We Can Be Heroes: A Superhero Film With Heart

(L-R) Vivien Blair as Guppy, Isaiah Russell-Bailey as Rewind, Lotus Blossom as A Capella, YaYa Gosselin as Missy Moreno, Akira Akbar as Fast Forward, Hala Finley as Ojo, Dylan Henry Lau as Slo-Mo in We Can Be Heroes. Photo credit: Ryan Green/NETFLIX © 2020.

One can look at We Can Be Heroes as being a copycat of films like The Avengers (and with children) but this film is so much more.

Perhaps what is the most surprising is that this is a stand-alone sequel to The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl.  Taylor Lautner does not reprise his role.  The film finds a way to hide this, of course.  While this may be a stand-alone sequel, the film makes no mention of the other film being set in a dream world of sorts.  Perhaps I’m reading too much into this but in any event, I had a lot of fun in viewing.  You don’t really need to think too hard while viewing.  All you have to do is sit back, have some fun, and enjoy the ride.

The gist of the film is that the adult heroes have been captured by alien invaders.  It’s up to the next generation of heroes to save the day.  When it comes to the genre, we’ve all seen the film before in one way or another.  But what I love about We Can Be Heroes is how they find a way to bring a fresh approach.  Yes, the moral of the story is always going to be to work together as a team.  It doesn’t matter the film–teamwork is what always saves the day.  Be it The Avengers, Justice League, or the Power Rangers, teamwork is what always saves the day.  This film is no exception to the rule and that’s perfectly fine.

Missy Moreno (YaYa Gosselin) is the daughter of Marcus Moreno (Pedro Pascal).  Marcus is a member of The Heroics but hasn’t been a hero in some time because of a promise he made to his daughter.  On the day that the heroes fell, he had no choice but to get back into action.  Meanwhile, Missy was taken to The Heroics HQ and placed in a room with the children of the other heroes.  In typical genre fashion, Missy is introduced to all of the next generation and their powers one by one.  By my count, there are ten people in the next generation.  When it comes time to rise up to action, Missy is not one to hold back.  You can look at her as a born leader.

Having ten people in one generation is a lot to follow.  Perhaps this is why their parents are limited in terms of screen time.  But the children are the ones who must save the day before aliens takeover the world.  If they don’t, it could be the end of the world as we know it.

The film also doesn’t stretch too far from our actual reality.  President Neil Anami (Christopher McDonald), much like the outgoing man in office, looks like the current guy and in a way, talks in a similar manner.  You can even hear comments in the film that reference how someone like him could get elected to office.

Robert Rodriguez brings so much heart to the film.  This should be not a surprise because Robert Rodriguez is also behind Spy Kids.  As a whole, this film is a family affair.  The filmmaker also brings his children on in many roles.  What better way is there to make a film than to make one with your children?  More than this, the film also has a positive message for children.

There’s a number of film choices to watch today let alone this weekend.  Two have them have Pedro Pascal–yes, he is also in Wonder Woman 1984.  This is the way!  It is strange to see Pedro Pascal in a film and without a helmet especially after watching him in The Mandalorian for much of the past two months.  If you play your cards correctly, you could be watching Pascal in three different projects in the span of a week.

CAST:  YaYa Gosselin, Christian Slater, Boyd Holbrook, Christopher McDonald, Adriana Barraza, with Pedro Pascal and Priyanka Chopra Jonas, also starring Vivien Blair, Isaiah Russell-Bailey, Akira Akbar, Lyon Daniels, Nathan Blair, Lotus Blossom, Hala Finley, Andy Walken, Dylan Henry Lau, Andrew Diaz, Taylor Dooley, Sung Kang, Haley Reinhart, J. Quinton Johnson, Brittany Perry-Russell, Brently Heilbron and JJ Dashnaw

Netflix launches We Can Be Heroes on December 25, 2020. Grade: 3.5/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.