Hello, Spongey here.
It’s time to finally review a good movie I’ve had my eyes on for years. Seriously, it’s been on my to do a list for a fair while, I had it on a master list I used to use to decide years. And it was my brother birthday review list too but he was never kind enough to pick it.
So screw it, with Disney giving us Endgame soon I think we should go back to another superhero epic they gave us. I mentioned that Up Up and Away felt like an early version of this movie so here they brought this concept to the big screen.
The concept was created by a screenwriter in the 90’s and Disney was always interested in using it so they had others tighten up and boom, in 2005 the final product was unleashed.
That writer hasn’t done much else but the ones who polished the script were Kim Possible creators Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley, so we’re in good hands here. Actually, I heard somewhere that Disney passed on a live action KP movie (that turned into So the Drama) to have them do this instead.
Well, they clearly never re-visited that original plan again.
The director is Mike Mitchell, who I’ve talked enough about. Before LEGO 2, this was his master work. So, let’s see how these supers turned out, now that I can finally dive in.
This, is Sky High
The movie opens, naturally, with a comic style opening explaining the setup. This is a world of Superheros and two of the most well-known are The Commander, played by Kurt Russel, and Jetstream. Okay, the latter name is neat but the former is kind of lame.
They have a son named Will, who is narrating all this and sadly has no powers at the moment and is currently a normal kid.
“It’s nice to know that whatever happens to me, you’ll be around to save the world”
Oh the irony. Well, he does prove to be capable in the end so I guess this is still true.
Will at least has some friendship in the form of Layla, played by Danielle Panbaker, years before she was helping that fast guy.
“It seems like just yesterday you two were swimming naked in a kiddie pool”
The kids head out on the bus for their first day of high school, which is a hero school called…well yeah. Being the son of The Commander means people treat you like you’ll be amazing too since he’s got plenty of pressure put on him.
The school is literally in the sky, which seems rather impractical when you think about it. When we arrive, we get some fun visuals like how the cheer team is just one person who can clone themselves. Certainly saves money on uniforms.
We meet the student body president Gwen, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead who will takes a liking too. I can’t blame him but he’s got a female friend already, so it’s not meant to be.
There’s a line I wasn’t expecting. I’m sure I could read into it if I wasn’t lazy.
They will show their powers and be told if they are a hero or sidekick, and this is being done with the help of Bruce Campbell. This is now the great movie ever made. Don’t worry, he’s as amazing as you’d expect.
After a round of role picking, we have a more defined group as we also have a nerdy kid who can melt (so he’s Meltman?), a punk girl who can shapeshift and a wannabee who can glow. Also, we have a bully/jerk in the form of …Warren Peace.
That’s actually kind of clever when you find out his Mom is a hero and his Dad is a villain, thus War and Peace. After lunch, it’s Will’s turn but he doesn’t have any powers to show off and is told by the nurse that there are cases of someone never getting powers.
The setting already makes this more interesting than it was in Up, Up, and away. Not to mention the humor. Will doesn’t want to break the news to his dad after school, especially after more talk of how amazing Will shall be. Yeah, that cliche but in this case it adds a decent conflict.
After a nice scene with Layla, we go back to school where Kevin McDonald makes an awesome appearance. Also, during a montage we see that two kids that were frozen in a background gag by a girl are still frozen, now that’s funny.
Yeah, the pacing is more lax in this section but it does allow for some amusing and nice moments. Will brings his sidekick friends home and his Dad is cool with it but talks in a way that makes Will reluctant to admit he himself is a sidekick due to having new powers…but he does it anyway, to save us some time. Another way this does it better than Up, Up and Away, no messing around.
“I’m proud to be Hero’s Support”
The matter is not discussed further as Dad goes to talk to Mom about it, and of course has to be the one to tell Dad this won’t be as bad.
“He could always go into real estate”
Now that’s a worse fate than being evil.
The next day, Will gets into a fight with Warren where he ends up discovering he has super strength. I can already tell he faked this, you ain’t fooling me. He still gets detention though, along with Warren.
Thankfully, cares more about the super strength then he does about his son getting into fights. Oh and we see they’re being watch via camera by someone voiced by Patrick Warburton. Is that guy in EVERYTHING?!
The next day at school, he’s now with the heroes which means he’ll get in with the popular kids and lose his friendships. This might be a good movie, but it’s still basically a DCOM with a budget.
He does try to keep it cool for now though, but that doesn’t work when it comes to these other bullies who he can’t help but challenge since they dunked that nerdy kid. You think there’s also a villain school? I mean, the baddies gotta get tips from somewhere.
Now there’s a spin-off I wanna see.
We get a sporting game of “Save the Citizen” which Will wins to further show how amazing he is and at this point I don’t think he was faking and I found the one thing Up, Up and Away did better But this eventually does show that powers ain’t everything so there’s that.
On top of all that good luck, Gwen is taking a liking to him and he even takes her home for dinner, where his parents seem to approve.
“And she fixed the disposal”
Never say that first thing again.
But of course this means missing a date with Layla, wah wah. She has a scene with Warren that goes more into how she likes Will and all that, which is nice. But sadly it is Gwen he will take to homecoming.
Seeing him happy about this is rather adorable. Less adorable is how we see that Evil Kronk here will use this event to do his revenge plan. Eve less adorable is him telling Layla he’s going with Gwen, which does not sit well with her.
So she decides to be flirty with Warren to make Will jealous, because we haven’t gone full Disney Channel yet. Gwen gets Will to throw a party while his parents are out. Now we’ve gone full Disney Channel!
Gwen also convinces Will to not invite his real friends, and now I’m auspicious of this girl despite how nice she is. It might be because I know what happens but it’s just a hunch.
Layla shows up anyway, and Gwen goes full bitch on her, so she leaves. That part was basically Gwen’s fault but in the end that’s the whole point. Will finds this out and dumps her on the spot. Awesome.
His parents show up and are mad but not so much so that this has too many consequences for him. But he decides on his own to skip homecoming since he’s sad.
Will sulks by himself, when he happens to be going through an old yearbook and notices someone who looks like Gwen is in it, dun dun dun. You’ll see what that fully means in a bit.
And that bit comes a few minutes later, as the dance Gwen reveals herself to be Royal Pain, aka Evil Patrick Warburton. Yeah, that was a voice changer, weird. And yep, we have a twist villain.
Christ, they really wanna marry that cliche.
She uses a ray to turn people into babies, and now Will (who shows up) and his friends must save the day. Also, Will apologizes and hooks up with Layla but they gotta move on.
Royal Pain’s plan is to raise the baby heroes as villains and create a villain school, which a good response to my earlier comment. Her motivation is that she was placed as a sidekick due to being kind of geeky, so I think we get that the system is bad.
And if you’re wondering how that all works, she was actually an old enemy from years ago became a baby and had to wait 17 years for her revenge. Now that’s dedication, I’ll give er that much.
Wait, that means she is mentally an adult and she….oh god, let’s move on.
“I made out with an old lady”
I SAID MOVE ON.
The sidekicks use their powers to help them out, and I can comment on how Layla has plant powers which they really should have realized sooner how awesome that can be.
Also, Will can fly now cuz why not. Thankfully that random reveal is following by Gwen’s mook being stopped by Ron Wilson, Bus Driver. I know X will defeat Thanos jokes are overdone but…Ron Wilson will defeat Thanos.
With his powers, Will stops an evil device from crushing Tom Kenny. No seriously, that’s him and his wife Jill Talley as this random couple. He must be the Stan Lee of the Mike Mitchell Cinematic Universe.
The device is stopped and everyone is returned to normal. The climax was going pretty well until it just sort of stopped like that. Anyway, Will and his friends are all heroes and Royal Pain is captured.
“I went through puberty twice for this?!”
With that taken care of, dance party ending time! By the way, this is a weak connection but the score for this movie was by Micheal Giacchino himself, who cored an actual MCU movie, that also heavily involved homecoming. Neat?
Will gives us a comic style wrap up, telling us that he and Lyla hooked up and that he and warren are friends. I feel that she should have gone with Warren but ah well.
“That’s high school”
The End. Oh and Ron Wilson fell into toxic waste and got superheros. Where’s his solo movie?!
(Oh and something rushed ending)
This movies holds up decently well. My main problem was actually the main story. The whole thing with Will becoming popular is pretty cliche and you know here it’s all going. There’s some nice moments like with the scene with Layla and Warren but the resolution does feel rushed.
But everything else is solid. The concept is used well, with some creative jokes and as such, I f find the first half more enjoyable as that’s where they focus on the school itself more.
I like pretty much all the characters, from Will to the villain who is enjoyably hammy if they could have been in the movie more. The actors all do a good job and the humor is decently funny.
Will getting two powers does feel cheap. The first time at least works with the story but again, this is one area where Up, Up and Away did better. But otherwise, the themes and all that work out okay.
Honestly, I kind of want a sequel of some kind so I can see more of this world, I feel like it got shackled a bit by the story at times. I feel that isn’t going to happen anytime soon but we have is still fun.
The concept leads to some fun moments, and it’s filled with enjoyable characters and some neat appearances like Bruce Campbell who really steal the show.
So yeah, Disney’s take on live action superheros turned out pretty well and is worth a visit if you haven’t seen it before. There wasn’t quite as much to comment on as I would have hoped, but I’m glad I finally got re-watch it as it was enjoyable, even with the average story.
I don’t know what we’ll be doing next time but hopefully it’ll be fun.