Sky High

"OK"

Sky High Review


Sky High" must have felt like something of a homecomingfor Kurt Russell. Just like the cheap, low-standards kiddie flicks he starredin as a teenager ("The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes," "NowYou See Him, Now You Don't"), it's a cliche-dependent, high-conceptDisney cheapy that aims no higher than the unsophisticated standards ofits pre-adolescent target audience -- and somehow succeeds in spite ofitself.

One of many family-oriented superhero movies rushed intoproduction after the boffo box office of "TheIncredibles," this story revolves aroundWill Stronghold (talented Michael Angarano, "AlmostFamous"), the 15-year-old son of CommanderStronghold (Russell) and Josie Jetstream (Kelly Preston), the world's greatestsuperheroes.

Will has yet to hit superhero puberty -- Dad's colossalstrength and Mom's ability to fly elude him -- so he's instantly an outcastwhen he begins his freshman year at Sky High, a cloud-floating school forthe super-powered. Despite having legendary parents, he's stuck in a classfor sidekicks (sorry, "Hero Support"), along with other teenagerswhose gifts (for, say, glowing in the dark or commanding plant life) aren'tadequately impressive.

Beyond blessing the picture with the occasional rib-ticklingone-liner, screenwriters Robert Schooley and Mark McCorkle (veterans ofDisney Channel's "Kim Possible" cartoon) rely almost entirelyon tedious 'tween-movie staples for their plot: Will develops an instantcrush on a beautiful, popular senior (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), therebyalienating his equally cute, long-term best friend (Danielle Panabaker)who, in turn, not so secretly pines for him.

"Sky High" is also overflowing with trite (albeit"super") stereotypes: bullies from Central Casting, snooty cheerleaders,a cruel gym teacher (drive-in king Bruce Campbell), and a resident badasswith flammable arms (played by a very good young actor named Steven Strait),who turns out to be an OK kid after all.

Despite this lazy, kids-won't-know-the-difference dependenceon formula -- not to mention the movie's soundtrack of awful candy-popcovers of 1980s tunes, its maladroit dialogue (clearly written by adultswho have no idea how kids really talk), and frequent lack of adherenceto its own internal logic -- "Sky High" manages to turn its campinessand corniness to its advantage.

Director Mike Mitchell (of the insufferable "SurvivingChristmas" and DeuceBigalow: Male Gigolo) doesn't try to makethe movie cool or blithely self-aware (save the deliberately action-figureycostumes Will's parents wear to fight crime). If anything, he helps pushit further into the lame-o-sphere with comically awkward characters likeMr. Boy (Dave Foley from "Newsradio"),an over-the-hill forgotten-sidekick schoolteacher (formerly known as All-AmericanBoy) and a dorky "mad science" teacher (Kevin McDonald) witha gigantic brain.

As the inevitable villain plot kicks in (an over-the-toparch-rival has a new disguise and nefarious plans for the school and Will'sparents) -- and as Will finally develops his superpowers -- Mitchell bringsall the movie's inanity into a crescendo of kiddie-flick charisma designedspecifically and exclusively to delight children. But somewhere "SkyHigh" crosses into a realm of nostalgia that will remind parents ofthe cheap, dumb, slightly behind-the-times movies they didn't know enoughto dislike back when they were young.

This isn't to say "Sky High" is a good movie-- or even a so-bad-it's-good movie. "Sky High" is somethingmore tenuous: It's persistently dumb in an endearingly sincere way. It'sa movie that is entertaining for the very reason that it never tries tobe genuinely good.



Sky High

Facts and Figures

Run time: 100 mins

In Theaters: Friday 29th July 2005

Box Office USA: $63.9M

Box Office Worldwide: $86.4M

Budget: $35M

Distributed by: Buena Vista

Production compaines: Walt Disney Pictures, Buena Vista

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Fresh: 93 Rotten: 34

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Will Stronghold, as Steve Stronghold / The Commander, as Josie Stronghold / Jetstream, as Layla Williams, as Ron Wilson, Bus Driver, Dee Jay Daniels as Ethan, Kelly Vitz as Magenta, as Gwen Grayson / Royal Pain, as Principal Powers, as Coach Boomer, as Warren Peace, as Nurse Spex, as Mr. Grayson / Stitches, as Mr. Boy, as Mr. Medulla, as Mr. Timmerman, as Royal Pain (voice)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.