Throwback Review: Sky High

Back in the early 2000s, superhero films were a wild-card choice for filmmakers. Films like Elektra, Daredevil and Catwoman were arguably some of the worst in the genre leading many to discount superhero films. Sky High was one of these films that hit the mediocre barrier receiving middle of the road reviews on release and was only a modest success.

Is Sky High just as mediocre 15 years later, or was it made too early to be truly appreciated?

This is the story about the son of two superheroes enrolled in a superhero school where he must deal with his father’s pressure, bullies from school and trying to fit in with different social cliques. It features the usual pressures in a teen-drama but enhances it to fit in with the superhero genre.

The drama between different friend cliques, the heroes and hero support is done really well and doesn’t feel like a forced trope. Friendships change as you get older, and the film does tastefully without melodrama.

Honestly, the cast are pretty solid. Kurt Russell, as one of the strongest superheroes in the world trying to balance his secret identity is hilarious! He is perfect for the role and you see him as the typical cheesy, proud superhero who projects his wants onto his son.

The late Kelly Preston plays the superhero mum. She is the blend of both caring and a stern parent. Together, Russell and Preston are the perfect duo and play off each other incredibly.

The rest of the cast are all great – with excellent cameos from Linda Carter (the original Wonder Woman) and Bruce Campbell (Ash Williams from Evil Dead). Surprisingly, the main character (played by Michael Angarano) is relatable and you understand his concerns.

He is often overshadowed by the rest of the cast – usually Kurt Russell – but his acting is believable, especially compared to other child actors.

One of the biggest issues with Sky High was the terrible CGI effects. However, it’s an early 2000s film so it’s understandable. It makes the film seem like a B-movie rather than a huge Disney project, but it’s easy to forget once you’re immersed in the film. This was the only thing that disappointed me, but the subtle humour and the heart of the film make up for this.

Now, we live in a time where superhero films are the biggest movies at the box office. If Sky High was made in the past few years- and they managed to fix the bad CGI effects – then it could’ve been a huge and successful franchise.

The film isn’t anything new in terms of the story or cheesy references, but the cast brings the film together to make something unique to the superhero genre. Check out the film and give it a second chance, as it’ll surprise you how fun the film is.

By Charlie Vogelsang

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