REVIEW: THE THING (2011)

CAST

Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield lane)
Joel Edgerton (The Gift)
Ulrich Thomsen (Festen)
Eric Christian Olsen (Tru Calling)
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Thor: The Dark World)
Kristofer Hivju (Game of Thrones)

In 1982, an alien spacecraft is discovered beneath the Antarctic ice by a team from a Norwegian research base: Edvard (Trond Espen Seim), Jonas (Kristofer Hivju), Olav (Jan Gunnar Røise), Karl (Carsten Bjørnlund), Juliette (Kim Bubbs), Lars (Jørgen Langhelle), Henrik (Jo Adrian Haavind), Colin (Jonathan Lloyd Walker), and Peder (Stig Henrik Hoff). Columbia University paleontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is recruited by Dr. Sander Halvorson (Ulrich Thomsen) and his assistant Adam Finch (Eric Christian Olsen) to investigate the discovery.They travel to the Norwegian base, Thule Station, located in Antarctica near U.S. Outpost 31, in a helicopter manned by Carter (Joel Edgerton), Derek (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), and Griggs (Paul Braunstein). After viewing the spacecraft, Kate, Sander, and Adam are told the group also discovered an alien body from the crash, buried in the ice nearby. In the afternoon the body is brought to the base in a block of ice. That evening, while the team celebrates their find, Derek sees the alien burst from the ice and escape the building. The team searches for the creature and discovers that it killed Lars’ dog. Olav and Henrik find the alien, which then grabs and engulfs Henrik. The rest of the group arrive and set fire to the creature, killing it. An autopsy of the scorched alien corpse reveals that its cells were consuming and imitating Henrik’s own.Derek, Carter, Griggs and a sick Olav take the helicopter to seek help. Kate discovers bloody dental fillings near a blood-soaked shower. She runs outside to flag down the helicopter after it takes off. When it attempts to land, Griggs transforms into the Thing and attacks Olav, causing the helicopter to spin out of control and crash in the mountains. When Kate returns to the shower, she finds the blood is gone. The team decides to send a party to the closest base, but Kate confronts them with her theory that the Thing can imitate them and has likely already done so. They dismiss her claims, but Juliette says she saw Colin leaving the showers. When Juliette and Kate look for the vehicle keys to prevent the others from leaving, Juliette transforms and tries to attack Kate. As Kate flees, she runs past Karl, who is impaled by the creature. Lars arrives with a flamethrower and burns the creature just as it assimilates Karl. At nightfall, they burn the remains of the Juliette-Thing and Karl’s body.That night, Edvard, Kate and Lars find Carter and Derek stumbling into base, half frozen. The team refuses to believe that they could have survived the crash. Kate has them isolated until a test can be prepared to verify they are human. Adam and Sander had started to work on a test, but the lab is set on fire in the few minutes it’s left unattended. Kate proposes another test, believing that the Thing cannot imitate inorganic material. She inspects everyone and singles out those without amalgam dental fillings: Sander, Edvard, Adam, and Colin, while herself, Peder, Jonas and Lars are proven human.Lars and Jonas go to retrieve Carter and Derek for testing, and discover they have broken out. As Lars searches a nearby building, he is suddenly pulled inside. The group hears Carter and Derek breaking into the building and rushes to intercept them. In the middle of a standoff, Edvard orders Peder to burn them. Before he can, Derek shoots Peder dead in self-defense with Lars’ gun, but also punctures the flamethrower’s fuel tank, setting off an explosion that knocks Edvard unconscious. When brought to the rec room, Edvard transforms and infects Jonas and kills Derek before assimilating Adam. Kate torches the infected Jonas and Derek’s body before she and Carter pursue the Thing. While the pair searches, Sander is ambushed by the Thing and Colin hides in the radio room and isn’t seen again. They get separated and the Thing, into which Edvard and Adam are now fused, corners Carter in the kitchen, but Kate burns it before it can kill him. They then see an infected Sander drive off into the blizzard and pursue him in the remaining snowcat. While they are pursuing Sander, Kate notices that Carter is wearing his gold earring, reassuring her that he is still human at this point.They arrive at the spacecraft, where it suddenly activates and its engines begin to melt the ice over it. Kate falls into the ship and is separated from Carter. Kate discovers the source of the radio transmission at the beginning of the film, in the form of a giant glowing cylinder with strange geometric blocks forming and shifting apart, the signal still broadcasting. Confronted by Sander, who has transformed into a larger creature, Kate destroys it with a thermite grenade and the explosion deactivates the ship, shutting down its engines. Kate and Carter escape the ship and Carter suggests driving to a Soviet base about fifty miles away, saying that they’d stashed enough fuel in their snowcat to be just able to cover that distance.As Kate and Carter return to their vehicle, Kate notices that Carter is missing his earring and becomes suspicious. She tells him that she knew he was human earlier because he was still wearing the earring, implying she suspects he may have been assimilated while they were separated in the alien ship. Upon hearing this, Carter realizes that the earring is missing and points to his ear while attempting to explain its disappearance and reassure Kate. When Carter points to the wrong ear, Kate realizes he must have been assimilated and proceeds to burn him. She then retreats to Sander’s snowcat and stares blankly as the screen fades black. As the final credits roll, a helicopter pilot, Matias, arrives by morning at the now destroyed Norwegian outpost. He shouts, looking for any survivors. Colin is shown to have committed suicide in the radio room using a straight razor to slash both his arms and throat to ensure the Thing could never get to him. Matias sees the charred remains of the Adam/Edvard-Thing in the snow.Lars, now revealed to be alive and uninfected, orders Matias at gunpoint to show his dental fillings to prove that he is a human. The Thing, having taken the form of Lars’ deceased dog, runs out of the camp. Lars realizes it’s the Thing and orders Matias to start the helicopter. As the dog flees, the two chase it in the Norwegian helicopter, with Matias piloting and Lars leaning out of the open doorway, trying to shoot it with a scoped rifle, thus leading into the events of the 1982 film.The Thing does have its problems of course. The early talkie helicopter scene is obviously a nod to the very original movie in the 1950s. It’s a sad replacement, the 50s version dialogie was arguably filled with some of the richest dialogue for a horror/sci fi film at the time. Also you can feel that the film steps into remake territory with same as for scenes, although some of these are neatly spun on its head- so in the end there is no blood test etc. The effects are sadly all CGI, but they work quite well. Interestingly it’s the close up shots that work the best. The Thing is pretty much a solid homage to what has gone before and fans will love the end credits so hang around!

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REVIEW: ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER

CAST

Benjamin Walker (The War Boys)
Dominic Cooper (Dracula Untold)
Anthony Mackie (Captain America: Civil War)
Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Swiss Army Man)
Rufus Sewell (Hercules)
Marton Csokas (The Bourne Supremacy)
Jimmi Simpson (Westworld)
Joseph Mawle (Game of Thrones)
Alan Tudyk (Powerless)

In 1818, Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) lives in Indiana with his parents, Nancy (Robin McLeavy) and Thomas (Joseph Mawle), who works at a plantation owned by Jack Barts (Marton Csokas). There, Lincoln rushes to the aid of his friend, a young African American boy, William Johnson (Anthony Mackie), being beaten by a slaver. Because of his son’s actions, Thomas is fired. That night, Lincoln sees Barts break into his house and attack Nancy. She falls ill the following day, and dies shortly afterwards. Thomas tells Lincoln that Barts poisoned Nancy.
Nine years later in 1827, a vengeful Lincoln tries to kill Barts at the docks, but Barts, who is actually a vampire, overpowers him. However, before Barts can kill him, Lincoln is rescued by Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper). Sturgess explains that vampires exist, and offers to teach Lincoln to be a vampire hunter. Lincoln accepts and, after a decade of training, travels to Springfield, Illinois. During his training, Sturgess tells Lincoln that the vampires in America descend from Adam (Rufus Sewell), a vampire who owns a plantation in New Orleans with his sister, Vadoma (Erin Wasson). Sturgess also tells Lincoln of the vampires’ weakness, silver, and presents him with a silver pocket watch.
In Springfield, Lincoln befriends shopkeeper Joshua Speed (Jimmi Simpson), and meets Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Though Sturgess warned him not to form any close relationships, Lincoln develops romantic feelings for Mary. Lincoln successfully finds and defeats Barts. Before dying, Barts reveals that Sturgess is also a vampire. Lincoln confronts Sturgess, who reveals that, several years ago, he was attacked and bitten by Adam. Because Sturgess’ soul was impure, he became a vampire, and that prevented him from harming Adam or any other vampire (since “Only the living can kill the dead”). Sturgess has since been training vampire hunters, hoping to destroy Adam.
Disappointed, Lincoln decides to abandon his mission. However, Adam learns of his activities and kidnaps Johnson to lure Lincoln into a trap at his plantation. Adam captures Lincoln and tries to recruit him, revealing his plans to turn the United States into a nation of the undead. Speed rescues his friends, and they escape to Ohio. Lincoln marries Mary and begins his political career, campaigning to abolish slavery. It is at this time in the movie Lincoln symbolically puts on the top hat which he dons the rest of the movie. Sturgess warns Lincoln that the slave trade keeps vampires under control, as vampires use slaves for food, and if Lincoln interferes, the vampires will retaliate. After Lincoln’s election as President of the United States of America, he moves to the White House with Mary, where they have a son, William Wallace Lincoln (Cameron M. Brown). William is later bitten by Vadoma and dies.Confederate President Jefferson Davis (John Rothman) convinces Adam to deploy his vampires on the front lines. Lincoln orders the confiscation of all the silverware in the area and has it melted to produce silver weapons. Speed, believing that Lincoln is tearing the nation apart, defects and informs Adam that Lincoln will transport the silver by train. On the train, Adam and Vadoma, who have set fire to the upcoming trestle, attack Lincoln, Sturgess, and Johnson. During the fight, in which Speed is killed, Adam learns that the train holds only rocks. Lincoln reveals that Speed’s betrayal was a ruse to lure Adam into a trap. Lincoln uses his watch to stab Adam, killing him, and the three escape the train before it explodes. Meanwhile, Mary and the ex-slaves have transported the silver to Gettysburg through the Underground Railroad.The now leaderless Confederate vampires stage a final, massive assault and are met head on by the Union. Armed with their silver weapons, the Union soldiers destroy the vampires and eventually win the battle. During that battle, Mary confronts Vadoma, the vampire that killed her son, and kills her. Nearly two years later, on April 14, 1865, Sturgess tells Lincoln that the remaining vampires have fled the country. Sturgess tries to convince Lincoln to allow him to turn Lincoln into a vampire, so that he can become immortal and continue to fight vampires, but Lincoln declines. In modern times, Sturgess approaches a man at a bar in Washington, D.C. as he once approached Lincoln.This is a surprising, clever story that includes just enough historical facts to make it almost plausible. A lot of blood, but still recommended.

REVIEW: SWISS ARMY MAN

CAST

Daniel Radcliffe (The Woman In Black)
Paul Dano (Looper)
Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield Lane)

Hank, a man marooned on an island, is on the verge of hanging himself, but sees a corpse wash up on the beach. He tries to resuscitate it, but the corpse bemuses him with its incessant flatulence. As the tide begins to wash the corpse away, Hank watches as its farts propel itself around on the water. Hank immediately mounts the corpse and rides across the ocean like a jet ski, landing on a mainland shore but far from civilization. That night, the two of them hide in a cave from a rainstorm, and after the runoff pours into the corpse’s mouth, Hank realizes the next morning that the corpse has yet another power in which it can be used like a well for a seemingly infinite source of drinkable water. The corpse also begins a slow transition into speaking and a grasp on the English language, adopting the name Manny. Hank and Manny continue their quest, using Manny’s erections (fueled by a swimsuit magazine they find) as a compass. Manny has forgotten everything about his former life, and Hank tries to teach him various concepts about life, but Manny’s childlike and shameless interpretations of these concepts conflict with what Hank considers socially acceptable behavior.
Over the course of their journey, Hank teaches Manny the joys of eating out, going to movies, and partying, using crudely-constructed props and sets made from plants and garbage they find. Using these, Hank leads Manny to believe that Manny is in love with a woman named Sarah, who rides the bus alone every day. Manny falls in love with Sarah, and it is this love that motivates him to try and find civilization with Hank. In reality, Hank is very much in love with Sarah, having seen her riding the bus every day but never talking to her due to his own shyness. He has a photo of her that he took secretly while on the bus set as the wallpaper on his phone and follows her on social media. As he looks through photos, it is revealed that Sarah is happily married and has a child.
Hank portrays Sarah to help Manny learn how to talk to women, but they end up connecting and kiss. They have a falling out after Hank reveals that Manny never knew Sarah during his life. Feeling betrayed over Hank’s hypocrisy and self-restraint, Manny states he wishes to be fully dead again. At this time, Hank experiences strange mental flashes of surreal images recalling his journey and suggests that one of Manny’s powers is to affect his mind. Despite the tension between them, when Hank is attacked by a bear, Manny moves under his own power for the first time, crawling after his injured friend and igniting one of his farts from their campfire to scare the bear away. Hank loses consciousness and wakes up to Manny carrying him to Sarah’s house, despite Hank’s protests.
While Sarah is in the house, Manny talks to Sarah’s daughter, Chrissy. Expecting her to be impressed, he demonstrates several of his powers, inadvertently frightening her with his compass-erection, which Hank quickly slaps down. Sarah is alerted by her daughter’s crying and calls the police at the sight of Hank and Manny’s once-again inanimate corpse. Hank is soon patched up, but the cops discover the photos of Sarah on his phone and become suspicious. Hank’s father also appears, mistaking Manny’s corpse for Hank when asked by the paramedics to confirm his identity. After being interviewed by the local television news and deliriously professing on air his gratitude for Manny and his magical powers, Hank runs away with Manny’s body. Hank’s pursuers discover the structures he built which in actuality seem to be quite close to Sarah’s house, as if he had been there some time instead of journeying through the forest. The police, Sarah, her husband, her daughter, a reporter, a camera man, and Hank’s father all follow him to the beach. Cornered, Hank lets out a long fart as he is taken away by the police. Shortly after, to everyone else’s shock, horror, and in Chrissy’s case, glee, Manny begins violently farting until he floats back into the ocean and skims quickly away, propelled by his own flatulence, he and Hank sharing one last smile.A film that breaks accepted practices – a flight of imagination on the creators’ part. It most certainly will not be to everybody’s liking. For others, it may well become a cult classic.

REVIEW: FINAL DESTINATION 3

Image result for FINAL DESTINATION 3 dvd

CAST

Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield Lane)
Ryan Merriman (The Ring Two)
Kris Lemche (Ginger Snaps)
Alexz Johnson (Instant Star)
Sam Easton (The Butterfly Effect)
Jesse Moss (The Uninvited)
Gina Holden (Flash Gordon)
Crystal Lowe (Poison Ivy 4)
Chelan Simmons (Good Luck Chuck)
Tony Todd (Wishmaster)
Agam Darshi (Sanctuary)

High school student Wendy Christensen visits an amusement park with her boyfriend Jason Wise, best friend Carrie Dreyer, and Carrie’s boyfriend Kevin Fischer for their senior class field trip. As they board the Devil’s Flight roller coaster, Wendy has a premonition that the hydraulics securing the seat belts and roller coaster cars will fail, killing everyone on board. When she panics a fight breaks out and several people leave or are forced off the ride, including Kevin; best friends Ashley Fruend and Ashlyn Halperin; alumnus Frankie Cheeks; athlete Lewis Romero; and goths Ian McKinley and Erin Ulmer. As they leave they witness the roller coaster derail, killing the remaining passengers, including Jason and Carrie, leaving Wendy devastated.
5 months later, Kevin tells Wendy about the explosion of Flight 180 and the subsequent deaths of the survivors. Believing that Kevin is mocking her, Wendy dismisses his theory and leaves. Later on, Ashley and Ashlyn are killed at a tanning salon when a loosened shelf falls and locks them in the overheating tanning beds. Now convinced that Death is still after them, Wendy and Kevin set out to save the remaining survivors using omens hidden within photos that were taken of them the night of the accident.

Frankie dies next at a drive-thru when a runaway truck crashes into the back of Kevin’s truck, causing the engine fan to blow out and slice off the back of Frankie’s head. The next day, they try to save Lewis at the gym, but he tells them he doesn’t believe them shortly before two iron weights from the machine he is using swing down and crush his head. Next, they find Ian and Erin working at a hardware store. Wendy manages to save Ian before he is impaled by falling planks of wood, but a chain reaction causes Erin to fall backwards onto a nail gun, and she is shot repeatedly through the head. This leaves Ian devastated, and causes him to resent Wendy.Later, Wendy learns that her sister Julie was also on the roller coaster, and rushes to the county fair to save her. She and Kevin are able to prevent Julie from being impaled on a harrow, and Wendy asks Julie who was sitting next to her on the roller coaster, as they are next on Death’s list. Her question is answered when Julie’s friend Perry Malinowski is suddenly impaled by a flagpole that is launched by a rope tied to a horse. Wendy saves Kevin from an exploding propane canister caused by all the commotion and is confronted by a deranged Ian, who blames her for Erin’s death. A set of fireworks go off in their direction and nearly hit Wendy, but she ducks and they strike a nearby cherry picker instead. As Ian shouts that Death cannot kill him, the cherry picker collapses and crushes him. Wendy believes the cherry picker was meant for her, but Ian inadvertently took her place.
Five months later, Wendy is on a subway train with her roommate Laura and friend Sean. After seeing more omens Wendy attempts to leave the train, but she encounters Julie as she enters the carriage and decides to stay. Wendy then notices Kevin sitting at the back end of the carriage. Suddenly the train derails and everyone on board dies: Julie is hit by a stray wheel; Kevin is ground between the train and tunnel wall; and Wendy survives the crash but is hit by another train. This turns out to be another premonition and the three attempt to stop the train. The screen then cuts to black, followed by the sound of screeching metal.

I am a Final Destination fan, and could not wait till this movie came out, and it was not a let down. Excellent scenes, excellent storyline, and new and unusual ways to die makes this an excellent addition to the first two.

REVIEW: 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE

CAST

John Goodman (Red State)
Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs The World)
John Gallagher Jr. (Hush)
Douglas M. Griffin (12 Years A Slave)
Suzanne Cryer (Two Guys and a Girl)
Bradley Cooper (Joy)
Sumalee Montano (Nashville)

Following an argument with her fiancé Ben, Michelle leaves New Orleans and drives through rural Louisiana. Late at night, she turns on the radio only to hear that there were continuous blackouts in major cities. Distracted by a call from Ben, Michelle gets into an accident and is rendered unconscious. She wakes up in a concrete room chained to a wall in her underwear, and is approached by a man named Howard, who explains that an attack of unknown origin has taken place and that he brought her to his bunker after finding her on the side of the road. Michelle meets Emmett, another survivor who witnessed the attack and fled to Howard’s bunker. During dinner, an unconvinced Michelle steals Howard’s keys and tries to escape, but discovers Leslie, a woman suffering from severe skin lesions, begging to get into the bunker. When the desperate woman bangs her head against the bunker’s reinforced door in an attempt to get in, Michelle realizes Howard was right and stays.

As time passes, the trio begins adapting to living underground, and Howard tells Michelle about his daughter Megan, of whom he lost custody. But Michelle and Emmett eventually detect inconsistencies in his story, ultimately discovering that the picture of “Megan” Howard showed Michelle is actually that of Brittany, a high-school classmate of Emmett’s younger sister who went missing two years before. Upon finding another photo of Howard and a glum Brittany in the bunker, Michelle and Emmett realize that Howard abducted and murdered Brittany. Realizing that Howard is dangerous, they begin to plan an escape and fashion a makeshift biohazard suit, but Howard discovers that they are planning something. In defense of Michelle, Emmett accepts the blame and claims he was creating a weapon in order to steal Howard’s gun, wanting Michelle to respect him the same way she respected Howard. After seemingly accepting the apology from Emmett, Howard summarily murders him with a revolver. Michelle works to complete the biohazard suit but is again discovered by Howard, who realizes her true intentions of leaving. Exposed, Michelle makes her escape attempt and is cornered by Howard, but dumps a vat of perchloric acid on him, severely burning him and inadvertently starting an electrical fire. She climbs through the air ducts despite the burnt Howard’s protests that “You can’t run from them”, puts on the suit, and escapes outside, where she realizes the air is not toxic.

A techno-organic extraterrestrial craft appears in the distance; the bunker then explodes from the fire, killing Howard in the process and drawing the craft’s attention. Michelle is attacked by the craft and by a creature on the ground. The craft releases toxic gas, forcing her to take shelter in Howard’s truck, which is then picked up by the craft as it attempts to consume her. However, Michelle assembles a Molotov cocktail and throws it into the craft, which is destroyed. Michelle drives away in Leslie’s car and hears a radio broadcast about successful human resistance efforts. Survivors are directed to evacuate north of Baton Rouge, while those able to aid in the fight are directed to Houston; reaching a crossroads, she heads for Houston while two other alien ships can be seen in the air when lightning strikes the night sky.


10 Cloverfield Lane is a tense, claustrophobic thriller with believable actors planning believable characters, making this unbelievable situation real and leg-achingly delicious.

REVIEW: DEATH PROOF

 

CAST
Kurt Russell (Big Trouble In Little China)
Zoe Bell (Freshwater)
Rosario Dawson (Daredevil)
Vanessa Ferlito (Spider-Man 2)
Sydney Tamiia Poitier (Veronica Mars)
Tracie Thoms (Cold Case)
Rose McGowan (jawbreaker)
Jordan Ladd (Cabin Fever)
Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Final Destination 3)
Quentin Tarantino (Alias)
Michael Bacall (Django Unchained)
Michael Parks (Red State)
James Parks (Kill Bill)
Marley Shelton (Planet Terror)
Three friends, Arlene, Shanna and radio DJ “Jungle” Julia Lucai, drive down Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas on their way to celebrate Julia’s birthday. In a bar, Julia reveals that she made a radio announcement offering a free lap dance from Arlene in return for addressing her as “Butterfly,” buying her a drink, and reciting a segment of the poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”. Aging Hollywood stunt double “Stuntman” Mike trails the women to a bar and claims the lap dance. Arlene is suspicious, having seen Mike’s car earlier that day, but he puts her at ease.
The three women prepare to depart with Lanna, another friend. Pam, an old classmate of Julia’s, accepts Mike’s offer of a ride home. Mike takes Pam to his Hollywood stunt car rigged with a roll cage and tells her the car is “death-proof,” but only for the driver. He speeds recklessly and slams on the brakes, smashing Pam’s skull on the dashboard, killing her. He catches up with the women’s car and drives into it at speed, killing them. Mike survives with no serious injury. Sheriff McGraw is suspicious, but because Mike was sober while the women were intoxicated, he cannot be charged.
Fourteen months later, three young women, Abernathy Ross, Kim Mathis and Lee Montgomery, are driving through Lebanon, Tennessee. They stop at a convenience store where Mike watches them from his car. Unaware of Mike, the women pick up their friend, stuntwoman Zoë Bell, from the airport. Zoë tells them she wants to test-drive a 1970 Dodge Challenger, the same type of car from the 1971 film Vanishing Point, for sale nearby. The car’s owner lets them test-drive it alone after Abernathy lies to him that Lee is a porn star and will stay behind. Zoë tells Abernathy and Kim that she wants to play a game they call “Ship’s Mast”, whereby she rides the hood holding leather belts while Kim drives at speed. Kim is hesitant, but agrees. The three enjoy the stunt unaware that Mike is watching them. He rear-ends them in his car, causing Zoë to drop one of the belts. After several more collisions, he T-bones them, throwing Zoë from the car. Kim shoots him in the shoulder and he drives away. Abernathy and Kim cry over the loss of their friend, but discover that Zoë is uninjured. The three agree to catch Mike and beat him. Mike has stopped in a narrow road to treat his wound with whiskey. The women rear-end him at speed. Zoë gets out and beats him with a pipe; he speeds away, pleading with them, and they pursue. Mike crashes and the women beat him mercilessly.
Pure, unadulterated fun and excitement: that’s the key to appreciating Death Proof. Do not expect a smart, unusual take on an overused genre, like the director has done in the past: this time around, he sticks to the rules, delivering a loud, silly, sexy, violent piece of Entertainment with a capital “e”. It may not be the best film of 2007, but it sure as hell is one of the most purely enjoyable.

REVIEW: SKY HIGH

CAST
Kurst Russell (Death Proof)
Danielle Panabaker (The Flash)
Michael Angarano (Almost Famous)
Kelly Preston (Twins)
Nicholas Braun (Red State)
Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Final Destination 3)
Lynda Carter (Wonder woman)
Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead)
Cloris Leachman (Scary Movie 4)
Jim Rash (Community)
Kevin McDonald (Galaxy Quest)
Patrick Warburton (Family Guy)
Will Stronghold (Michael Angarano) is beginning ninth grade at Sky High, a high school that teaches super powered children. Will’s parents are The Commander (Kurt Russell) and Jetstream (Kelly Preston), the world’s most famous superheroes. Will’s best friend is Layla (Danielle Panabaker), who has the power to manipulate plant life.
Will is anxious about attending Sky High, located on a floating campus reached by flying school bus, because, unbeknownst to his parents, he has not developed any super powers. The first day he and the other grade nines are harassed by a trio of bullies: the super fast Speed (Will Harris), Lash (Jake Sandvig) who can extend his body, and cheerleader Penny (Khadijah Haqq and Malika Haqq) who can create duplicates of herself. Because of his lack of powers, Will is slated to enter a curriculum for “Hero Support” and become a sidekick. His classmates include Ethan (Dee Jay Daniels) who can melt into a fluid, Zach (Nicholas Braun) who glows in the dark, Magenta (Kelly Vitz) who becomes a guinea pig, and Layla who joins the class in protest against the two track nature of the school’s education. The class is taught by The Commander’s former sidekick “All American Boy” (Dave Foley).
The Commander, unaware that his son has been relegated to Hero Support, shows Will his hidden trophy room. He is particularly proud of the mysterious weapon “The Pacifier” which he took from his science themed nemesis Royal Pain years ago. Unknown to either of them, Royal Pain, who had been presumed dead, watches the exchange from a hidden camera in one of the other trophies. As Will settles in to Sky High and makes friends with the other sidekicks he comes into conflict with fire wielding student Warren Peace (Steven Strait), whose supervillain father had been imprisoned by The Commander. During a fight between the two, Will demonstrates super strength, impressing Gwen Grayson (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a beautiful and popular “technopath” who controls machines with her mind. Will begins spending more time with Gwen and her popular friends, ignoring the sidekicks and Layla, who reveals to Warren that she has loved Will for a long time.
On the day before the dance, Gwen tricks Will into throwing a party at his house, and she uses Speed to steal the Pacifier when she seduces Will into showing her the Secret Sanctum. After Gwen lies to Layla, who shows up to investigate the noise and believes the lie, Will breaks up with Gwen refusing to attend the dance even though his parents are going as honored guests. Later, he looks through his father’s old yearbooks and sees a student who resembles Gwen. Believing that the student is Royal Pain and that Gwen is her daughter he rushes to the dance.
At the dance party, Gwen reveals that she is in fact Royal Pain. During her previous confrontation with the Commander, the Pacifier, which is meant to turn its target into an infant, had malfunctioned, turning her into a baby instead thus faking her suspected death. She has since waited sixteen years for revenge. With the help of Speed, Lash, and Penny, she takes over the school and uses the Pacifier to turn the faculty and students into infants. When Will arrives at school, he apologizes to Layla and teams up with Warren and the sidekicks to try to save the day. The sidekicks demonstrate their heroism after Royal Pain sabotages the school’s anti-gravity drive and their powers come in handy restarting it. Will, meanwhile, discovers that he also has his mother’s powers of flight when he is thrown off the edge of the school grounds and must prevent the campus from falling. Gwen and her henchmen are defeated and arrested and the faculty and students are returned to their proper ages. Will and Layla kiss, and a voiceover at the end reveals that they become a couple, he and Warren became best friends, and Ron Wilson gained superhuman powers after falling into a vat of toxic waste, and became a superhero.
This is a film that everyone should enjoy. Kids will love the exciting story and spectacular special effects, and there is plenty of humor that will appeal to adults.