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Sky High (November 24/05)

Because Sky High opens with a fantastically entertaining half hour, it's hard not to be disappointed when the film morphs into a routine high school drama (a bad high school drama, at that).

Will Stronghold (Michael Angarano) is the son of two world-renown superheroes - The Commander (Kurt Russell) and Jetstream (Kelly Preston) - and as such, is preparing to attend a special school just for would-be superheroes (and their sidekicks). And though Will doesn't seem to have any powers, he befriends a group of outcasts - much to the consternation of some of the more popular students.

Sky High is elevated by some seriously entertaining supporting performances from folks such as Bruce Campbell, Dave Foley, and (of course) Russell, who are so effective in their various roles, it's impossible not to wish the movie had revolved around them.

The film's screenplay (written by Paul Hernandez, Robert Schooley, and Mark McCorkle) is occasionally smart - particularly as it lampoons superhero cliches - but mostly dumb, as evidenced by the silly, predictable plot twists revolving around Will's high school antics (ie he abandons his less popular buddies after being invited to sit at the "cool" table in the cafeteria, only to eventually realize that friendship is more important than popularity).

Having said that, the very presence of Campbell in a mainstream production (a Disney production, no less) is enough for Sky High to warrant a mild recommendation.

out of

About the DVD: Buena Vista Home Entertainment presents Sky High with a flawless widescreen transfer, along with several bonus features. Once you get past the usual Disney Sneak Peeks, there's a surprisingly decent alternate opening, four-minutes of bloopers (sadly, no Bruce flubs), a music video for Bowling for Soup's "I Melt With You," and two behind-the-scenes featurettes.