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"FEARLESS"
(2020) (voices of Miles Robbins, Yara Shahidi) (Not Rated)


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QUICK TAKE:
Computer-Animated Action/Adventure: Two high school seniors must save three intergalactic toddlers -- that have been teleported from a video game into real-life -- from an archvillain who wants to extract their superpowers for himself.
PLOT:

Reid (voice of MILES ROBBINS) is a high school senior who's only interested in completing the final level of the video game Planet Master. It features the hero, Captain Lightspeed (voice of JADAKISS), battling the archvillain, Arcannis (voice of MIGUEL J. PIMENTEL), and that character's four-armed, snail-eyed assistant, Fleech. Having been defeated once again, Arcannis has now plotted to kidnap Lightspeed's three toddlers -- Kira, Titus, and Zander -- and extract their superpowers for himself.

Reid is the leading scorer in the game and thus is more interested in reaching and winning the final level than he is in completing a class project with his fellow student, Melanie (voice of YARA SHAHIDI), who's put out by his lack of attention that means she's going to have to do all of the work. Unbeknownst to them, Reid has somehow opened a dimensional wormhole that's transported the babies to his backyard, much to the concern of Lightspeed who's trapped in the villain's maze, fully aware that Arcannis will track his kids to Earth to kidnap them once again.

With Reid and Melanie stunned by this development, they do what they can not only to avoid U.S. Army General Blazerhatch (voice of GABRIELLE UNION) -- who wants to thwart any such alien invasion -- but also Arcannis and Fleech who show up fully intent on stealing the babies' superpowers.

OUR TAKE: 6 out of 10

Part of the fun of the highly creative, entertaining and, yes, incredible Pixar movies "The Incredibles" and "The Incredibles 2" was the presence of the youngest member of the Parr family, young Jack-Jack.

Seemingly an ordinary baby in the family of five where the rest have singular, well-defined super abilities, it's revealed through the two films that the kid has an array of superpowers ranging from becoming a human baby torch, a little demon, shooting lasers from his eyes, teleporting through walls and so on. Beyond being "drawn" as adorably cute, the delightful part was the unpredictable nature of when and what superpower might suddenly be used.

In a sort of "if one works, why not add more" mindset, writer/director Cory Edwards and co-scribe John Paul Murphy have included three such tykes as well as a somewhat similar kidnapping attempt of said children in their computer-animated offering, "Fearless."

While it's not remotely in the same league as those two Pixar masterpieces in any consideration, it's not without its charms and laughs. As such, it should prove to be an entertaining diversion for kids -- and some adults -- looking for something new after having exhausted other similar offerings during the current pandemic.

As in the two "Incredibles" flicks, the super-tykes aren't the main characters but are present as a pivotal part of the storyline as well as the source for laughs as they overwhelm high school senior Reid (voiced by Miles Robbins) and his classmate, Melanie (Yara Shahidi), who are supposed to do a class project together.

But much to her dismay, Reid is more into video games and has blown off a warning from the makers of Planet Master as he enters the final, pivotal level of the game (where his player moniker is Fe@rLess_). Apparently, the creators of PM created or at least knew about the possibility of a dimensional portal that would/could be opened between the game world and reality and before either of the teens can say "Eww, that smells like a dirty diaper" toddlers Kira, Titus, and Zander show up.

The teens, though, aren't the first to experience the powers that, quite frankly, aren't going to have Jack-Jack too worried. And that's because the game's archvillain, Arcannis (Miguel J. Pimentel) and his four-armed, slug-eyed assistant Fleech have kidnapped the tykes to extract their superpowers and give the antagonist a more even playing field against their superhero father, Captain Lightspeed (Jadakiss).

Their unpredictable powers have overwhelmed the bumbling Fleech and with the portal between worlds opening, they arrive in Reid's backyard. That not only brings Arcannis to Earth to find them, but also draws the attention of the U.S. Military led by General Blazerhatch (Gabrielle Union) who's as determined to catch the alien intruders as much as she is to spout every military commander movie cliché as she can muster (which is actually fairly funny).

There's nothing here we haven't seen before and perhaps the flick caught me at just the right time and mood. But I didn't really mind the familiarity and predictability of everything and found myself fairly amused and entertained. Just don't expect the brilliance of watching young Jack-Jack in action or he might just burst into flames and start shooting laser beams from his eyes. "Fearless" rates as a 6 out of 10.




Reviewed August 9, 2020 / Posted August 14, 2020


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