Friday, October 24, 2008

Breaking Free of the TV: High School Musical 3

For a company that didn't let Zac Efron sing in HSM1...they sure let him sing in the newest (and final?) installment of the High School Musical franchise...and sing...and sing again.

Delighting audiences of all ages, HSM3 opened this weekend on the big screen. Centering around the many major decisions of everyone's senior year of high school (where to go to college, who to take to prom, how to stay friends with people), the cast sings and dances their way to a happy ending...although I find it odd that the popular kids get to run every area of the school (athletics, academics, AND the arts).
Doing his best Kevin Bacon in Footloose impression, this is Efron's best movie to date...his acting, singing, and dancing skills have grown leaps and bounds since we first met him on the Disney Channel years ago. And he is, no doubt, the center of this movie. (and he is pretty hot in this movie) I am extremely interested in seeing him in something outside of this genre or at least outside of this role.
(note that Efron is cast in Bacon's role in the 2010 remake of Footloose directed by HSM director Ken Ortega).

Everything is on a much higher level than its made-for-tv prequels....the music, choreography, and overall production value. There are several very theatrical production numbers that are wonderful. The rooftop waltz was wonderful, Ryan and Sharpay's song is fabulous, and the prom scene is classic Broadway. The Grease-like finale falls a little flat, however.

I would have liked to see more of the rest of the cast...especially Ryan and Kelsey (I had hoped they would sing the duet..oh no...that's right, Zac has to sing every song)...and of course...more Sharpay. The new under-classmen characters are fine (and open it up for another sequel) but unnecessary. I did like the larger character of Miss Darbus, the drama teacher. I had anticipated more from Gabriella but she was really a minor character here (which was fine since Vanessa Hudgens' speaking voice is terribly annoying). This is all about Troy.

Overall, highly enjoyable 90 mins...the preteen agrees. You'll laugh, might cry, and will want to applaud (although I was the only one to do so). I recommend it for ages 5 and up. (Since I know I will be watching this DVD numerous times in my future, I do recommend it on the big screen if your kids have never seen a stage musical before since the production numbers are so good)
High School Musical 3: Senior Year, rated G, 112min, playing everywhere every hour

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