As one of Hollywood’s more restless pop myth-makers Robert Rodriguez seems determined to keep making sequels of his most popular films regardless of whether the public has asked for them or not. The question of whether or not these narrative sequels are strictly necessary seems almost irrelevant, given the contagious level of unreserved filmmaking zeal that Rodriguez generously infuses into any new project, whether it is James Cameron-supported cyberpunk actioner “Alita: Battle Angel, “Or come in to watch an episode of”The Mandalorian. ”
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“Spy kids“Remains one of Rodriguez’s enduring triumphs: a spunky, sweet, nimble family film that understood that children are often so much smarter than the media, which are often marketed for them, would indicate. The first “Spy Kids” were big enough to have three sequels, each of which was a little less magical than the previous one. It is a problem that other, more “adult” Rodriguez joints have in the late period, namely “Machete kills” and “Sin City: A Lady to Kill, ”Have suffered too. One of the less discussed entries in Rodriguez’s oeuvre is the adventure of his chewing gum child. “The adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl in 3-D“And although we’re not sure how many people have asked for a sequel The Movie, Netflixwho are now the point of contact for authors who want to do a passion project with blank check money have exactly that with “We can be heroes“: Kind of a sequel to” Sharkboy and Lavagirl, “which acts as the Austin-based multihyphenate’s Christmas offer for the last few days of this terrible year. Say what you want of Mr. Rodriguez, at least he’s generous.
On the one hand, there’s definitely something lovable about a family-friendly superhero movie that feels like it’s been patched up over a long weekend. Rodriguez started making lo-fi home videos, and even with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, his films still retain that gonzo-like feel of handcraft, D.I.Y. Energy. “We Can Be Heroes”, as aggressively hyperactive as it feels to be executed, is ultimately a harmless and sporadically inventive piece of pop culture belching by a director who should have developed beyond this material by now, but not for better or for worse has done lose touch with his inner child. In other words, this unforgettable new lark, as choppy as it feels right now, can hardly be turned down, largely due to its overwhelming sincerity and purity.
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Like “Sharkboy and Lava Girl,” “We Can Be Heroes” is another Rodriguez family affair: Racing driver Rodriguez, who is responsible for conceiving the idea for this earlier film, is recognized as producer while Rebel Rodriguez composed the score. “Heroes” plays like a Disney channel Update on Joss Whedons “The avengers“To the point where the insignia of the film’s central team, fancifully called The Heroics, is almost identical to the signature of the Avenger” A “. The Heroics are made up of a roster of Rodriguez’s movie star friends, including one Group belongs Boyd Holbrook as Miracle Guy, Christian Slater than someone called Tech-No (with powers never explicitly made clear) and the enormous one Pedro Pascal as Marcus Moreno, the only hero without a cool nickname. As he did in “Wonder Woman 1984“Pascal revives a somewhat unwieldy blockbuster with the sheer, smoldering strength of his matinee idol charm (luckily, Rodriguez doesn’t let the actor wear a cruel wig on this new outing).
“We Can Be Heroes” puts in gear when the Heroics are prisoners of hostile alien invaders. Don’t ask too much for the specifics of these vaguely realized alien enemies, which essentially exist as floating purple tentacle monstrosities that look like Rodriguez scribbled their design in less than an hour. The appealing YaYa Gosselin plays Marcus’ brave young daughter Missy, who is annoyed with her father for prioritizing the security of the planet over his fatherly duties. Missy is then taken to a paved day care center for superhero teenagers where the strict woman Granada (Priyanka Chopra-Jonas) sets the tone. Missy quickly makes friends with her colleagues, each with a name that explicitly describes their power: For example, Rewind and Fast Forward are a pair of mischief makers who have the ability to speed up reverse time (take that, “principle”), FaceMaker… makes faces and slow-mo runs in a gag that somehow never gets old, constantly in slow motion.
The rest of “We Can Be Heroes” sees these little benefactors muster the courage to save the day, free their parents from the alien spaceship, and restore balance to the world, yadda yadda yadda. Despite its chewing gum frivolity, Rodriguez’s film sometimes comes dangerously close to topicality: it depicts a world where an older generation has given their children a raw deal, and “leadership” comes in the form of an ineffective commander in chief (Christopher McDonaldof course) who, as one character complains, “can barely put two sentences together”. “Heroes” is colorful and garish and relentlessly energized; As such, it is not intended for someone who is not allowed to watch a PG-13 movie without a guardian. The film ends pretty predictably with a promise for a sequel that no one really asked for. Whether or not the world needs a second chapter of this bubbly YA spectacle, we’re sure Rodriguez will get to it sooner or later. [C]
We Can Be Heroes is now available on Netflix.