Release Date: July 29th, 2005 by Walt Disney Pictures.
The Cast: Michael Angarano, Kurt Russell, Kelly Preston, Danielle Panabaker, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Bruce Campbell, Steven Strait.
Directed by Mike Mitchell.
BASIC PREMISE: Will Stronghold (Angarano), the son of two superheroes (Russell and Preston), joins Sky High where he must find his special power that either makes him a hero or a sidekick.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: What makes this very fun to watch is all of the colorful eye candy and special effects. It is amazing to watch how many different and inventive superpowers there are, such as a shape-shifter who can turn into a guinea pig--and, predictably, the plot requires her for a very good reason. The acting is mediocre at best. However, one actor to watch for is Steven Strait as a hero with firepower--but with a good heart. Bruce Campbell and Cloris Leachman's both steal the show with their hilarious performances in their few scenes. He will be seen in the upcoming film Undiscovered and will probably be the next teen heart-throb. There are basically three plot conflicts. One is that Will Stronghold thinks that he has no superpowers and must therefore become a sidekick, unlike his father who is a hero. The second is that there is a very powerful gadget that a villain wants to steal from the Stronghold family in order to seize control of Sky High and destroy it. This conflict is silly and cartoonish, especially becomes the villains rarely show up and don't appear to be too menacing until the end. The third conflict is that one of the female sidekicks (Panabakar) has a crush on Will, but she feels rejected when he is manipulated to date a hot-looking hero (Winstead) who can control technology with her mind. It is very interesting and inventive to watch the actual training process of the heroes and sidekicks. With a fast pace and a lot of creativity, this is a surprisingly entertaining film despite that the plot has been recycled over and over by movies like The Incredibles and Thunderbirds.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Although not grounded entirely in reality, this movie does have a few insightful, even uplifting messages. One is that it is okay to be different from everyone else, even if you are different from your own family. Another is that popularity should not rule over friendship, which it unfortunately does in life itself as well. There are more to some people than meets the eye because some people have a hidden agenda and don't truly care about hurting others. Real friends should care about one another under any circumstances.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: The villains are rarely threatening and the plot is predictable.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Despite a predictable, occasionally silly plot, this is an inventive family-oriented movie that is a visual treat and has insightful, uplifting messages about family and friendship.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run), especially if you have young children.
The "S" Menu