NOTE: This Spoiler sent in by apothecary who says... "The theatrical trailer makes this movie look like a waste of time but it turned out to be a pleasantly decent movie - just light-hearted summer fun. It's rated PG but I feel it could've easily been rated G. It's funny, and the kids turn in very charming performances - I think these actors are good enough to pull it off even if the movie was a little darker. Kurt Russell does really well in his portrayal of an over-the-top hero, and Kelly looks fantastic. In short, it's definitely worth a look - Disney's done well. Enjoy!"
The film starts out with Will Stronghold and his parents, The Commander (Kurt Russell) and Jetstream (Kelly Preston) at home, discussing what appears to be the momentous occasion of Will starting high school, but not just any high school; this is a high school for heroes, which his dad attended. His dad is very excited about his son attending his alma mater, and presumes that Will has superstrength, just like himself. What Will doesn't tell either of his parents that as of yet, he has no super powers whatsoever. We are also introduced to Will's friend Layla, who has the cool ability to make plants thrive (kind of like an earth goddess). It's also interesting to note that throughout the movie, the all the kids' dressing reflects their ability, hence Will is always in some combination of blue, white and red (to reflect his dad's 'uniform'), and Layla is always wearing moss-green and yellow.
On the first day of school, Will's parents are summoned to thwart yet another threat to mankind, and his mother frets that she can't be there to see him off. (The Commander has a habit of saving a trophy from every triumph, and this time, he wrenches an eyeball from the giant killer robot - important later). Will and Layla board their bus, where they are introduced to Ron, the bus driver, who is in awe of Will when he finds out who his parents are, and assures him that he, Ron, is at his beck and call, even giving him his business card (Ron Wilson, Bus Driver). Will is feeling quite uneasy about his lack of super-ability, and even more so when he discovers that even Zac, who had nothing thus far, would not even get on the bus if he hadn't developed his ability just a few days ago. (Zach is always dressed in white and yellow, and we find out his power later). The bus turns into a roller-coaster like vehicle with jet engines and we get to see the school, hovering high up in the earth's atmosphere with the aid of anti-gravity generators.
When they reach school, they are confronted by the school bullies, a super-stretchy fellow Lash and the super-fast Speed. We also meet Penny who can divide herself into many Pennies infinitely (sorry - bad pun, I know).They are rescued by Gwen, the student council president (or homecoming, or whatever), and Will is immediately smitten by her. Their first activity consists of being categorized by Coach Boomer (whose voice can break the sound barrier, causing a sonic boom), as either hero or sidekick, heroes being the 'cool' kids, and sidekicks, or the politically correct term, 'hero support', being the so-called losers. Will and his friends Layla, Ethan, Zach and Magenta, quickly become relegated to hero support, even Zach (who glows but in a funny scene, couldn't convince Coach because the gym was well-lit already). Magenta is always dressed in, well, magenta, and can shapeshift into a guinea pig, while Ethan can melt. After a battery of tests, where Will gets tossed around because the coach can't quite believe that he doesn't have any powers, Will ends up at the nurses office, where she x-rays him (super-eyes, but of course!), and tells him about his dad, and also informs him that sometimes kids of super heroes don't become super heroes, as in the case of the clumsy Ron, the bus driver. Will is not comforted.
Eventually it's break time, and Will notices a broody, dark-haired fellow staring menacingly at him. Turns out it's Warren Peace, the son of a hero mum and super-villain dad who, as it so happens, was put away by the Commander for 4 lifetimes. Will laments the fact that it's his first day at school, and he already has an arch enemy.
The events hereafter may be out of order but this is the gist of it:
He returns home, and doesn't have the courage to tell his parents that he's a sidekick, especially after his dad takes him to the secret sanctum and basically initiates him into super-hero-dom, showing him all his trophies, particularly a 'Pacifier' which he wrested from Royal Pain (important later). The eyeball of the giant killer robot also makes its way to a trophy stand but it's really a video camera from his evil nemesis who wants to know the location of the Pacifier). But eventually, during a study session, he informs his dad, and his dad is clearly disappointed, but Will stands up for his friends, pointedly referring to them as 'hero support', and NOT sidekick. His parents are reasonable though; even his dad comes around, after being admonished by his wife when he actually considered where to find a toxic waste dump (for obvious purposes ). At school, we also meet the hero-support instructor, who teaches them everything from using gadgets to split-second costume changes - everyone manages well in this activity, changing from ordinary school clothes into sidekick gear successfully, except Zach who only manages to strip to his boxers in the time given .
Back at school, Will and his friends are given a hard time by the bullies. One day, Will is deliberately tripped over by Lash so that he goes flying into Warren. Warren is totally PO'd, and begins attacking Will with gusts of fire, throwing fireball after fireball at him. Will ducks and swerves to avoid him, and eventually scrambles under a table with Warren climbing atop the table, throwing fireballs through the table. His friends try to come to the rescue but Warren is pretty fearsome; Will's temper flares when he sees his friends being threatened, and all at once, his superpower strength emerges when he demands that his friends be left alone, and stands straight up, easily lifting the table with Warren on it, and tossing it clear across the room. After a scuffle (all right, it was an all-out brawl !), in the midst of which Will can't open the fire extinguisher fast enough and so just rips the top off of it and douses Warren. The fight is brought to a halt and the two boys are escorted to a detention room that inhibits super powers. Will tries to make up with Warren but Warren won't have any of it.
Will gets home thoroughly excited, even taking his front door off its hinges in his excitement, and is confronted by his parents. His mum, like any parent, scolds him, and his dad pretends to as well, in front of his wife, but as soon as father and son are alone in the secret sanctum, his dad lets loose his glee that his son is strong. Rather than a lecture, he presents him with an X-Box (this is the part in the theatrical trailer where they hug and his dad is all you ARE strong!).
When Will returns to school the next day, he is transferred to hero class, and he is sad to leave his friends. But he still makes an effort to hang out with them, and keeping the bullies away. Will is challenged to a contest, where if he wins, he and his friends are let alone, otherwise .well, you can guess. The contest is conducted such that there are teams, two villains who try to kill a citizen versus two heroes who must try to save the citizen. So far, no freshman has ever won the contest, and Lash and Speed are champion villains at this game. After wasting yet another hero duo, they pick Will to go up against, and as Will's partner, they pick Warren. Lash tries to latch around Warren but is scorched when he sets himself on fire. At first, Will is overwhelmed by Lash's arms and legs stretching and flailing in all directions and knocking him about, while Warren is having a tough time with Speed whizzing about him so fast that he can't accurately target him with fireballs. Will soon tires of this, and this is the scene in the theatrical trailer where he pounds the floor hard enough to unsettle the floorboards, knocking Lash off his feet and giving Will enough time to tie him up with his own limbs. The clock is ticking however, and Speed has cornered Warren, whirling around him so fast as to create a vortex that sucks all the oxygen out of that little space around Warren (him being fire, he needs oxygen), so that Warren is weakened and brought to his knees. When Will sees that Warren is in serious danger of being suffocated, he is in a dilemma as to whether he should save the citizen or save Warren. With only a few seconds left, he leaps over to Warren, puts a stop to Speed's frenzy and tosses Warren so that Warren grabs the citizen in his trajectory and clears the pit of churning blades. After this, Warren is a little more forgiving towards Will, but still overall broody and menacing.
During this time, in a science class headed by a genius instructor with an alarmingly large head (no pun intended !), Will is paired up with Gwen. Gwen is taking an unhealthy interest in him, and has the power to put gadgets together with her mind. She even turns up at his home for dinner, causing him to forget his date with poor Layla, who is left waiting in an Asian restaurant after he promises take her out. He and Gwen have a fun evening, and he walks her home. Meanwhile, the patient Layla is still waiting for him at the restaurant long after all the other patrons have left, when who should turn up as busboy but Warren. Warren reveals his softer side when he gives Layla company, gently lights a candle with his fingertip (in complete contrast to his act of ferociously setting himself and everything around him on fire) and tries to convince her to tell Will how she really feels. In a cute and funny moment, he solemnly recites a poetic phrase (something about true love blah blah blah) and she is impressed but then he continues with and your lucky numbers are - turns out he's just reading a fortune cookie.
Gwen asks Will out to the homecoming dance, and earlier that evening, she had asked his parents to be guests of honour. The next morning, he meets Layla as usual at the bus stop, and then realizes he stood her up, but she's forgiving, instead wanting to ask him out. He beats her to it though and crushes her when he tells her about Gwen and being so obviously thrilled to be going with her. She clams up about her feelings then, and when he asks her about her date, in the spur of the moment, she tells him it's Warren Peace. Will is upset that she's with his arch enemy but she reminds him that while he was having dinner with Gwen, she was left all alone in the restaurant, and so she turned to Warren. She finds Warren and buddies up with him, and he's willing to go along with her to irk Will (but he is NOT renting a tux). It's a hoot when she sits down at his table in the cafeteria, and then her sidekick friends bounce by and nonchalantly join them. Warren is highly annoyed at the possibility of his loner status being ruined and leaves the table, but Ethan wonders if the table still retains its mean-and-nasty status even if Warren's not there .
Gwen continues to seduce Will and manages to invite a 'few' friends over to 'discuss' the homecoming dance but it turns into a raging party. She wants a little 'privacy' and Will, being totally mesmerized by her, violates his dad's one rule and take her to the Secret Sanctum, where his attention is diverted by her and we see behind them Speed scooting by and taking the Pacifier. They return to the party, and Layla has found her way there. Gwen sends Will to get a drink, and in the meantime, is quite the bitch to Layla. Will returns to find Layla almost in tears and she leaves his house. He is upset, so upset to see her that way that he confronts Gwen, and she shows him her mean-spirited side, so he dumps her right there and then. He tries to clear out the party but too late, as his parents are already there. His parents, as normal parents are quite mad, but he is too dejected to care what they do, and tells them that he isn't going to homecoming. They realize something is wrong but he won't tell them. He tries to call Layla, leaving message after message that he'll be waiting at the same restaurant he stood her up at. He waits just like she did, and who should be there but Warren. Warren tells him that Layla likes him, and Will vents to Warrens as to how he misses his friends. With a totally straight face, Warren drily comments that Will must really be bad because they are friendly even to the scary Warren, that they won't stop talking to him.
The day of the homecoming arrives, and all the kids are having a fun time, and the Commander and Jetstream turn up in full super-hero regalia, but are hesitant because Will isn't there. It's too late however because they are introduced to the crowd and presented with their trophy. We see Layla (in a gorgeous Greek-style green gown) and Warren in a -gasp!- shirt and tie, all undone but shirt and tie all the same; Layla mentions that she though he wasn't renting a tux, but he informs her he didn't - it's his dad's. At the same time, Will is at home, flipping through his dad's yearbook, and notices that a Sue Tenney (who was a creepy science geek back then) is carrying what appears to be a Pacifier, and he is struck by her likeness to Gwen, and then he realized that the Pacifier is missing - he is quickly alerted to the gravity of the situation and dials Ron Wilson, Bus Driver immediately. Meanwhile, back at homecoming, Gwen has revealed herself to be none other than Royal Pain, back meaner and badder than before. She uses the Pacifier to turn the Commander and Jetstream into infants, along with all the other hero grownups and her evil friends help her to seal off the hall, but not before Warren, Layla, Ethan, Zach and Magenta make their escape through a vent that Warren blasts open. In the vent, Ethan asks if Warren could possible provide a little light but Warren replies that not unless they want to be barbecued (it's a metal vent) but Zach, as you remember, glows and so he lights the way. They make their way out and are met by Will at the other end, who makes up with Layla on the spot, but the evil goons turn up. Warren tells Will to go after Gwen and that he and the other sidekicks will take care of the others. They use their powers to dodge them; in a you go girl! scene, the bad Pennies (sorry - again!) corner Layla against a window with little plants outside. She is a pacifist and reluctant to use her powers but the Pennies smack her around so she gets irritated enough to summon the plants to thrive and grow wild, tearing right through the windows, twirling and trapping the Pennies.
Back at the hall, Will and Gwen, now revealed to be none other than the original Royal Pain, battle it out. Will is disgusted with himself for making out with an old woman, and it is revealed that the Pacifier turned her into an infant, and she grew up to be Gwen. Her master plan is to take the superhero infants and raise them as villains. Will has Royal Pain pinned but at the last moment, she lets loose a powerful blow that sends Will flying off into space and to certain death. But to her surprise (and to his), he pops up again - like his mum, he can fly too. Meanwhile, the Pennies tell Layla about how Gwen has disabled the anti-gravity generators and the school with all of them in it, will fall, crashing to its death. The only way to reach the device is through a tiny tunnel, and Magenta comes in handy when she shapeshifts to a guinea pig, scurries down the tunnel to gnaw through the wires, hopefully the right one. Ethan and Zach yell instructions down the tunnel and she does her best to hurry. But the babies are all loaded up into the bus and the school begins to plummet towards earth - Will tries to halt its freefall but the school's huge and gravity is a powerful force; both combine to create a momentum that he can't stop - panic ensues and Zach and Ethan just plain yell into the tunnel and Magenta finally gnaws through the right wire and the anti-gravity kicks in so that Will is able to lift the school and return it to its proper location. The big-headed genius instructor, who is now a baby but still a genius, figures out how to reverse the Pacifier, and everyone is returned to their normal state. The Commander and Jetstream commend the sidekicks and proclaim them heroes. The homecoming dance continues - and we see all the kids finally happy - Zach finally gets to dance with Magenta, who didn't want to earlier (his outfit's hilarious but adorable: white suit with funky yellow shirt, but instead of full-length trousers, he's wearing three-quarter shorts). Will and Layla are of course together, and the fiery Warren finally meets his match, an ice-cool maiden.
The last bits of the movie are composed of pictures in comic-book style, with Will narrating how the rest of his year turned out pretty normal and how Ron Wilson, Bus Driver fell into a toxic waste dump and turned hero as well, and how his girlfriend turned into his arch-enemy, his arch-enemy turned into his friend, and his best friend became his girlfriend, and so on and so forth.
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