We Can Be Heroes (2020)

dir. Robert Rodriguez

Finally! The spin-off for The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D that absolutely no one in the world ever asked for. This one manages to, inexplicably, be even worse. The movie is unabashed about its attempt to be like the Avengers, but for children – so for the majority of it, all the kids just run about with their super powers (including such compelling skills as singing, and making silly faces) and do dramatic poses. At one point, the kids uncover that one of their own is secretly an alien – and proudly announce that they found this out because, basically, the alien already told them. Said alien sounds surprised to hear this news. This is the level of conflict We Can Be Heroes is willing to present; any real sense of peril or danger simply doesn’t exist. Even the central “save the world” adventure turns out to be a giant farce. It’s all total nonsense, especially considering the “lore” of the original film isn’t remotely upheld. Is this all still the dreams of the kid in the first film? Because he doesn’t even show up. Neither does Taylor Lautner, which means poor Sharkboy is relegated to having his face hidden and remaining mute for the whole movie. He probably comes across the best of the lot of them.

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