Sunday, October 26, 2008

High School Musical 3

High School Musical 3: Senior Year ~ What needs to be understood is that HSM is not just a movie, it’s a phenomenon. The theatre that we saw this in is one where I have never seen anyone younger than their twenties in attendance. The lobby and parking lot was packed. I had never seen so many folks there before, ever. And they were all under twenty.

Further evidence would be the origins of this flick – it was intended as a made-for-TV movie for the Disney Channel, and its just as popular sequel was made for straight-to-DVD, now, number three is the number one opener for this weekend’s box office. Thus is the power of HSM.

Yes, we know that Zac Efron has irresistible baby blues but that doesn’t mean he gets to look directly I to the camera whenever possible. Unlike the original, I found Vanessa Anne Hudgens about as charismatic as toast. She really didn’t want to be there for whatever reason. Ashley Tisdale makes every scene she’s in hers and hers alone. Her portrayal as Sharpay is a scene-devouring monster and it’s a delight. There should have been more. Lucas Grabeel is fun and also shines, but not as brightly as previously. The underclassmen are played simply for laughs – I certainly hope the powers that be don’t expect them to carry the franchise if it continues.

The finale, featuring songs from not only this flick but its predecessors, is a high point, but the real tour de force is “The Boys Are Back,” a song that is one of the only ones to showcase Corbin Bleu. He and Efron dance up a storm in a junkyard using moves reminiscent of the King of Pop in his heyday. Great sequence, really.

The biggest secret of HSM, and especially Senior Year, is that it’s actually good, and not just for kids. Yes, it’s a bit simplistic, and predictable, and suffers from the same faulty logic all musicals do – but it is very entertaining for kids of all ages. Recommended.

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