We Can Be Heroes follows on from 2005’s writer/director Robert Rodriguez’s The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3D, which I haven’t seen, but should because I like 3D films.
I get the impression that whereas that film centred around two superheroes, this one has loads and, thus, is the Avengers: Endgame of the series, so far, since aliens are about to invade Earth. One of those going into a lycra suit is Marcus Moreno (Pedro Pascal – Wonder Woman 1984), even though he promised his daughter, Missy (YaYa Gosselin), that he’d never don the suit again.
While he goes out to help save the world, all the heroes’ kids are locked up in some sort of cell so they can do their schooling online, yet they spend more time practicng their own superpowers, such as Facemaker who can change his face to look like others, and Slo-Mo who does everything… yep. Meanwhile Wild Card has every superpower in the world.
The plot’s as threadbare as you’d expect, which led my realising that the casting agent(s) have gone so out of their way to ensure that so many different cultural backgrounds, sexes and races are covered, that I don’t think a single one is duplicated amongst the eleventh of them.
In short, all the heroes are captured, the kids go into lockdown ‘for their own safety’ (yes, as we’re being told by the powers that be), and since Missy doesn’t have a superpower, she’ll be the kids’ leader, instead.
(to paraphrase Sham 69)
Naturally, for this Xmas kids film, I won’t spoil the ending where all the baddies win, and all the good guys and girls are diced by Dexter Morgan who turns up for no apparent reason… and if you believe that, you’ll believe anything. Seriously, obviously, no spoilers, but there’s no alarms and no surprises as to how things will turn out. Well, maybe a twist or two, but nothing that’ll deem this the next ‘Usual Suspects’.
Overall, while We Can Be Heroes is clearly aimed at children, it’s still moderately entertaining fluff for adults, although I’d happily skip the rather poppy cover version of David Bowie’s Heroes.
It’s also been a while since I saw anything new with Christian Slater (as Tech-No) as well as Christopher McDonald, who plays the President here, but was also Geena Davis’ put-upon husband in Thelma and Louise, and a baddie in Charlie Sheen’s Terminal Velocity – one of many daft, but great actioners of the ’90s. As for his President, Facemaker comments in response to the man’s address to the Nation, “How did this guy get to be President? He can’t even put two sentences together”, which smacks of Joe Biden.
Do bear in mind, though, that while I thought this would be more about the parents as superheroes rather than the kids, although Taylor Dooley returns as Lavagirl, Sharkboy is played by stuntman JJ Dashnaw, not the original, Taylor Lautner, who doesn’t seem to have made any films or TV shows since 2016. Why? Answers on a postcard, please.
We Can Be Heroes is on Netflix from today, Christmas Day, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Check out the trailer below:
Running time: 100 minutes
Release date: December 25th 2020
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Producer: Ben Ormand
Screenplay: Robert Rodriguez
Music: Rebel Rodriguez
Missy Moreno: YaYa Gosselin
Noodles: Lyon Daniels
Wheels: Andy Walken
Ojo: Hala Finley
A Capella: Lotus Blossom
Slo-Mo: Dylan Henry Lau
Facemaker: Andrew Diaz
Rewind: Isaiah Russell-Bailey
Fast Forward: Akira Akbar
Wild Card: Nathan Blair
Guppy: Vivien Blair
Ms. Granada: Priyanka Chopra
Marcus Moreno: Pedro Pascal
Grandma Moreno: Adriana Barraza
Miracle Guy: Boyd Holbrook
Tech-No: Christian Slater
Sharkboy: JJ Dashnaw
Lavagirl: Taylor Dooley
Blinding Fast: Sung Kang
Ms Vox: Haley Reinhart
President Neil Anami: Christopher McDonald
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.