Up, Up, and Away! (2000) mini review

superhero film not based on a comic

Scott Marshall is the son of Jim and Judy Marshall, who are Bronze Eagle (Robert Townsend) and Warrior Woman (Alex Datcher), the world’s foremost superheroes. Will is about to turn 14, but unfortunately his powers haven't yet developed.

I'm not sure why this sounds so familiar, but it does.

Oh, wait - I know why. Because the plot of this TV Disney movie is almost exactly like the plot of a Disney movie that hit theaters about 5 years later - Sky High. It's so close, in fact, that I'd be willing to bet that Sky High is merely a remake of Up, Up, and Away! but with real actors, real dialogue, and a real plot. The execution is a bit different, but the similarities are obvious. It tries to explore the same kind of tough coming-of-age issues that its remake does, but doesn't connect with its audience. At least not the over-5 age group. My 5-year-old daughter seemed to like it OK. The characters are basically what you might expect in a 7-year-old made-for-TV Disney film - lame, two-dimensional, unbelievable. The writing is equally sad. You could say it's the kind of movie that's made for kids, but there's not really much there for anyone if your age is in the double digits.

It was at least interesting they way they attempted to bring other superhero universes in - references to Superman, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and even the Green Hornet as real characters in the world. But I think it could have been done much more creatively. "We had Spider-Man and Mary Jane over last night - do you know how to get web out of carpet?" just wasn't that funny.

George Jefferson (ok, Sherman Hemsley, who has actually appeared on The Incredible Hulk and Lois & Clark) even appears as Scott's grandfather, Steel Condor. Robert Townsend did play the lead in the blockbuster Meteor Man, but otherwise, this movie is a veritable Who's Who of superhero bit parts. The "star", Michael J. Pagan, had parts in The Black Scorpion. Ty Olson, who plays flunky Barker has had bit parts in Elektra, X-Men 2, The Crow TV show, and even an episode of Krypto the Superdog. One of Scott's teachers, Ms. Parker, played by Benita Ha, has had parts in X-Men: The Last Stand, Catwoman, Blade: The Series, and Smallville.

See it if you've got young kids into superheroes - I guess they might like it.

Don't see it if something good is on TV, like The Jeffersons reruns, or even Halle Berry's Catwoman movie.

1 comment:

bankhead said...

did yall know Micheal j pagan co-wrote chainletter the movie. He has many talents then just acting