Sky High

Sky High
Running time:121 minutes
Director:Daniel Calparsoro
Release date:18 december 2020
Angel lives in a slum on the outskirts of Madrid. His life changes the day he meets the beautiful Estrella. During a brawl in a nightclub, the young woman discovers that Angel has the gift of getting into trouble but above all of getting out of it with panache. So she encourages him to join a gang of thieves who rob the city's jewelry stores. Angel quickly climbs the ladder of his new environment without knowing that a tenacious police inspector is on his tail and wants to put an end to his young career as a thief...

Mulder's Review

Covering a festival like the French crime film festival (Reims Polar) allows you to discover a wide range of world cinema and in this case thrillers. Certainly Sky high (Hasta el cielo) was among the films to discover this year. The new Spanish film by Daniel Calparsoro, based on a script by Jorge Guerricaechevarria, shows that European cinema is capable of competing with Hollywood studios if it is based on mastered scripts, actors who are totally committed to their roles and directors who are constantly trying to give their best.  There is in Sky high (Hasta el cielo) the successful mix of the hold-up film, the dramatic and social comedy but also the thriller. 

The main character, Angel (Miguel Herrán) sees his life change forever when he meets the beautiful Estrella and decides to leave behind his poor past and fight for her even if it means going to the other side of the law and making a career in the local underworld. He proves to be quite talented in his art of staging major heists and thus attracts the wrath of a police inspector who is also ready to do anything to catch him and make him pay for his crimes. Angel will have to make wise choices if he wants to stay alive and prosper in a dangerous environment. 

After its success in Spain, Netflix has taken over the international rights to make this film a worldwide success. Surfing easily on the cult Spanish series La casa de papel (Money Heist), Netflix seems to have understood the real potential of this film and after discovering it during the Reims Polar Festival we can only go in their direction. Sky high (Hasta el cielo) shows the definite American influence on the direction of Daniel Calparsoro. Supported by a superb photography and a perfect rhythm, this film is watched with pleasure and shows once again that the Spanish cinema continues to surprise us whether it approaches the horrific genre, western or here the thriller. 

Sky high (Hasta el cielo) is certainly not totally original but it relies on actors who manage to give a real thickness to their characters and especially benefit from mastered dialogues. Certainly one could say that the editing of the film and the fact that the different eras treated are not clear enough but facing a massive flow of American movies in theaters or on streaming platforms, it is always good to discover a successful European film that manages to hold our attention without any false note of rhythm.

Sky high (Hasta el cielo)
A film by Daniel Calparsoro
Produced by Borja Pena & Emma Lustres
Screenplay by Jorge Guerricaechevarria 
With Miguel Herran, Carolina Yuste, Asia Ortega Leiva, Luis Tosar, Richard Holmes, Patricia Vico, Fernando Cayo
Music by Carlos Jean
Director of Photography: Josu Inchaustegui
Editing: Antonio Frutos 
Production: Vaca Films
Distribution: Universal Pictures International (Spain)
Release date: December 18, 2020 (Spain)
Running time: 121 minutes

Seen on May 29, 2021 (Festival Reims polar)

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