I hadn't really paid attention to the advertising for "Sky High" and I went into the theater hoping to see something like the super hero equivalent of "Galaxy Quest". I knew the movie starred Kurt Russell and Bruce Campbell, action heroes from cult favorites like "Escape From New York" and "Evil Dead", and the title had a dubious ring to it. But ten minutes before the preview screening, I found myself sitting knee deep in shrieking five year olds, and I realized how horribly wrong my initial hopes for "Sky High" were.
"Sky High", which refers to a high school for super powered kids, plays like an extended episode of something from the Disney cable channel. It features squeaky-clean characters in a non-descript upper middle class universe. Think Hogwarts but for super heroes. And instead of an orphaned wizard, "Sky High" gives us a rich kid from the suburbs that is struggling to discover his powers before his celebrity superhero parents find out.
To its credit, "Sky High" reveals its predictable smarmy life lessons with a souped up special effects budget that is shown off regularly enough so that the audience doesn't nod off. The costumes and character design are cheeky and fun in that kid-tested parent approved kind of way.
The supporting cast saves the day with vaguely familiar faces peppering the scenes. The staff of Sky High's school for the gifted includes some refugees from "the Kids in the Hall" as instructors who are under the helm of the truly super Lynda Carter, who throws in the obligatory pun toward her wonder woman years.
The soundtrack music attempts to sink its teeth into the parents memory with uninspired covers of eighties pop songs. Surely the Disney budget could have afforded the original versions, but probably wanted the recall value without using something so dated.
Despite having some of cult cinemas coolest actors assembled, including the Tick's Patrick Warburton as the voice of the evil villain, "Sky High" falls short, and lands hard as a gimmicky after school special.
Remembering to look at the movie poster more closely next time, for Movie Magazine this is Purple.
© 2005 - Purple - Air Date: 7/27/05
USA - 2005