We Can Be Heroes is a sequel to the 2005 cult youngsters film The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D, but it surely has extra in widespread with family-focused action-packed narrative of Robert Rodriguez’s first all-ages journey, Spy Youngsters.
Sharkboy and Lavagirl are again, however the premise, about youngsters taking up their mother and father’ legacy and stepping as much as save them, reaches the emotional highs of when the Cortez household banded collectively to battle off thumb-shaped minions. As an alternative of a good deal with one household, although, Rodriguez pulls collectively an enormous ensemble solid harking back to superhero team-ups just like the Avengers, and an emotional message that evolves the feelings of Spy Youngsters for the present technology.
[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 demise, 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 mother and father. She doesn’t have any powers, however she manages to step as much as lead the youngsters.
With 11 youngsters wielding 11 completely different superpowers (nicely, 10 since Missy doesn’t even have powers), in addition to all of the mother and father, We Can Be Heroes juggles an enormous solid. However Rodriguez cracks his personal “Avengers assemble” second in one of the vital seamless superhero introduction sequences possible. Missy enters the classroom of superpowered youngsters and meets every child and their powers — instantly after, the youngsters all watch their mother and father battle the alien invasion on tv. Every time a dad or mum will get captured, Rodriguez reveals us their child reacting, reminding us of who’s who and in addition giving a small reminder of what their powers are. We get a superb sense of their persona, of their relationship to their mother and father, and the top of that scene instantly catapults the plot into motion as the youngsters plot to interrupt out and save their mother and father. 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 youngsters 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 energy. (The man loves shark powers.) A tough a part of kids-with-superpowers films depends on balancing the solid 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 solid. The entire youngsters get a particular second to shine within the ultimate battle, which takes place in an alien spaceship that appears like one thing out of a youngsters’s coloring e book.
Like Rodriguez’s different youngsters films, We Can Be Heroes is a visible delight. It’s vibrant, daring, and visually feels extra like a comic book e book than any fashionable superhero film. The Heroics HQ has an enormous ol’ “H” blazing on it and their brokers’ badges include equally styled letters. All of the grownup superheroes put on garish, vibrant costumes (one thing lampshaded by the youngsters, who comment that the colourful costumes made them simple targets for the aliens). The alien spaceship glows vibrant purple and channels the identical enjoyable, but sinister vibes of Floop’s fort in Spy Youngsters years in the past. The motion sequences take full benefit of the youngsters’ funky powers — in addition to the various tentacled aliens and ultimately 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 center of We Can Be Heroes comes from parent-child relationships. The massive solid leaves little area during which to construct up particular connections between the youngsters and between their mother and father, however the primary thread between Missy and her father is powerful sufficient to hold the film by means of. The opposite parent-kid pairs buttress that emotional crux, even when they’re a bit one-dimensional themselves. And a good looking twist ending packs a heartwarming punch.
We Can Be Heroes is a rarity: A youngsters film really made for youths, bringing what was particular about Spy Youngsters to a brand new technology, and an entire delight by itself. Rodriguez faucets into extra particular themes of childhood and parenthood, whereas making a film the place the younger solid 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.