Re Sky High (2005):
The teen son of a world-saving husband and wife not unlike the animated couple in The Incredibles begins attending a secondary school for kids with superhuman powers. There, the enrollees are assigned the place of either hero or sidekick depending on the utilitarian value of their power; hence an unfortunate caste system exists.
The couple’s son, Will, discovers that his power is the same as his dad’s—extraordinary physical strength—certifiably not a sidekick gift. It is a hero’s, even though modest Will has made friends with sidekicks. In fact, his best friend, hippy girl Layla, is a sidekick by choice. Layla has a mighty crush on Will, who, however, has the hots only for toothsome Gwen, another hero. He obtains a foe in a truculent firestarter hero named Warren because Will’s father put Warren’s father, a scoundrel, behind bars. Fire Boy eventually wises up, however, and other anti-Will enemies take his place.
Sky High is neither great nor perfect pop cinema. It’s merely terrific. The story’s not quite a groaner, and it coheres. There is something fey about the movie, and it’s wildly goofy. Warren’s full name is Warren Peace! All a shape-shaping girl can change herself into is a guinea pig! And on and on. The teenagers often remind me of teenagers one meets at church; I like them. Michael Angarano plays Will with comic appeal, and he and his young co-performers outact Kelly Preston (as Will’s mom). Kurt Russell cartoonishly convinces as Will’s dad. Both the pretty Danielle Panabaker (Layla) and the very pretty Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Gwen) fill the bill, with the very pretty girl getting the harder role. The good director is Mike Mitchell.