Director: Robert Rodriguez
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, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Boyd Holbrook, Christian Slater and Pedro Pascal
Run time: 1h 40min
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Noodles (Lyon Daniels); a young boy with seemingly elastic skin capable of stretching several metres. He’s joined by Guppy (Vivien Blair); an adorable little girl able to manipulate water and possessing the strength of sharks (well she is the daughter of Sharkboy and Lavagirl). Flagging behind them is Slo-Mo (Dylan Henry Lau); another child with incredible power, but his movements are rather sluggish. That’s not to mention Wheels (Andy Walken), Ojo (Hala Finley), Rewind (Isaiah Russell-Bailey), Fast Forward (Akira Akbar), Wild Card (Nathan Blair), A Capella (Lotus Blossom) and Facemaker (Andrew Diaz).
Yes, this isn’t your typical superhero movie and when an alien invasion threatens mankind and all of Earth’s superheroes, known as The Heroics, are kidnapped, it’s up to their kids to step up and save the day.
Director Robert Rodriguez has previous with family films such as the Spy Kids franchise and The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl and he brings to life a highly enjoyable family romp that kids are going to absolutely love.
There’s some clever tributes to grownup films (and a bit of David Bowie thrown in too, of course) for the adults to enjoy and the fight scenes are superbly choreographed and executed with style. It also features an important and empowering message for the youth of today about some of the very real issues they will one day have to deal with. A unique mix of unconventional powers are brought into play including the ability to make things float by using soundwaves and there’s a lot of fun to be had by Rewind and Fast Forward with time manipulation. However, it’s a character that uses a very different set of powers to make the most difference and the character of Missy Moreno (Yaya Gosselin) is a superb role model for young people everywhere. Gosselin brings a maturity beyond her years in the film’s standout performance.
The kids are all having the time of their lives as they show the adults how it’s done and it’s a shame when the action leaves them to focus on the big people. Indeed, Miracle Guy (Boyd Holbrook), Tech-No (Christian Slater), their former leader Marcus Moreno (Pedro Pascal) and the other caped crusaders are the most useless ensemble of heroes ever assembled. They’re captured with such astonishing ease that you wonder why alien invasions haven’t happened before and how on earth they’ve managed to keep people safe with their total incompetence.
Crammed full of slapstick humour and exciting set-pieces, there’s enough adventure to keep all the family happy. A thoroughly enjoyable opening to a potential new franchise, We Can Be Heroes just goes to show that not all heroes where capes.
We Can Be Heroes streams on Netflix from December 25th.