Thursday, October 23, 2008

"High School Musical 3: Senior Year"

Clearly, the “High School Musical” series has been a phenomenon within its target demographic (i.e.: 6-12 year-old girls), and the latest entry, “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” (or as the kids are calling it, “HSM3”), knowingly caters to that audience. Whether you’ve been dreading it or eagerly awaiting it, prepare for a return to the Disney version of high school where the flamboyant, pink-pants-and-argyle-sweater-wearing choreographer is straight, and that muscley heartthrob sneaking through your daughter’s window is doing so to have a picnic with her. As the first in the series to obtain a theatrical release, the film mostly follows in the footsteps of the middle-of-the-road first two, and offers everything you’d expect in such a threequel. If you hate the first two, you’ll hate this, if you love them, you’ll love this. If you’re like me, and find them mildly entertaining and occasionally irritating, you’ll find this a slight improvement. Through it all, the cheese factor is cranked to ten, and though there hasn’t been some massive creative leap – things still feel fairly made-for-TV – it’s safe to say this is the best of the three. It’s also shot with a sense of competence and actual choreography, which is more than one could say for “Mamma Mia!” The jokes still aren’t funny, the songs are still mostly forgettable (though punctuated by some undeniably enjoyable ones), and Zac Efron still looks like he’s passing a kidney stone when trying to emote, but its good-natured exuberance and propulsive energy make it tough to not have just a little bit of fun (ironic or not).


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