Sky High - Review
Review by Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Super Bloopers; Alternate Opening; Deleted Scenes; Music Video; Welcome To Sky High; Breaking Down The Walls The Stunts Of Sky High.
IT MAY shamelessly pinch its ideas from other movies but Disney’s Sky High still offers feel-good family entertainment that’s capable of appealing to all ages.
It’s a fun blend of The Incredibles and The Breakfast Club with elements of Spy Kids, Superman and Harry Potter thrown in.
The film focuses on Will Stronghold (Michael Angarano), a shy teenager struggling to realise the super-human expectations of his parents as he prepares for life in high school.
But given that dad (Kurt Russell) is actually The Commander, one of the greatest super-heroes of all-time, and mum (Kelly Preston) is Jetstream (another high flyer, literally), it’s only natural for them to assume that Will can follow in their footsteps.
So having been enrolled at Sky High, a school for superheroes, it is up to Will to figure out his skills before he is written off as merely a side-kick by his overbearing teachers.
Mike Mitchell’s film, while corny in places, benefits from a smart script by Paul Hernandez, Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle that pays clever homage to superhero conventions, as well as making sly observations about the demands of contemporary society.
Essentially, it’s about finding the inner hero in us all, no matter how unlikely the source, but it also pokes fun at society’s need to conform with the latest trends and the superficiality of beauty.
Hence, a sub-plot involving an arch-villain from The Commander’s past is purely designed to expose such folly, while providing Will with the platform he needs to realise his powers.
Along the way, however, there is fun to be had in several of the visual jokes, as well as the innumerable nods to other movies.
The casting, too, is spot-on and capable of appealing to all ages, courtesy of cameos from Bruce Campbell and Lynda Carter, as well as typically endearing turns from Russell and Preston.
But the kids are good as well, keeping just the right side of precocious and remaining amiable throughout, especially Steven Strait’s brooding, fireball tossing nemesis, Warren Peace.
If the special effects lack the cutting edge of other films in the genre, this is probably a deliberate ploy given some of the campiness of proceedings but viewers should be enjoying themselves too much to notice.
For Sky High is, at the end of the day, an unpretentious romp that contains more than a few special powers of its own.