We Can Be Heroes: A Mess of Superpowers

By | February 3, 2021

We Can Be Heroes At Least Seemed Fun To Film

I want to clarify one thing before I review We Can Be Heroes: the kids did a good job. You can tell, from the second they are on screen, that the child actors are having a blast and are giving it all they can. And, as child acting goes, they do an admirable job, even the very young actress.

I had to state that now, because this is an insane, strange, wonky, not very good movie, and I want to be clear that it has nothing to do with the kid’s performances. I hope they all have awesome acting careers if that’s what they want.

Okay. Now we can begin my review of a movie only somewhat less baffling than The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl.

We Can Be Heroes

So Many Hilariously Strange And Surreal Moments

Which is fitting since it’s made by the same director—and boy does it show. The focus on imagination and crazy visuals over story, the bulbous CGI style, and the emphasis on family/teamwork are all here, oozing out of every pore. If you can’t get with that, then just don’t bother with this.

And, since I’m giving warnings, the other thing you must accept is this movie does not care much about characterization. We Can Be Heroes is an hour and a half, and the cast is like 30 named characters. They group up by necessity. Most scenes have to have characters standing off to the side or not doing anything to even feel coherent.

We Can Be Heroes Has Way Too Many Heroes In It

And that’s kind of a problem when the movie is about teamwork—if there even is teamwork happening here. Like, they talk about it a lot, but they usually just mix powers based on the main character ordering them to do so. And speaking of those powers…oh boy. Points for creativity on some of them, but that’s not the issue. Some powers are sometimes useful, but others are so busted that it becomes a plot hole. The story has to essentially distract you from thinking too hard about them having time manipulators, a telekinetic, and an omnipotent god on their team. Any time a plan or action is unsuccessful, just remember a character can rewind time. This becomes silly when fight scenes devolve into kicks and punches. Like, some kids have cool fight choreography, but they could also just enlarge their fists or shatter eardrums.

We Can Be Heroes Plot Is So Full Of Logical Holes

But how is the plot when you ignore the power issue? Well, I won’t spoil it, but there are some clever moments interspersed. The escape scene with the bus is inventive from start to finish, and the more tempered powers get used in clever ways.

And then there’s the big one. This movie has a plot twist. It felt baffling at first, but it does make more sense the longer you ponder it.

However, it’s kind of awkward getting there with this movie’s pacing. We Can Be Heroes moves too fast, and yet too slow. There’s a ticking clock to the story, but it does not obey that limit—and does not communicate that urgency. A training montage happens that literally could not have taken over thirty minutes in-universe, or else they would have run out of time. Which is not only pointless, but it also stops the plot to a screeching halt.

Now, I know We Can Be Heroes is made for little kids, and they are not likely to notice these plot issues, but it will make it unenjoyable for adults—trust me. Sure, you might find it fun the first time with the twist, but woe to any parent who has to watch it multiple times in the same week. It’s still a strange, odd movie that doesn’t commit to its own message and doesn’t ever quite fit together its various pieces.

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