Stars : Luis TosarÁlvaro RicoAsia Ortega
Handsome loner Angel (Miguel Herran) loves to flick off the skyscrapers from the hills outside Madrid, where he makes a living as a grease monkey mechanic alongside his buddy Gitano (Dollar Seimouni). When local hood Poli (Richard Holmes) offers him a spot in his crew of heisters, he readily dons the ski mask and performs his first smash and grab job. Why not? The elites have left people like him, Gitano, and his beloved grandfather behind. And if his cut from taking scores helps him impress the beautiful, sassy Estrella (Carolina Yuste), who happens to currently be seeing Poli, then all the better. Angel has big plans. And he’s convinced they’ll lead him sky high, straight to the top.
Of course, Angel’s vaunted plans and jewelry store heisting also leads him into the slammer, where his cocksure attitude draws the ire of Duque (Fernando Cayo), a detective who’s been on Poli and his crew for a hot minute. But with the aid of shady lawyer Mercedes (Patricia Vico), Angel is soon back on the street and back in the crime game. Sensing that the hotheaded, one-dimensional Poli is holding him back, Angel plans and orchestrates the brazen robbery of an Audi dealership, making a clean getaway with five glimmering A7s. As reckless as he is proficient, he does donuts outside Estrella’s building until she comes down to kiss him in the stolen ride.
When Angel’s expanding criminal enterprise puts him in the crosshairs of underworld heavy Rogelio (Luis Tosar, lending an air of maturity to this youthful crime fantasy), Angel straight up offers him his services. He also woos Rogelio’s daughter Sole (Asia Ortega), who he eventually marries, for both love and criminal career advancement. And all the while, Estrella is in the wings, Angel’s true love, even if it’s not good for business. The young heister’s ambitions have led him into quite the pickle, in both the business of crime and that of love. Those he’s crossed are primed to cross him back, and he’ll risk it all for one last, desperate job. Angel thought he was smarter than everyone. But there’s always somebody making moves higher up, even when your ambitions reach all the way to the sky.
What Movies Will It Remind You Of? Sky High was a huge hit in Spanish cinemas at the end of 2020, and Netflix quickly snapped up the international rights. But while the actual film appears there, the streamer also has plans to adapt Sky High into a television series that expands outward from the movie’s climactic finish. To that end, the similarities between Sky High and the Spanish-made Netflix hit Money Heist just keep falling into place, alongside Money Heist co-star Miguel Herran playing Angel in Sky High.
Performance Worth Watching: Spanish actress Carolina Yuste is electrifying in Sky High. As the spirited, feisty Estrella, she’s the only one who challenges Angel’s burgeoning Michael Corleone complex, the only one who keeps him at arm’s length with haughtiness and a wink, always making him clamor for more, even as their love story becomes increasingly complex and sad.
Memorable Dialogue: “From now on, I bring you exactly what you ask me to get. Deliver, get paid, done. That simple.” Angel’s pitch to crime boss Rogelio (played by the always soulful, always fantastic Luis Tosar) is calibrated somewhere between youthful cockiness and being so conceited that he flips the game into utter naivety.
Sky High is artfully crafted, condensing Angel’s expansive, years-long criminal career into easily consumable packets. There are two heist set pieces that feature the right amounts of precision timing, abruptly expended brawn, and audacious exit strategy requisite for any heist film. And of course his crew of pals and criminal hangers-on offer comic relief in the margins, slumped in fancy hotels in tacky leather jackets, or playing various roles in service of Angel’s grand plans. And while it doesn’t spend a whole lot of time filling in the backstory for Angel, Estrella, Sole, and Poli, it doesn’t really have to, because the actors take their broad characterizations and run with them, developing each with a deft blend of flash, hot fuse line read, and real connection in the quieter moments. When Angel and Poli beat the hell out of each other in an elevator, the punches fall with real emotional gravity, but the connection between Angel and Estrella also burns with palpable chemistry.
Part aspirational daydream, part star-crossed love story, part high-end heist thriller, and part cautionary tale, Sky High has more than enough to keep everyone interested, even as its double and triple crosses start to muddy up the works as it puts the narrative pedal to the metal toward the end. Slick, well-acted, and assured of itself from start to finish, it’s no wonder Netflix is scheming to put this heist thriller into prestige television franchise mode.