Written by Paul Hernandez and
Robert Schooley & Mark McCorkle
Directed by Mike Mitchell
Running Time: 1:32
for action violence and some mild language.
Sky High was a lighthearted, somewhat fun story that is definitely geared towards a young crowd, without a lot for the older generations.
Will Stronghold is the only child of the two greatest superheroes living today, Captain Stronghold and Josie Jetstream. Will is about to enter Sky High, the high school for superheroes-in-training, except, he hasn't figured out what his powers are. When he arrives at the school, all of the students are sorts into either a superhero track or a sidekick track, and without powers, Will gets sent to the sidekicks, along with most of his friends. However he manages to quickly find his powers and is elevated into the ranks of the superheroes, picking up a hot girl in the wake, and leaving his friends behind. But what sinister games is the hot girl playing? And will Will's archenemy, Warren Peace, take him out? Or will the two combatants fight side by side for the greater good?
Sky High was essentially a teen drama wrapped inside decent special effects. At its core, the movie is about a guy who starts off hanging out with a bunch of losers, does something to make the 'cool' kids like him, almost forgets about his loser friends, but then realizes that their friendship is more important than being cool. There's the requisite loser girl who loves him, but is afraid to say anything. There are the two geeks who follow him around and the goth girl who is too 'whatever' to do much of anything. There are the bullies who enjoy picking on the less fortunate for their own amusement. There's the hot chick who seduces Will for her own benefit, but under that sweet exterior lays the soul of a villain. This is the kind of movie that has been done a million times over. Just in this case, everyone's got some kind of power.
Will eventually finds out this his powers are both strength (from his father) and the ability to fly (from his mother.) The girl who really likes him can control vegetation, which looks much better than it sounds. His archenemy can control fire, while the sinister hot chick can create anything mechanical with the wave of her hand. Then there are the sidekicks, one who can turn herself into a gerbil, one who can glow in the dark, and another who can turn himself into a puddle. Interesting powers to say the least, but as you might imagine, all of which come in extremely handy at the end.
This being a Disney film, there isn't a lot that's objectionable. The movie is fairly innocuous, without anything racier than Kelly Preston's superhero outfit being shown, and no real bad language. The special effects are so-so. The movie definitely doesn't look or feel like a superhero movie from the last decade. It reminded me more of a Saturday morning live-action series where the special effects are very obvious because they're done cheaply. In this movie the special effects are bumped up slightly, but nothing is done that's very extraordinary. The acting is mediocre, with me wondering how Kurt Russell got picked to be the greatest superhero living today. With such a small role, couldn't they find someone else to cameo that might have been more believable? And was Kelly Preston's power really only the ability to fly and carry her husband around? That might have been the most comical point in the entire movie. The plot was a bit convoluted, and I'm wondering if small children are going to understand. Then again, are they going to care? There's enough eye candy (and I don't mean that in a bad way) to keep the kids interested, but the parents might have a hard time staying awake.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, Sky High was a decent film, but definitely made for kids. They'll enjoy the teen angst, the love story, the cool guy with flames coming out of his hands, that kind of thing. Parents would be better off dropping off the kids and finding something else to see.
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