‘We Can Be Heroes’ offers the children of superheroes a shot at saving the world






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Though finest recognized for edgier fare, Rodriguez explored his lighter aspect with “Spy Youngsters” in 2001 and “Sharkboy and Lavagirl” 4 years later. This new film ties immediately into the latter, that includes the children of these heroes in addition to others — with names like Miracle Man — introduced collectively to save lots of the world after their dad and mom get rapidly overwhelmed and captured by alien invaders.

It is a acquainted idea, one which birthed the equally themed “Sky Excessive” the identical yr as “Sharkboy,” and supplied the fundamental template for Disney+’s “The Secret Society of Second-Born Royals” earlier this yr. The fantasy of youngsters turning into superheroes stays a sturdy one, which explains why outfits like Disney hold returning to it.
The dad and mom, notably, characteristic some recognizable faces regardless of the puny nature of their roles (the issues we do for our youngsters), together with Pedro Pascal (pulling double Christmas obligation in “Marvel Girl 1984”), Christian Slater, Boyd Holbrook and the unique Lavagirl, Taylor Dooley. Priyanka Chopra Jonas additionally drops in because the overseer of The Heroics, principally this universe’s model of the Justice League.

Nonetheless, the main focus is squarely on the kids, a modestly interesting group led by outsider Missy (YaYa Gosselin), whose principal ability lies in coaxing her friends about the necessity to function as a crew. That is solely one of many built-in classes, in a “The kids are our future” sort of means.

In contrast to the aforementioned films that characteristic high-school-age youngsters, the kids are youthful right here, and the film possesses a sensibility reflecting that even in comparison with, say, Disney Channel-type fare.

This was clearly made for teenagers, not critics, and the design and motion are vibrant sufficient to divert them. Rodriguez — who additionally produced, edited and shot the movie, working together with his personal youngsters in what’s clearly a household affair — is well-versed in superhero tropes for folks who can recognize comic-book satire.

Add it up and “We Can Be Heroes” serves as a really minor addition to Netflix’s kids-and-family tier, for folks searching for one thing new to maintain their tykes occupied. As an apart, the film underscores the present state of streaming, the place no title with a shred of fairness in it — even one as bizarre as “Sharkboy and Lavagirl” — is ever formally out of the working to make a comeback.

“We Can Be Heroes” premieres Dec. 25 on Netflix.






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