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SKY HIGH

SYNOPSIS:
Will Stronghold (Michael Angarano) has much to live up to. His parents are none other than Commander (Kurt Russell) and Jetstream (Kelly Preston), who save the world on an almost daily basis. At last the day has come for Will to board the yellow bus to take him to Sky High, the secret high school situated in the sky, where kids with super powers learn how to manage their unique talents. But it seems Will's superpowers haven't developed yet and there is a strong possibility they never will. Coach Boomer (Bruce Campbell) divides the kids into groups called Heroes and Sidekicks, and Will starts to make friends with individuals who each have their own hang-ups, insecurities and issues. Layla (Danielle Panabaker) has a crush on Will, but Will is dazzled by the attentions of the older and glamorous Gwen Grayson (Mary Elizabeth Winstead).

Review by Louise Keller:
Sky High is a high school like no other. Located high above the clouds, the school is for kids of superheroes, teaching them to hone and manage their super-skills. Most of the kids have one superhero parent, but all eyes are on Will Stronghold, only son of Commander and Jetstream (who cover as real-estate agents), the superest-heroes of them all. Sheer strength is Commander (Kurt Russell)'s super power, while the shapely Jetstream (Kelly Preston) can fly through the air like a silver rocket.

With its crisp, light touch, deft humour and sweet heart, Sky High is pretty cool. It's a cross between Sky Kids and The Incredibles. The young super hero rises to the challenge of finding his powers, facing peer acceptance and opening the lid on romance. It's a superhero story grounded in reality, and the characters juggle every day pressures in the context of their superhero world.

Russell and Preston are delightful as the successful superheroes, who are ambitious for their son Will, appealingly played by Michael Angarano. Bruce Campbell's Coach Boomer sorts out the students into 'Heroes' and 'Sidekicks' categories in a sort of 'show and tell' session, in which every student has to display his/her superpowers. The powers are strange and varied. I especially warmed to Steven Strait's sultry flame-thrower Warren Peace, and enjoyed Cloris Leachman's cameo as the school nurse. Layla (Danielle Panabaker) can control nature, but is having a hard time controlling Will's heart, as he is flattered by the attentions on glamorous technopath Gwen (Mary Elizabeth Winstead).

The script is smart but never takes itself too seriously and director Mike Mitchell gets the tone just right. A cool and compelling Disney adventure comedy the whole film will jump for, Sky High is tops.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

SKY HIGH (PG)
(US, 2005)

CAST: Kurt Russell, Kelly Preston, Michael Angarano, Bruce Campbell, Danielle Panabaker, Mary Elzabeth Winstead, Steven Strait

PRODUCER: Andrew Gunn

DIRECTOR: Mike Mitchell

SCRIPT: Paul Hernandez, Robert Schooley, Mark McCorkle

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Shelly Johnson

EDITOR: Peter Amundson

MUSIC: Michael Giaccino

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Bruce Robert Hill

RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: BVI

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Tas: September 1; Vic, Qld: September 8; NSW, WA: September 15; SA, NT: September 22, 2005

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: BVHE

VIDEO RELEASE: January 11, 2006







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