Fresh off of The Mandalorian season 2 high, director Robert Rodriguez once again teams up with Pedro Pascal for his (sort-of) sequel to 2005’s The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl. Premiering Christmas day on Netflix, We Can Be Heroes gives the superhero genre an energetic and colourful treatment which the Spy Kids franchise similarly did for the spy genre. Rodriguez heartwarmingly made the film with his children, with the specific intention of subverting superhero team up films, resulting in a fun tale perfect for festive family viewing.
Earth’s mightiest team of heroes, known as “The Heroics”, have shockingly been kidnapped by giant tentacled alien invaders. It’s up to their super powered kids to work together to rescue their parents in order to save the day, but first they need to escape from their mysterious government babysitter, Ms. Granada (Priyanka Chopra Jonas). The children, led by the hugely intelligent Missy Moreno (Yaya Gosselin), must combine their varying individual powers to form an unstoppable team. The gifted youngsters possess a roster of abilities including time control, thanks to bickering siblings Rewind (Isaiah Russell-Bailey) and Fast Forward (Akira Akbar), liquid manipulation and shark strength courtesy of Guppy (Vivien Blair), Noodle’s (Lyon Daniels) elasticity and Wild Card’s ability to wield any known power.
With fun set pieces, fast pacing and silly, light-hearted comedy, this will undoubtedly be a hit with the younger generation of Avengers fans. Featuring an empowering message for children reminiscent of The Incredibles and Sky High, along with positive family values, We Can Be Heroes is a heartfelt outing. The humour is aimed primarily at young children, but there are a few nods to parents with a funny portrayal of a certain US president, Pedro Pascal’s character attempting to retire, along with a number of pokes at typical superhero tropes. Growing up with the Spy Kids franchise, I appreciate the fact that Rodriguez has fun with these films; yes the narrative is pretty predictable, but despite their flaws they’re so well natured and entertaining.
Featuring an impressive all star ensemble including Pedro Pascal, Boyd Holbrook, Christian Slater and Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Rodriguez pulls no punches with the cast. Pascal continues to cement his so hot right now status following Wonder Woman 1984 and The Mandalorian, as a Tony Stark-esque father who retires from the superhero gig to raise his young daughter Missy (YaYa Gosselin). But it’s the young actors who truly steal the show, namely Vivien Blair as Sharkboy and LavaGirl’s daughter Guppy who’s truly adorable, with some impressive powers to boot. Emerging as the main leader of the young superheroes is Gosselin’s Missy, who no