High School Musical 3: Senior Year
Directed by Kenny Ortega
Starring Zac Efron, Ashley Tisdale, Vanessa Hudgens, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu
Release Date: October 24, 2008
High School Musical 3: Senior Year (HSM3-SR) can best be described as an excuse for dancing, singing campiness.
High school basketball superstar Try Bolton (Zac Efron) has to decide what he wants to do with his life when he graduates. His father wants him to follow his basketball talent, but Julliard comes to scout his drama talents. His girlfriend, Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens) has been accepted to Stanford University in California. His girlfriend encourages him to join the school play. Also in the play is diva Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale), her choreographer brother Ryan Evans (Lucas Grabeel), basketball buddy Chad Daforth (Corbin Bleu), and talented composer Kelsi Nielsen (Oleysa Rulin). The quirky drama teacher Ms. Darbus (Alyson Reed) leads the group through their most important play.
The dancing in High School Musical 3: Senior Year is appropriate for the age of its target audience. With the exception of a couple of scenes there are no raunchy moves. More important than the age appropriate dancing is the accessibility offered by HSM3-SR. With the exception of one sort-of modern dance inspired segment, most of the dancing can be memorized and performed by young children, tweeners, teenagers, or adults interested enough to do so. (There would have to be changes for set differences, duh.) This takes the movie from something the audience views to an interactive experience.
Kids have the uncanny ability to memorize songs and HSM3-SR offers kids several songs that, after a few run-throughs, will get memorized quickly. So will everyone who has to listen with them, a frightening idea for the adults who live with them because the songs offer nothing remarkable.
Unfortunately, the songs and dancing are supposed to fill in the gaps between the plot, but as it turns out, they are the only substantive plot piece offered in the movie. The plot jumps from scene to scene, location to location, through time, and theme without regard for flow. The story often feels like the songwriters, the plot writer Peter Barsocchini, and the producers were pulling the director, Kenny Ortega, in so many different directions, he gave up and allowed them to fight with each other about what was most important to the story.
I was terribly afraid to see high School Musical 3: Senior Year. I am often driven to homicidal or suicidal thoughts by tweener movies. I left with wrists intact and those people next to me left as whole people as well, but then again, dancing movies get a leg up in my book because I love dancing. I won’t rush out myself to see this again, but don’t be afraid to take your tweener — once.