Although neither scary nor creepy (despite its "horror" classification), the movie is a puzzle whose picture fails to snap into focus until the final piece is in place.
An interesting film for the things it does right but, by the time the end credits rolled, I was unable to fight back a sense of frustration with its limitations.
The characters are relatable, the humor generates laughter without becoming moronic, and the feel-good vibe is never far from the surface.
A classic rags-to-riches-to-rags story; a feel-good tale that transforms into a meditation on arrogance and neglect.
U.S. Release Date: 2023-08-18
MPAA Rating: "PG-13" (Violence, Profanity, Suggestive Material)
Director: Angel Manuel Soto
Cast: Xolo Mariduena, Bruna Marquezine, Damian Alcazar, George Lopez, Adriana Barraza, Belissa Escobedo, Elpidia Carrillo, Susan Sarandon, Raoul Max Trujillo
The primary sin is not that "Blue Beetle" stinks the way really bad movies do but that it is deeply mired in mediocrity.
A degree of unevenness is expected and that is what "Barbie" delivers: a delightful confection at its best, an unfocused jumble at its worst.
Beneath all the gags, jokes, and one-liners, it dissects not only the role of Black characters in horror movies but the perception of Black viewers of those characters.
As horror movies go, this one lacks much to distinguish it; despite the “based on the work of Stephen King” tag, it is generic in approach and result.
Highlights a strength of filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda – the ability to find compelling truths underneath a veil of sentimentality.
The movie has an unfortunate trajectory where the story becomes less interesting as the running time increases. This is the classic definition of being “front-loaded.”