We Can Be Heroes is a sequel to the 2005 cult children film The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D, nevertheless it has extra in frequent with family-focused action-packed narrative of Robert Rodriguez’s first all-ages journey, Spy Children.
Sharkboy and Lavagirl are again, however the premise, about children taking up their dad and mom’ legacy and stepping as much as save them, reaches the emotional highs of when the Cortez household banded collectively to combat off thumb-shaped minions. As an alternative of a decent deal with one household, although, Rodriguez pulls collectively a giant ensemble forged paying homage to superhero team-ups just like the Avengers, and an emotional message that evolves the feelings of Spy Children for the present era.
[Ed. note: This review contains some spoilers for We Can Be Heroes]
Missy Moreno (YaYa Gosselin), daughter of superhero Marcus Moreno (Pedro Pascal), is a bit jaded with the crime-fighting life. Her father promised to not do any extra heroics after her mom’s dying, however when aliens arrived on Earth, he stepped in to assist — and finally obtained kidnapped together with the opposite members of his Heroics crew. So when the Heroics’ administrator Ms. Granada (Priyanka Chopra) corrals all of the super-children in a safe authorities location, Missy embarks on a rescue mission for his or her dad and mom. She doesn’t have any powers, however she manages to step as much as lead the youngsters.
With 11 kids wielding 11 completely different superpowers (nicely, 10 since Missy doesn’t even have powers), in addition to all of the dad and mom, We Can Be Heroes juggles an enormous forged. However Rodriguez cracks his personal “Avengers assemble” second in one of the crucial seamless superhero introduction sequences conceivable. Missy enters the classroom of superpowered children and meets every child and their powers — instantly after, the youngsters all watch their dad and mom combat the alien invasion on tv. Every time a guardian will get captured, Rodriguez reveals us their child reacting, reminding us of who’s who and likewise giving a small reminder of what their powers are. We get a great sense of their persona, of their relationship to their dad and mom, and the top of that scene instantly catapults the plot into motion as the youngsters plot to interrupt out and save their dad and mom. It introduces and solidifies the characters, however continues to push the plot alongside. The film not often stagnates and Rodriguez successfully makes use of each second to construct as much as the climax.
The youngsters’ superpowers are additionally brightly imaginative and enjoyable. Essentially the most conventional one is Noodles, a child with elasticity powers, however Rodriguez desires up children who can quick ahead and rewind time, sing so low as to have the ability to transfer objects, and manipulate water whereas additionally possessing shark power. (The man loves shark powers.) A difficult a part of kids-with-superpowers films depends on balancing the forged and their powers, particularly when some are overwhelmingly extra helpful than others. We Can Be Heroes elevates every child, giving them distinct personalities, which is all of the extra spectacular contemplating its expansive forged. The entire children get a particular second to shine within the remaining battle, which takes place in an alien spaceship that appears like one thing out of a kids’s coloring e book.
Like Rodriguez’s different children films, We Can Be Heroes is a visible delight. It’s brilliant, daring, and visually feels extra like a comic book e book than any trendy superhero film. The Heroics HQ has a giant ol’ “H” blazing on it and their brokers’ badges include equally styled letters. All of the grownup superheroes put on garish, brilliant costumes (one thing lampshaded by the youngsters, who comment that the colourful costumes made them straightforward targets for the aliens). The alien spaceship glows brilliant purple and channels the identical enjoyable, but sinister vibes of Floop’s fortress in Spy Children years in the past. The motion sequences take full benefit of the youngsters’ funky powers — in addition to the various tentacled aliens and finally some pencil-drawn creatures come to life. In that regard, they take after Sharkboy and Lavagirl’s zany punches. It’s enjoyable and dynamic to observe.
And true to Rodriguez’s previous films, the guts of We Can Be Heroes comes from parent-child relationships. The big forged leaves little house through which to construct up particular connections between the youngsters and between their dad and mom, however the principle thread between Missy and her father is robust sufficient to hold the film by. The opposite parent-kid pairs buttress that emotional crux, even when they’re a bit one-dimensional themselves. And an exquisite twist ending packs a heartwarming punch.
We Can Be Heroes is a rarity: A children film really made for youths, bringing what was particular about Spy Children to a brand new era, and a whole delight by itself. Rodriguez faucets into extra particular themes of childhood and parenthood, whereas making a film the place the younger forged will get to do as cool of stuff because the well-known adults. It’s additionally a reminder that, whereas being a child is enjoyable, it’s additionally vital.
We Can Be Heroes is out on Netflix right this moment.