Sky High

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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 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Fresh: 93 Rotten: 34

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew


Starring: Michael Angarano as Will Stronghold, Kurt Russell as Steve Stronghold / The Commander, Kelly Preston as Josie Stronghold / Jetstream, Danielle Panabaker as Layla Williams, Kevin Heffernan as Ron Wilson, Bus Driver, Dee Jay Daniels as Ethan, Kelly Vitz as Magenta, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Gwen Grayson / Royal Pain, Lynda Carter as Principal Powers, Bruce Campbell as Coach Boomer, Steven Strait as Warren Peace, Cloris Leachman as Nurse Spex, Jim Rash as Mr. Grayson / Stitches, Dave Foley as Mr. Boy, Kevin McDonald as Mr. Medulla, Tom Kenny as Mr. Timmerman, Patrick Warburton as Royal Pain (voice)

Sky High Movie 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.


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Sky High Rating

" Weak "


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