"Sky High" is one of those rare films these days that combines humor, action, and a solid plot that holds the attention of not just young kids and pre-teens, but older teens and parents as well. It stars Michael Angarano as Will Stronghold, son of the two greatest superheroes ever, the Commander and Jetstream. There are some pretty hefty expectations placed on the boy, not to mention the typical problems of teens like falling in and out of love, bullies, wanting to fit in and.....flame-throwing arch-enemies.
In all, Angarano does a solid job as Will. His parents are played with flair and wit by Kurt Russell and the beautiful Kelly Preston. Russell is an egotistical jerk, but in a superhero-type way. Preston is an all-around good mother, who loves her son even if he can't save the world if need be. Steven Strait plays Warren Peace, Will's arch-enemy and probably one of the best performers in the flick. Danielle Panabaker throws in a solid performance as the plant-loving Layla. The "sidekicks" that Will hangs out with also do a great job. They provide the majority of the humor in the film, especially Zack, whose power is glowing. Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays the girl of Will's dreams.
A few surprise appearances in the film are Lynda Carter as Principal Powers, Bruce Campbell as the school's gym coach, Boomer, and Cloris Leachman as the school nurse. Former Kids In The Hall Dave Foley(Mr. Boy) and Kevin McDonald(Medula) turn in some light-hearted and rather funny performances as well. They make the film for the older crowd, especially Foley, who was once a sidekick and now teaches the school's future sidekicks.
Overall, the special effects are a little sketchy at times, but they are done in a light way that makes the audience very forgiving. The story moves along at a swift pace and my four year-old never grew restless. She loved watching the superheroes on the screen.
I'll admit that I picked up on who were the heroes and who were the villains rather quickly. Also, the story as a whole was rather predictable. However, since most superhero flicks these days aren't that kid-friendly, "Sky High" is more than deserving of the four stars I'm giving it. There is some violence, but no deaths. Also, the violence is done with some iffy effects, so younger viewers should be able to distinguish that the onscreen action isn't real. Language wasn't a factor in this film. In fact, I don't think there was any swearing in the film.
In short, if you want to take your entire family to a movie and bet that they will all enjoy it, "Sky High" is the ticket. It has plenty of laughs and action for the youngsters and the oldsters. Recommended to families with children of all ages. It's one of the few films you can bring the whole family to this summer without someone getting bored.