Netflix review: ‘Sharkboy and Lavagirl’ sequel is fun if predictable children’s fare

A scene from ‘We Can Be Heroes’

There was a whole armada of aliens who are making their way to attack and conquer planet Earth. All the superheroes of the Heroics organization were called into urgent action, while all their children were gathered together in headquarters for their safety. However, when all the adult heroes were taken captive by the aliens, it was up to children to take up the fight and save the world. Missy (YaYa Gosselin), the daughter sword-wielding superhero Marcus Moreno (Pedro Pascal), had no powers, but she turned out to be the natural leader.

“We Can Be Heroes” is billed as the sequel to “The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D” (2005), also written and directed by Robert Rodriguez. Sharkboy (JJ Dashnaw, replacing Taylor Lautner who was not available) and Lavagirl (Taylor Dooley) are both back in this sequel as the parents of Guppy (Vivien Blair), a little girl who had her father’s shark-like abilities, as well as the ability to morph water as her mother could morph lava.

Wild Card (Nathan Blair), son of Tech-No (Christian Slater), cannot focus his multiple powers correctly. Noodles (Lyon Daniels), son of Invisi Girl (Jamie Perez), can stretch his neck and extremities like rubber. Wheels (Andy Walken), son of Miracle Guy (Boyd Holbrook), was a tech wizard on a wheelchair. Facemaker (Andrew Diaz), son of Crushing Low (Brently Heilbron), can shapeshift his face into another one.

A Capella (Lotus Blossom), daughter of Ms. Vox (Haley Reinhart), can manipulate things with the sound of her voice. Slo-Mo (Dylan Henry Lau), son of Blinding Fast (Sung Kang), was super slow, the exact opposite of his father’s super-speed. Rewind (Isaiah Russell-Bailey) and Fast Forward (Akira Akbar), twins of Crimson Legend (J. Quinton Johnson) and Red Lightning Fury (Brittany Perry-Russell), can manipulate time to go back and forwards.

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There was another little girl in the group named Ojo (Hala Finley), who would draw events on her tablet which would happen in the near future. She was introduced as the step-daughter of Ms. Granada (Priyanka Chopra Jonas), the current head of the Heroics group. It was Ms. Granada’s idea to gather all the kids of the heroes together in the armored room to keep them safe from the alien invaders.

The various powers of the kids were quite imaginatively used in order to escape from captivity and to rescue their parents. Somewhere in between, they were trained to make the most of their powers by Missy’s grandmother Anita Moreno (Adriana Barraza), who was the same person who trained the original superheroes. They learn important lessons as well about cooperation and teamwork to get their mission done, teaching their impressionable young viewers these vital virtues as well.

This was a colorful stand-alone action-adventure film for children, which was a lot of fun to watch even if you did not have any knowledge of the previous Sharkboy and Lavagirl movie. Just watch this film with your juvenile heart and enjoy the kiddie roller-coaster ride.

It is cute, shallow and predictable for the most part, but an 11th hour twist was quite a surprise, even if it was somewhat anti-climactic.

This review was originally published in the author’s blog, “Fred Said.”

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