A lot or a little?
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that We Can Be Heroes is a follow-up to The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl and is set in the same world as Spy Kids. Like those movies, it centers on kids with special powers/abilities saving the day. Expect lots of comical violence, including aliens zapping superheroes, and superheroes punching aliens -- but (spoiler alert?) no one dies or is seriously injured. A man is raising his preteen daughter solo due to his wife's death (not shown). Language includes "oh my God" as an exclamation. The movie has strong messages about teamwork and believing in yourself. The main character, Missy (Yaya Gosselin), exemplifies courage and leadership as she helps the other kids in the movie come together.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
WE CAN BE HEROES centers on Missy (Yaya Gosselin), a young preteen without powers who lives with her retired superhero dad, Marcus (Pedro Pascal). When aliens come to the planet seemingly to destroy it, the head of the Heroic Central Agency (Priyanka Chopra), calls on all superheroes to fight the threat. This means that Marcus, former leader of the Heroics, must come out of retirement to join the fight, so Missy is taken to Heroic Central headquarters for protection. There she meets the rest of the superhero children (including the daughter of Sharkboy and Lavagirl) and learns that they all have pretty impressive powers: rewinding time, fast-forwarding time, super singing, control of liquid, elasticity, super strength. After the children's parents are defeated and taken back to the alien mothership and the kids learn that the aliens will be coming after them, Missy devises a plan for them all to escape ... and then the adventure really begins. Missy and the others must learn to work together, control their powers, and avoid capture by aliens in order to save their parents and Earth before time runs out.
Is it any good?
This follow-up to Robert Rodriguez' other superhero-kid movies is surprisingly fun and entertaining for the whole family. Normally, sequels aren't as good as the original, but We Can Be Heroes is much better than its direct predecessor, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl. This film's storyline -- and quality -- is more akin to Spy Kids. While some of the acting can be a bit over the top, kids will very much enjoy the movie's adventure aspect, as well as all the different superpowers on display. And parents are likely to find themselves chuckling, too.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how, in We Can Be Heroes, the adult superheroes are constantly bickering and arguing. What did the children do differently when faced with challenges? Did they do a better job working as a team? How can adults sometimes learn from children?
All of the kids except Missy have superpowers. How did she cope when faced with challenges and not having powers? How do you think you'd react in similar situations?
- On DVD or streaming: December 25, 2020
- Cast: Pedro Pascal, Priyanka Chopra, Yaya Gosselin
- Director: Robert Rodriguez
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Superheroes, Adventures, Great Girl Role Models, Space and Aliens
- Character strengths: Courage, Teamwork
- Run time: 110 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: mild action/violence
- Last updated: January 13, 2022
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