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SKY HIGH

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Mike Mitchell's film is an amusing riff on the familiar jocks-vs.-nerds teen comedy. Because Sky High is strictly for the progeny of superheroes, the social lines break down rough: Kids with cool powers get put on the fast-track to hero, while the lame ones (one kid can make his shirt glow) and weirdoes (ability to melt into a puddle) get groomed to be sidekicks (or in PC parlance, "hero support"). Will Stronghold (Michael Angarano), son of revered heroes The Commander (Kurt Russell) and Jetstream (Kelly Preston), is a nice kid, but a late-bloomer with no powers -- hence "sidekick." Ouch. Russell, a veteran of mutated-youth Disney flicks, brings the right dash of mock-serious to his role as dad. Bruce Campbell, Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald and Cloris Leachman round out the wacky faculty. There's the usual lessons about sticking up for your friends and discovering your own talents, but they hardly seemed intrusive in this amiably twisted high school angst comedy. (AH)

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