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Child-centered superheroism

A scene from We Can Be Heroes (Netflix)

Movie

Child-centered superheroism

It’s not just the kids who are juvenile in We Can Be Heroes

In the new movie We Can Be Heroes (rated PG), streaming on Netflix, aliens invade Earth and capture the Heroics, the planet’s team of superheroes. The Heroics’ children, who have their own special powers, must learn to work together because, as Missy (YaYa Gos­selin) urges her tween-age sidekicks, “If we want to rescue our parents and save the planet, we’re going to need to do it now.” 

Laudably, the kids learn to see past one another’s differences to become a team. But for much of the story, the sidelined parents sit in a cell, watching their kids on a screen and gushing over their heroic deeds.

The message? The real bad guys aren’t the tentacled slime-drippers but weak parents who have allowed Earth to become an unsafe place. The Bible (silent on oozy aliens) doesn’t wholly disagree, yet teaches, “For all have sinned,” including middle schoolers who can levitate. The folly reaches a fever pitch when adult characters fawn, “The next generation is always more evolved” and “The next generation is always an improvement on the last.”

A few cautions: a misuse of God’s name, mild terror, and Heroics’ director Ms. Granada (Priyanka Chopra), who swaggers around in skin-tight (and revealing) clothing.

If I had a superpower, I’d make this film disappear.