A ChucksConnection Film Review


Kelly Blatz and Joey Polari wear black and green high top Converse “Chuck Taylor” All Stars in the film.

Skyrunners

By Brandon L. Summers


Nick schemes to get with Darryl's current girl friend, Julie

Nick schemes to get with Darryl’s current girl friend, Julie.


Skyrunners is a Disney XD original movie about two brothers, graduating senior Nick (Kelly Blatz) and freshman Tyler (Joey Pollari). Instantly, Nick is an unlikable Shia LaBeouf clone, the sort of over-confident jerk who constantly asserts how awesome he is without ever having accomplished anything, and is an insufferable idiot. He has no morals, and succeeds only lying and cheating. Tyler, though, is intelligent and has good morals.


Tyler and his fellow freshmen are threatened with dodge balls

Tyler and his fellow freshmen are threatened with dodge balls by Darryl and his friends.


The film opens with Nick hooking up with attractive teen girl Julie (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood). That night, Nick, scheming and already assured of success, and Tyler are driving along a dark rural highway when a spaceship falls from the sky! It’s a sleek, dark gray pod, small enough to put on the back of their pick-up. (It’s the only reason, I suspect, that Nick has an unsexy pick-up truck and not a sexy convertible.) Immediately, as Tyler predicts, they’re pursued by government agents, but escape. It doesn’t last long, though. Soon, Agent Armstrong (Conrad Coates, Hephaestus in Percy Jackson) is at their house! Nick gets out of this the way he gets out of everything, by lying.

the camera briefly shows his green high top chucks

When a girl compliments Tyler after the dodge ball game, the camera briefly shows his green high top chucks.


Tyler takes the spaceship for a joy ride and is launched into space for a few seconds, then brought back down to Earth. Nick and Tyler go for maybe one more joyride, but then keep the spaceship in the garage until the finale. The space trip has a strange effect on Tyler. It makes him hit puberty overnight! It’s the film’s way of covering the fact that Pollari hit puberty overnight. He also starts to develop light psychic powers, leaping ability and super-reflexes. He uses this to attack dodge ball bullies, not knowing that he’s supposed to be pummeled and develop character. While Tyler deals with his new body, Nick tries to win back Julie after missing their date, taunting bully Darryl (Nathan Stephenson) and being told that if he doesn’t turn in his science project, he won’t graduate in two days. Both students are in classes where the subject is worsening global environmental disaster. At some point it’s revealed that the spaceship is sentient, contains space weapons, and there’s a monster stalking Tyler.


Tyler comes in for a landing

Tyler comes in for a landing.


After rehearsals for a pirate-themed play, Tyler is attacked by said monster, a towering fish-lizard thing. He narrowly escaped with help from the spaceship and cut-rate special effects. Nick is too self-obsessed to help, so the brothers have a falling out and Tyler, now free to listen to his conscience, contacts Armstrong. Armstrong shoots the spaceship, injuring it, and reveals himself to be an alien monster in disguise! Tyler is captured. Nick steps up, repairing the spaceship and using it to find Nick. We have no idea what the aliens want with the boy, but they’re releasing carbon directly into the atmosphere to kill all humans. It’s an insidious plan rivaled only by Professor Chaos’s scheme to flood the Earth. Nick gets there, the boy is saved, the aliens are thwarted, and Nick makes it back in time for graduation, where he presents the repaired UFO as his project. He then acts like an ungracious ass and does a guitar riff on his diploma, like he’s in Wyld Stallions. Of course, the alien threat still looms.


Tyler ponders what to do about the alien ship

Tyler ponders what to do about the alien ship.


The premise of brothers finding a spaceship is a dirty tease. Mostly, it’s about their lame teenage struggles. Nick trying to get with a girl, Tyler trying to get with a girl. Tyler’s powers are used for nothing, and the alien threat is quickly resolved. My guess? This was a thirty minute pilot that was bloated into a mediocre TV film. It’s just obnoxious and awful. Badly written, with cheesy acting. Nick is a bad role model. Ever at the end, he’s crashing the sentient ship and tricking it out with stereos like it’s a disposable toy. The effects are horrible. Nothing interesting happens. Lame jokes. It’s only saving grace, in this context, is that there are many shots of chucks.


Nick must go and find Tyler after the aliens grab him

Nick must go and find Tyler after the aliens grab him.


Best Chucks Scene


Tyler is the only one to stand up to Darryl and his friends

Tyler is the only one to stand up to Darryl and his friends.

Tyler easily dodges the balls thrown at himTyler easily dodges the balls thrown at him 2

With his new powers, Tyler easily dodges the balls thrown at him.


In the film’s only scene with some style, Tyler uses his super-reflexes in gym class to return a punishing volley of dodgeballs to his bullying classmates. They say its space radiation, but clearly it’s his green high top chucks.


Tyler leaps up and hangs from the basketball hoop

Tyler leaps up and hangs from the basketball hoop.

Tyler begins to retaliate against Darryl and his friends

Tyler begins to retaliate against Darryl and his friends.

Tyler kicks the dodge balls back from up in the air

Tyler kicks the dodge balls back from up in the air.


Later, Armstrong is confronting Tyler, explaining the secret government code word for youths who travel in space in sentient spaceships. They’re called... Skyrunners! He backs Tyler to the edge of a platform, and he’s barely balancing forward. Again, saved by his chucks.


Tyler balancing on the edge of a platform

Tyler balancing on the edge of a platform.


Skyrunners. (2009) Joey Polari, Kelly Blatz, Conrad Coates, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, Nathan Stephenson, Kerry Lai Fatt, Linda Kash.
Directed by Ralph Hemecker. Categories: Comedy, Action/Adventure, Science Fiction/Fantasy.
ChucksConnection Rating: 3 chucks rating 2.5 chucks for the film and an extra .5 for the great chucks shots. MPAA Rating: PG

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