"At 122 minutes, Sky High is about 120 minutes too long."
Sky High (2004)
Director: Ryuhei Kitamura
Writer: Tsutomu Takahashi
Cast: Yumiko Shaku, Takao Ozawa, Shoshuke Tanihara, Hiromasa Taguchi, Eihi Shiina
Running Time: 122 min.
Plot: The Gatekeeper to the afterlife gives three choices to the wrongfully dead: to abandon their hatred and reach eternal paradise; to haunt the world of the living as a ghost; or to avenge themselves and go straight to Hell.
Availability: This title is available at HKflix.com
ALEXANDER'S REVIEW: At 122 minutes, Sky High is about 120 minutes too long. Think I'm exagerrating? Consider what I found myself doing while Sky High was spinning in the DVD player: I ate some crackers. Drank a Diet Coke. Watered my plants. Watched my iPod charge. Wrote the owner of this website an email. (Hi, MPM!) Called the Eddie Bauer outlet store to see if they took catalog returns. Regretted having blown $3.99 on this rental. Wondered how Eihi Shiina, Audition's gorgeous psycho, got relegated to a bit part in this shit. Swore to myself that I would NEVER again be seduced by a 1" by 1" photo of a cute Japanese babe with a sword on the back of a DVD case.
And don't even begin to tell me that I couldn't possibly be able to write a review of a film that I didn't completely watch all the way through. Let me tell you something: I saw enough, okay? I watched enough of Sky High to recognize that it is stupidly named, stupidly acted, stupidly directed, stupidly choreographed and is just plain stupidly stupid.
Sky High, starring Kurt Russell, is basically about a young boy named Will who must try to juggle life as a teenager and life as a superhero. Oh, wait. Wrong Sky High.
Ryuhei Kitamura's (Versus) Sky High is about a detective's attempts to capture the serial killer that ripped his fiance's heart from her chest. His fiance, Mina, "awakens" to find herself at the Gates of Rage, the place where all victims of violent crimes end up to decide one of three things: avenge her death and spend an eternity in hell; become a ghost; or accept her fate and await reincarnation. Sound interesting? Yeah, I thought so to. But trust me, it ain't nearly as fascinating as the DVD case suggests, primarily because the acting is horrid (Yumiko Shaku [Princess Blade] is AWFUL as the protagonist); the dialogue is of the "you have to die in order to live" variety; and the "action" accounts for barely ten of the film's 122 minutes and amounts to little more than hot Japanese babes striking poses with swords.
Early in Sky High there is a scene that perfectly illustrates how dumb this movie is. Two sleuths on the trail of the serial killer plot the locations of the victim's deaths on a map of the city. They connect the dots to establish some sort of pattern. They are literally one line away from drawing what's obviously a pentagram when one turns to the other and says, "It's a figure of some sort." Yeah, it's a pentagram, you fucking idiot! And it didn't get much better from there.
In Sky High, the killer murders his victims by reaching into their chests and ripping out their still-beating hearts. That SOUNDS pretty gruesome, but these scenes are laughably bad. Remember the hand-plunging-into-the-chest scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? Now THAT'S a heart-ripped-from-a-torso done well.
Anyway, Sky High is stupid. It's over-produced with shockingly bad performances and very little action, very little suspense and it's far too long to sustain its B-movie premise.
ALEXANDER'S RATING: 2/10 (It's stupid!)