Take a little bit of Harry Potter, toss in a pinch of The Incredibles, top it with some Disney cheese on a base of 80's high school comedy and you get the recipe for Sky High. Not the best of its type, but it's still a very enjoyable film for the family. Sure, it has some goofy spandex, over-the-top performances, and a pretty straight forward story, but it also has plenty of charm to coast on.
The story centers on young Will Stronghold, who is about to start high school at the same school his father went to. This is no ordinary school, it is designed to teach budding superheroes and hero support (aka sidekicks) how to use their abilities to the best of their ability. Will, you see, is the son of the world's two most prominent heroes, Commander and Jetstream.
The story is the standard coming of age film - dealing with bullies, and facing down supervillains. I don't really want to spend too much time on the story, as there isn't a lot there. The good things about the film include the believable performances by our core group of heroes-to-be, plus the placement of familiar faces in the supporting cast. Not to mention, the effects are generally convincing.
The heart of this film is in the writing, which has a nice mix of comedy and character development. There is some nice interaction between Will and his parents, between Will and his friends, even the supporting cast with each other. There are the scenes where the kids' powers are revealed - some cool and some not quite so.
The film strays perhaps a bit too far on the cartoony side, and that keeps it back from achieving a higher status. That and an over-reliance on formulas of the past. The villain is more like the Power Rangers than The Incredibles. But the overall performances are so enjoyable, everyone in the family can have fun with this.
I particularly liked some of the supporting roles. First off are Kurt Russell and Kelly Preston as the superparents who always seem to come out on top. Then Lynda Carter as the school's principal and Dave Foley as the premiere sidekick teacher. And how can I forget Broken Lizard's own Kevin Heffernan as the bus driver, funny stuff.
Bottomline. In the end, this is a fun family film that succeeds more often than it fails. It has fine supporting work from all of the kids, and is well written. Go see it and have some fun.