Superhero movies used to be the death knell for a studio. For the longest time Superman and Batman were the only heroes that were worth making a movie of or giving a television show to. Things started to change in the late 1970s with Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk being given their own shows. There were a few other superhero movies that were made, but it was incredibly expensive to do so in a way that would make a profit. But along came CGI and everything changed. Now, superhero movies aren't only saving the comic book industry, but they're also becoming a common staple as well as the tentpole franchises that studios build around.
Lately a new angle has become prominent in superhero films, that of the superfamilies. Perhaps it was because of the mega-success of Pixar's THE INCREDIBLES, I'm not sure, but movies about superfamilies are the latest fad. Disney knows a good thing when they see it and cashed in on the fad early with SKY HIGH.
SKY HIGH is basically the story about a boy growing up and going to high school and learning to come to grips with the man he is becoming. But the boy of this movie ain't no ordinary boy. His name is Will Stronghold and he's the son of the two biggest superheros on the planet (no, not Superman and Wonder Woman): The Commander (Kurt Russell) and Jetstream (Kelly Preston). Will gets to attend a special high school, Sky High. It's the place that all superhero kids go to train and develop their skills and powers. Will's dad hopes that Will has super-strength like himself while his mom would like to see him fly like herself, but is happy for him no matter what. That is a good thing because Will doesn't have any powers and ends up getting tracked into the side kick regiment of the school. Unbeknownst to everyone, though, an evil mastermind is planning revenge and Will is the key to taking over the world.
SKY HIGH has a lot of clichés and has a predictable plot. But, don't hold that against it. The film has an impressive cast of supporting actors, including Lynda Carter (she once played Wonder Woman) as Principal Powers and Bruce Campbell as Coach Boomer. Also, most of the main characters are teenagers that are portrayed by actual teenagers! That's something rare in a major motion picture (though Disney does a better job of that than any other studio in the business). The main actor's youth added some realism and grounded the film, despite it's farfetched and imaginative story.
I wasn't expected to like SKY HIGH very much. I knew it was a Disney film and I was expecting it to be a cheap knock-off of THE INCREDIBLES. It's not a cheap knock-off of that film and surprisingly stands on it's on. The film even has some wit, e.g. in the character named Warren Peace. I laughed quite a bit and surprisingly found myself enjoying the film. As far as family-friendly, the movie doesn't have any major foul language or sex and the violence is of the cartoony-kind. Now, let's all go kick some bad guys' butt.
What did you think of this review?
Fun to Read
About the reviewer
I like to read and watch movies.
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.
The idea of a high school for superheroes will appeal to teens and preteens, who struggle powerlessly with petty authoritarians, bullying peers, and their own rampant hormones, andSky Highspotlights young Will Stronghold (Michael Angarano,Lords of Dogtown), the son of top-of-the-heap superheroic couple the Commander (Kurt Russell,Tango & Cash) and Josie Jetstream (Kelly Preston,View from the Top). Unfortunately, though he's about to be dropped into the midst of kids who can stretch, turn to living stone, or shoot fire, Will has yet to develop any powers at all--and may never develop them. His development anxieties (and some entertaining metaphors for high school social hierarchies) contrast with a bubbling plot by an old foe of the Commander's to destroy Sky High and all of superhero-dom.Sky Highhas a great supporting cast (including Bruce Campbell,Army of Darkness; Dave Foley,NewsRadio; Lynda Carter,Wonder Woman; and Cloris Leachman,Young Frankenstein) and a handful of funny, offhand bits, but the bulk of the movie is bland and obvious. Younger kids may not mind the clumsy action scenes, generic dialogue, and tacky production design, but even comic-book-loving teenagers will labelSky Highbargain-basement.--Bret Fetzer