Is Blue Beetle safe for kids? Is Blue Beetle OK for children? Read the Blue Beetle Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, an honest parents guide and mom review of the all-new fall 2023 DC Extended Universe super hero film from Warner Bros., starring Cobra Kai’s Xolo Maridueña as Jaime Reyes. No spoilers! #BlueBeetle May contain commissioned links.
Blue Beetle Movie Review | Safe for Kids? Parents Guide
After 2023’s overhyped yet disappointing Shazam 2 and The Flash releases, my hype for DCEU films hasn’t been the same. But with Cobra Kai‘s Xolo Maridueña on board and hopes of big diversity and representation in the superhero world, I can’t help but have a spark of hope.
From Cobra Kai to DC’s Extended Universe, does Xolo Maridueña have what it takes to become DC’s biggest superhero since the James Gunn takeover and save the franchise?
In This Blue Beetle Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, I’m breaking down the visuals, the story, a full PG-13 age rating explanation for violence, adult themes and language, and what kids’ age recommendation is suggested to watch in this new 2023 Blue Beetle parents guide to the new DC superhero film. A no-spoiler parent review of this Latinx super hero feature film, will the audience catch the Blue Beetle bug or will this bug need to be squashed?
Visually, Blue Beetle doesn’t have the best CGI effects I’ve seen in a DC film. Mediocre at best, the Blue Beetle superhero Scarab effect technology is similar to neon blue lightning – with some plasma halos. Visually, this new DC superhero is like a toned down Shazam, but in a fancier suit. Transformation from human to superhero is just OK. Some of the camera moves are shaky, novice at times. And definitely not enough action sequences to upgrade to IMAX or 4D.
Photosensitivity Warning. For viewers prone to epilepsy and photosensitivity, Blue Beetle definitely has multiple scenes with strobing and flashing light effects. I daresay over 50% of the film could be problematic for photosensitive viewers.
The opening credits are heavy with bright flashing lights, similar to lightning. The back half of the film is also heavy with scenes with flashing lights. One scene flashes lights like emergency lights. There is definitely one scene in dark tunnels with flashing fluorescent lights. And there are multiple fighting scenes in the dark with heavy machine gun light strobing and Blue Beetle lightning effects.
DC’s Blue Beetle follows Mexican-American teenager Jaime Reyes who finds a mysterious alien relic Scarab in this superhero origin story based on the DC comic books. This fourteenth installment of the DC Extended Universe is directed by Angel Manuel Soto (“Charm City Kings“), starring Xolo Maridueña (“Cobra Kai“) as Jaime Reyes, Bruna Marquezine as Jenny Kord, George Lopez (“Rio“) as Rudy Reyes, and Susan Sarandon (“Thelma & Louise“) as Victoria Kord.
Of all DC super hero backstories, Blue Beetle definitely hits home for the Latinx community, especially those of Mexican descent. Deeply rooted in Mexican culture, values, and family, Jaime’s connection to his family, home and the love he shares with his extended relatives is endearing. Audiences will appreciate Xolo’s performance, he truly connects with the audience as he explores his identity, purpose, destiny and family love.
Unfortunately, that’s where the endearing part of this DC film ends. A familiar derivative of the superhero origin story seen many, many, many times before in the DC and Marvel universes, Jaime Reyes’ character development is glossed over at best, with the overall focus going to the family unit and a fairly quick-paced story build. Blue Beetle also touches on familiar racial stereotypes, a desperate villain, overplayed jokes, and sadly a lot of overacting from the supporting cast (cough, Bruna Marquezine and Susan Saradon, cough).
However, hardcore DC fans will appreciate the nods to the comic books, cultural and pop culture Easter eggs and the overall superhero fandom. Maridueña and Lopez’s performances truly save this film from a disastrous DC film stereotype.
That PG-13 Rating Explained
Is Blue Beetle safe for kids? Another DC Universe superhero film rated PG-13? Are we talking a very “flashy” The Flash or too violent? Should parents be concerned? It’s no secret that I am highly skeptical of all MPAA ratings (um hello, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker not disclosing any language??). And as we know, not all movie and TV age ratings are the same. As a parent, it’s been rather heartbreaking to witness how ratings have shifted over the years with a G-rating no longer an option.
PG ratings now oscillating between Turning Red intense to Christopher Robin calm, and even PG-13/TV-14 age ratings teetering on the edge of R or MA ratings (Moon Knight and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness I see you!), there’s a wide range between the age of 0-14 years old for parents to consider. Having fully disclosed parent guidelines can help determine if a movie or show is kid friendly – and safe for the whole family to watch together.
Why is Blue Beetle rated PG-13? In this Blue Beetle Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, the all-new 2023 Warner Bros. and DC Extended Universe super hero film is rated PG-13 for “sequences of action, language, some suggestive references, violence.” With film and TV ratings also unpredictable these days, having fully disclosed parent guidelines can help determine if a movie or television show like Secret Invasion is kid friendly. Is Blue Beetle too scary for kids? Is Blue Beetle too intense for kids? Let’s breakdown that PG-13 movie age rating in this Blue Beetle parents guide.
Violence/Suspense. Surprisingly, I was expecting a lot more from DC in the superhero action department. Overall, the super hero violence was toned down. Use of weapons including guns, swords and hand-to-hand-combat. There are visual references to war.
Gore is also toned down with little to no disfiguration. Mild to moderate amounts of blood (including one blood splatter), bruising, and cuts/scrapes seen. Suspense is also very mild, mostly surrounding haunting, almost possessed eyes.
Adult Themes. Death, grief and loss are themes surrounding the characters throughout the film. Family tragedy is used to propel the story and character development, but may be traumatizing for sensitive kids. There are references to racial stereotyping including “rich white man” verbal references.
Mild to moderate amounts of alcohol consumption is present throughout the film, including drinking beer from cans and bottles, drinking wine and champagne, and also one scene including hard liquor. Very mild verbal reference to the effects of drugs (nothing seen) that may go over the heads of kids.
Verbal toilet humor is present. Use of phrases like “luxury dump” and “take a sh!t” drive the punchline home, a “pot to piss in” verbal reference, along with one visual and verbal reference to “fart.” Very mild use of social media, including one scene of a phone scrolling Instagram.
Suggestive references are about the level of DC’s The Flash. Be prepared for inferred nudity in multiple scenes. Multiple verbal references to people and things being “sexy.” One Spanish translation (with closed captioning) to “cover your balls,” “testicle,” “surge of blood to your nether region,” and referring to male genitals as “chorizo.” One visual kissing scene.
Language. As far as language goes, Blue Beetle is on the higher end of foul – in English and in Spanish. It may be a new record, with Blue Beetle topping out at over 40+ swear words. Foul language and swear words include 3 “d!ck,” 1″b!tch,” 1 “bullsh!t,” 16 “sh!t,” 1 “@sshole,” 8 “@ss,” 2 “d@mmit,” 1 “G-d d@mmit,” 2 “d@mn,” 20 “H-E double hockey sticks,” 1 “crap,” and 1 “what the f—-” with the word cut off.
Milder insults and bad language words and phrases include “stupid,” “moron,” “piss,” “pissed,” “geez,” “oh my gosh,” and “oh my g-d.”
Blue Beetle Movie Age Rating for Kids
With a runtime of 2 hours 7 minutes, Blue Beetle is actually one of the shorter DCEU superhero films. Filled with superhero action and a deep connection to family values, Blue Beetle has the opportunity to connect with a younger audience, especially the tween to young adult community.
However, with a lot of subtitled and heavy dialogue at times, family tragedy, and less action, adventure, and humor when compared to other superhero films, Blue Beetle may not be the most kid friendly DC film of the bunch.
This 2023 DC Universe film is most comparable to Venom meets Coco. Alien takeover meets diverse representation.
The all-new 2023 Warner Bros. DC Universe super hero film is rated PG-13 for “sequences of action, language, some suggestive references, violence.“
Yes, there are two end credits scenes in the new 2023 Blue Beetle film, 1 mid credits scene and 1 post-credits scene. Be sure to stay through the very end of the post-credits for DC super hero fans.
Based on my Blue Beetle parents guide and mom review above, this parent movie reviewer would not recommend the 2023 Blue Beetle DC super hero film to kids younger than the age of 11-12 years old.
Considering the full PG-13 rating breakdown above, this parent movie reviewer would not recommend the 2023 Blue Beetle DC super hero film to kids younger than the age of 11-12 years old. This Blue Beetle PG-13 rating is pretty spot on and easily comparable to DC’s The Flash rating.
I recommend that parents prescreen the new Warner Bros. Blue Beetle film for super hero violence, tragedy, language, toilet humor, and suggestive sensual references. While most of the humor and sexual content could go over the heads of young kids, the excessive use of foul language and hero tragedy may be triggering for some.
A few bugs, but overall a solid DC film. This super bug has the same superhero shell, but Xolo’s performance grows on you. While most of the female supporting cast misses the mark (except for Nana) and most of the powerhouse superhero action is toned way down, a heartwarming Coco family connection makes up for some of the lackluster effects and overall overused superhero origin story.
Blue Beetle is not earth shattering or award-winning for the DCEU. But the open doors for diverse representation in the superhero film genre is genuinely felt. And for the Mexican viewers, this is a superhero sized win.
Follow Blue Beetle on social media:
- Website: https://www.dc.com/bluebeetle
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DCBlueBeetle
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/bluebeetle
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bluebeetle/
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Blue Beetle, the all-new DC super hero film is flying into theaters starting on Friday, August 18, 2023. Will your family be watching?
I prescreened the new 2023 Blue Beetle super hero film for this Blue Beetle Movie Review | Safe for Kids? Parents Guide. All photos courtesy of Warner Bros. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians for more movie updates, celebrity interviews, entertainment and behind-the-scenes info!