Oct. 24, 2008
Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel
Buena Vista Pictures
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High School Musical 3: Senior Year
By Hannah Goodwyn
- Some say High School Musical is the young generation’s Grease. With a G-rating, it is definitely a much cleaner version of high school love illustrated through catchy songs and cool choreography.
If joyful screams from little girls during the movie's first few seconds are any indication of its success, Disney is in for a big payday at the box office this weekend.
The Movie in a Minute or Less
The East High Wildcats are back for an exciting senior year with prom, the production of a final school musical, decisions about their future, and that long-awaited graduation day. Troy Bolton (Zac Efron) is even more head-over-sneakers in love with girlfriend Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens). But they, like the rest of their classmates, must make decisions about what each wants after high school – even if it means parting ways.
HSM3’s A+ Moments
Director Kenny Ortega and team found the perfect group with the three essential ingredients needed in a musical cast – singing, dancing, and acting talent. Two standouts are Zac Efron (Hairspray), who is one of Hollywood’s brightest young stars, and new comer Lucas Grabeel (College Road Trip). Zac embodies everything that directors and audiences want in a leading man. He’s got the looks, the acting chops, and a voice to boot. His dance moves aren’t too shabby either. Ryan is beyond talented; don’t be surprised to see him on Broadway someday. He has one of the stronger voices in all three High School Musical movies.
What is a musical? It’s a story told through song and dance, with dialogue occasionally intertwined into the numbers to give the story background. This third installment in the High School Musical library brings a better dialogue to audiences than the previous films. At times, the script is a bit corny in High School Musical 1 and 2. Although this latest picture isn’t void of cliché-ish dialogue, it is very infrequent compared to the first two. Understandably, the High School Musical concept wasn’t created to be deep and philosophical, but a fun, light-hearted look at what high school is like from a teen’s perspective. To that end, it succeeds. Perhaps, that’s why so many young adults and kids love these movies.
And who can resist singing along with the High School Musical movie soundtracks? The tunes are entertaining, endearing, and simply loveable. The Broadway style numbers are on a grander scale since this third film has brought the Wildcats to the big screen. It will make audiences around the world want to burst into song and dance. One sure-to-be favorite scene is when Zac and Corbin Bleu (who plays Zac’s on-screen best friend) turn a junkyard into their own Broadway stage. Also, you'll see their signature basketball dance moves once again as the Wildcats take the court.
Where This Movie Fails
High School Musical 3 has its downfalls. The addition of new cast members is expected since this is the last high school musical most of the graduating seniors will make. However, one addition doesn’t add to the film. Jemma McKenzie-Brown, who plays the new girl in school, does a respectable job. But, this British talent isn’t given a lot to work with. She’s present through most of the film, and then all of a sudden emerges in a way that begs the question: who is she supposed to be exactly? Maybe it’s the transitions, lack of defining her character, or the way she abruptly changes; it’s just something with the storyline that doesn’t sit quite well.
Also, the ending needed more work. The prolonged final scenes are too much. The extra bit featuring the actors standing on stage with wide grins on their faces is unnecessary and takes away from what audiences will remember from the High School Musical 3 finale.
A few cautionary words for parents with little kids: This film includes a picnic scene between Troy and Gabriella in her bedroom. At one point, he feeds her strawberries, which could be considered sensual. Also, you and your kids will see some skin. Zac Efron takes off his shirt at one point and Vanessa Hudgens and Monique Coleman show quite a bit of leg in a few dance numbers.
Final Grade for HSM’s Big-Screen Debut
High School Musical 3 is even better than its predecessors. Teenagers may not admit they like it, but kids of all ages will be jumping for joy after seeing this entertaining film. If you’re looking for clean movie fun for your kids and you enjoy musicals, look no further. High School Musical 3 is the best movie choice for families to enjoy this season.
Hannah Goodwyn serves as a producer for LivingTheLife.com and CBN.com. She also writes regularly for these sites. For more articles and information, visit Hannah's bio page.
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