28
Oct 05

The Perfect Movie

Do You SeePost a comment • 512 views

Perfection is a different quality from excellence. I need to make this clear before I start talking about Sky High. What I am talking about, with regards to perfection here, is the idea that there is no conceivable way that the final film could have better fulfilled the terms of the films pitch. This does not mean that the film could not be better, or even that a better film could be made of the same material. Rather that if the pitch was “high school comedy set in a superhero high school”, then Sky High is exactly the film you would imagine. Every high school cliche is present and correct, and every aspect has been refracted through its high concept to work.

The nearest film I can think of to this kind of perfection is Galaxy Quest: whose pitch “what if the cast of Star Trek were actually sent into space to fight an interstellar war” manages to happily fulfill the criteria. The quirks of both films are inherent in their high concept, the success lies into how the films twist around their self identified conventions. Indeed you can admire to such an extent the neat dovetailing of superhero and high school so much you wonder why it has not been done before. (And smartarse I know it has – but was the X-Men like any school you went to? But never with the emphasis on High School, and never as well.)

I struggled with the high school genre when talking about Mean Girls, and certainly the high school movie shorthand is all over Sky High. Again, like Mean Girls, the film is aimed at pre-high schoolers, but this is a very family friendly kids film. Indeed you walk away thinking that you have seen the ultimate in pre-packaged studio product (next to impossible to find these days) before you realise that actual Sky High is actually a very unusual High School comedy. Not because of the superhero dressing. But rather that the lead character is male.

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