging, as it is really mostly running and shouting that's required, but the moments of exposition are delivered well and with suitable gravitas, never feeling superfluous.
On the whole this was, if not an actual delight, certainly a pleasant surprise, much better than expected. Go Nana.