We Can Be Heroes
review by Bobby Blakey
Robert Rodriguez if one of those diverse filmmakers that have made everything from his Mariachi trilogy to his Spy Kids series and more recently Alita Battle Angel. In 2005 he took on a new kid-centric superhero film with The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl. The film didn’t hit as big as the Spy Kids series, but I know my kids were big fans. Now he is returning to that genre with his latest film We Can Be Heroes complete with an appearance from original Lava Girl Taylor Dooley, Yaya Gosselin, Pedro Pascal, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Boyd Holbrook, Christian Slater, Chris McDonald, and Adriana Barraza.
When alien invaders kidnap Earth's superheroes, their kids are whisked away to a government safe house. But whip-smart tween Missy Moreno will stop at nothing to rescue her superhero dad, Marcus Moreno. Missy teams up with the rest of the superkids to escape their mysterious government babysitter, Ms. Granada. If they're going to save their parents, they'll have to work together by using their individual powers — from elasticity to time control to predicting the future — and form an out-of-this-world team.
I must admit going into this film I kept my expectations low as I knew I was the demographic, but do love the Spy Kids films and have some fond memories with my kids from their love of Shark Boy and Lava Girl. I dived in ready to try to enjoy it that way and look past what cheese I assume would be there and instead ended up having a blast with it all. Sure it is cheesy and silly, but it just works thanks to the fun story and no doubt the creativity of Robert Rodriquez’s vision.
The kids are the stars of the film and all do a great job carrying it as both their characters and the action behind it. Sure there are a couple that are way better in the fighting than others like Lotus Blossom who portrays A Capella and just happens to be the daughter of martials arts actor Ernie Reyes Jr. Thankfully she got some time to show off her own martial arts skill as did some others while the rest of the action was well catered to the kids.
I think it was a smart decision to have most of the heroes all played by
recognizable faces to feed into the celebrity of the Heroics themselves while bringing even more legitimacy to the project while still showcasing the kids as the leads to the film. The powers are a range of silly, creative and familiar with all of them, bot kids and adults getting their time to shine. The effects were good, but play up more cartoony and video game like at times, but plays into the world that Rodriguez has created.
I had a ton of fun with this film and it looks like everyone involved did too. I would be lying if I said I didn’t smile seeing Taylor Dooley reprising her role as Lava Girl. Wish they had gotten Taylor Lautner back as Shark Boy, but alas it didn’t come to pass. Decide for yourself and get in on the fun with We Can Be Heroes available now on Netflix with a sequel already in development.