TL;DR – A charming family film created in a style I have not seen in an age, but it just works
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
We Can Be Heroes Review –
When I was growing up, this delightful film series called Spy Kids used a very particular style and tone and made a film that worked for all ages. However, since then, I have yet to see a film nail that same thematic direction, well, that is until today.
So to set the scene, it is just a typical day for the Heroes of this world as Miracle Guy (Boyd Holbrook) and Tech-No (Christian Slater) team up to fix a damaged satellite. However, when Miracle Guy goes up into space, he finds an alien armada waiting for him. Seeing the coming wrath, all the active heroes including Lavagirl (Taylor Dooley), Sharkboy (JJ Dashnaw), and Marcus Moreno (Pedro Pascal) are mobilised. As a precaution, the Heroics Program rounds up all the heroes’ children to keep them safe much to Missy Moreno’s (YaYa Gosselin) annoyance as she does not have any powers. However, when all the heroes are captured, the kids may be the only ones who can save them and the planet.
Before we dive in too far, I should take a moment to be clear on the film’s tone. As a society, we have been skewing darker and darker with our superhero stories as of late. However, this is very much a family film aimed at a younger audience, even if it includes characters that parents might remember from when they were young. This tone is perfect for where they are aiming the film, but then it won’t be for everyone.
I think one of the highlights for me was the young actors’ performances. When we get into the Heroics Program’s locked vault, we get introduced to many different characters all with their own powers. I have seen films struggle to make sure everyone gets a moment to shine with ensemble casts of half this size. But here everyone gets their hero moment. I quite liked how they used speed ramping to make every one of Guppy’s (Vivien Blair) movements feel amped up, or the reverse with Slo-Mo (Dylan Henry Lau)
We Can Be Heroes is also a very stylised film, with all the sets, special effects, and production design all falling into a particular presentation. Because it is so stylised, this will likely be one of those very subjective things for people. I quite liked it because they committed to the style throughout the film, and it did bring back those memories of Spy Kids or The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D.
As far as the story goes, it is generally a straight forward narrative working around the theme of teamwork. I will say that this is a film where you will likely see most of the key plot points coming a mile away. However, you won’t see all of them coming, which led to some fun moments. While I did enjoy all the younger actors performances, I should also say no one is phoning it in here with Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Pedro Pascal & Boyd Holbrook all having some great moments.
In the end, do we recommend We Can Be Heroes? Absolutely. For where it is targeted, it lands perfectly, and I think it will be an excellent film for parents to watch with their kids this holiday season. For the younger folks, I believe there is a really uplifting story here, and for the parents, there will likely be some pleasant nostalgia on offer as well. If you liked We Can Be Heroes, I would also recommend Rim of the World to you.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of We Can Be Heroes
Directed by – Robert Rodriguez
Written by – Robert Rodriguez
Music by – Rebel Rodriguez
Cinematography by – Robert Rodriguez
Edited by – Robert Rodriguez
Production/Distribution Companies – Troublemaker Studios & Netflix
Starring – YaYa Gosselin, Lyon Daniels, Andy Walken, Hala Finley, Lotus Blossom, Dylan Henry Lau, Andrew Diaz, Isaiah Russell-Bailey, Akira Akbar, Nathan Blair & Vivien Blair with Pedro Pascal, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Adriana Barraza, Boyd Holbrook, Christian Slater, JJ Dashnaw, Taylor Dooley, Sung Kang, Haley Reinhart, Christopher McDonald, J. Quinton Johnson, Brittany Perry-Russell, Jamie Perez & Brently Heilbron
Rating – Australia: PG;