One of my favorite moments in the first Harry Potter book—and it wasn't in the film—concerns a bit of casual, low-key bullying and camaraderie among the young wizards. Poor, hapless Neville Longbottom hops into a room because Draco Malfoy has magically bound his legs together, and Hermione Granger, the brainy know-it-all, immediately seizes the opportunity to show that she can undo the curse and set Neville's legs free. I grinned when I read that, because it seemed exactly like how children with those powers would behave.

Kurt Russell is the superhero dad, Michael Angarano the not-yet-super son

Kurt Russell is the superhero dad, Michael Angarano the not-yet-super son

Replace the magic with superpowers, and you've got the essence of Sky High—a movie about a high school for superheroes, where the guy who can stretch his arms is more likely to reach across the room and trip you than to lend you a helping hand. We've seen superheroes go to school before, in the X-Men movies, but those films were more about the grown-up battles, and they got a little grim, besides. Sky High is more adolescent, in the best, age-appropriate sense of the word; it's like a John Hughes movie, but for tweens. It's got a boy who falls in love with the most popular girl at school, even though we all know he ought to be with the girl next door who is also his best friend; it's also got loads of '80s music or covers thereof, including hits by the likes of The Cars, 'Til Tuesday and Tears for Fears. But it is also free of the sex and profanity that mar many movies for teens.

The boy is Will Stronghold (Michael Angarano), the son of two superheroes who are known to the world as The Commander (Kurt Russell) and Jetstream (Kelly Preston), and who moonlight as real-estate agents to keep their identities secret. For them, saving the world is all in a day's work, but what really gives them ...

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Sky High
Our Rating
2½ Stars - Fair
Average Rating
 
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Mpaa Rating
PG (for action violence and some mild language)
Directed By
Mike Mitchell
Run Time
1 hour 40 minutes
Cast
Michael Angarano, Kurt Russell, Kelly Preston, Danielle Panabaker
Theatre Release
July 29, 2005 by Walt Disney Pictures
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