Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Movie Doctor: Sky High

In my continuing tradition of dredging up old movies that have been bugging me for years, I present to you a new installment of the Movie Doctor.  In these segments, I talk about a movie that I think I would have done a great job if they had hired me on as a movie doctor to massage the script.  Since they didn’t, their movie is destined to be remembered as “not as great as it good have been if they had hired Matthew to help out.”

As always, these are spoiler-heavy.  What else did you expect from an HMO?

Sky High is a mildly amusing film about a kid going to a school for superheroes.  Unlike his parents, Will Stronghold has no powers.  As a result, Will ends up going to loser, sidekick classes (along with his disturbingly hot best friend who refuses to be tested).  Eventually, his powers emerge, he finds out his girlfriend is a bad guy, and finally realizes his best friend is really hot and has a crush on him.  You know, just like everyone’s high school experience.
"Sorry, I never noticed you were hot before.  Hm, maybe I should stop writing on my eyballs with permanent marker."
The big problem with the movie is that we fail to sympathize with the main character enough.  As a result, the emotional scenes lack punch and, when he finally realizes how hot his best friend is and they start making out, there’s no emotional weight.

Backwards plot progression syndrome.  It's a common structural ailment common to movies with too many producers.
Also known as "leave the script alone, moron" disesase.
Will Stronghold should have started out as a pretend hero.  His best friend should have used her powers to make Will look like a real hero and, as a result, have to hide her own abilities.  Will becomes the big man on campus and starts treating the sidekicks, even his old best friend, like dirt.  Later, the trick would be discovered, his friends abandon him (even his new, vapid girlfriend), and he’s forced to realize what a jerk he’s been.  In the climactic battle, his powers finally emerge and he saves the day and makes up/hooks up with his best friend.

See?  All better!

Next patient, please.

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