Sky High is X-Men meets The Incredibles with a dash of Harry Potter. Deliriously cheesy, and constantly playing around with comic book conventions, the film thankfully never takes itself too seriously. I loved it and I’m pretty certain kids will dig it also. It has fairly recognisable young teen movie themes, although these don’t survive more than a cursory analysis – hazy criticisms of class distinction/discrimination are a bit hard to swallow when the kids of ‘privileged’ parents attend an elite school floating above the clouds. The plot is fairly thin and predictable but this matters little when everyone’s having so much fun.
Kurt Russell (Dark Blue) is perfectly cast and together with the rest of the adults stumbles deliberately over the moronic tautologies spouted at various significant moments. Kelly Preston (Eulogy) has less to do unfortunately, and occasionally the couple slip into predictable and clichéd father/mother dichotomies in the same way that The Incredibles did. The supporting adult cast is fantastic, from the large chinned Bruce Campbell (Spider-Man 2) to the hilarious Cloris Leachman (Bad Santa) who shines in a single scene. There was a great bunch of kids at the forefront of Sky High also. Michael Angarano (Lords of Dogtown) and his motley group of outsiders bring almost exhausting (and somewhat colourful) performances to the screen.
The special effects are decent and it’s a little more permissible for the villains to roam into ‘Power Rangers’ territory than it was for Willem Defoe in Spider-Man whenever he donned the Green Goblin costume. The soundtrack was a bit of a lark, full of 80”s covers and managing to give away the filmmakers’ ages with very little subtlety.
It’s a pity that Sky High beat an adaptation of Oeming’s and Bendis’ ‘Powers’ to the big screen, because the setting for their comic certainly had a lot in common with this Disney film (noir-ish undertones and violence aside).
Sky High fumbles a bit in the last act, with some fairly standard one-liners and ridiculous physics that push the boundaries of even this kind of movie, and to be honest a lot of this film doesn’t make sense, but overall this is great fun.Rating: