Friday, November 21, 2008

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Troy and Gabriella and most of their friends are now seniors in high school in New Mexico. The plot revolves around the fact that each of them has different plans for college and they're not happy with that. They also agree to put on a musical that will address their hopes and dreams.

This is the 3rd go-round, and although I really liked HSM the original, I missed HSM2, which went straight to video. Apparently Disney execs figured that to be a colossal mistake, as the sequel did outstanding numbers in the video department. So, HSM3 was released into theatres, and has been doing a bang-up job in terms of numbers.

I found it disappointing. I did like the plot underlying the entire thing, which was a rather adult one of having to grow up rather quickly and make decisions that will take a teenager away from the familiar. But I didn't care for most of the musical numbers -- which sounded like a twelve-time repeat of the same tune -- or the actual musical the kids ended up performing.

The choreography is, again, amazing. And the arrangements make the songs seem better than they actually are. The kids are very good.

I did enjoy the fact that the adults are the stable element around which the cast revolves. Alyson Reed as the drama coach, especially, does a fine job. But there were too many teen characters in this one to keep it all straight -- too many subplotlines going off into Mickey-and-Judy-Land to really care about them all. This movie could have done with far fewer characters, and more time on the interesting ones we've got. Sharpay, for instance, got very little time; as our villain, she should've had a large spotlight on her. While her voice isn't the best one in the cast, at least hers is one of the more interesting characters.

Somewhere in between movies, somebody figured out that Zac Efron is the star here, and they wisely give him much more camera time than anyone else. Hudgens is cute and sweet as Gabriella, but her smile never varies, and her voice has no edge at all to it. She's shown the back room here.

High School Musical 3 is Grease Lite in my view, preferring to completely lobotomize sex or even the notion of a good kiss out of these kids' minds. But a good thing for all those young females watching this movie: Unlike Grease, where Sandy gives up her life and changes for the sake of what her man wants her to be, HSM3 does no such thing. In fact, roles are reversed. And that's refreshing.

It's a thumb's up for pre-teens and teens for High School Musical 3: Senior Year. But it's a thumb's down for any adults watching.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home