High School Musical 3
Rated G; Directed by Kenny Ortega; starring Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel and Corbin Bleu
Ah, the fun of kids cavorting to music as they deal with life’s lessons. From Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland putting on a show to Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello playing on the beaches, there’s been a fine movie tradition of teenagers singing and dancing their hearts out. The latest teen series didn’t start in film, but came from TV. The High School Musical franchise debuted on the Disney channel and craziness happened in the pre-teen world. For those of you who have not seen the first two High School Musical TV-movies, it’s about high school kids who, just like in the old days, put on a show.
This time it’s the senior year of the major characters. Troy (Zac Efron) isn’t sure what he wants to do after graduating, while Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) must decide whether to leave senior year early in order to join an honors program at Stanford. Meanwhile, there’s a musical that they must put on. Yep, that’s the plot.
The reason to sit through the weak story is to enjoy the energetic musical numbers. The songs range from romantic teen ballads to large production numbers with lots of dancing. Unlike the earlier movies there are no standout songs like “We’re All in This Together” or “Fabulous.” Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel probably have the best number this time with “I Want it All.”
Director Kenny Ortega tries to keep things moving, but somehow this move to the big screen falls flat. That won’t stop Disney, as this movie sets up the next gang of high school musical kids. In other words, do expect a High School Musical 4.