Friday, October 24, 2008

High School Musical 3

“You may be ready to say goodbye to East High, but East High’s not ready to say goodbye to you.”

I missed the first two made-for-TV High School Musical films, but even coming late to the party it didn’t take me long to get the lay of the land. It’s senior year at East High in Albuquerque, New Mexico. That means one last musical for the gang, and fears about future college plans and long-distance romance for Troy (Zac Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens).

Although the storylines are quite simple. the sets, costumes, and choreography make stand-out performances. The film, tongue firmly in cheek, makes homage to everything from Busby Berkley to Madonna’s “Material Girl” video.

In terms of acting most of this cast belongs on television, and, aside from some big-hearted musical numbers, they don’t do much to distinguish themselves. Hudgens proves she has a voice for the big screen, but not, at least yet, the acting chops to hold down a lead. Ashely Tisdale is hurt by the limitations of her role as the blonde bitch, and Efron’s everyman character tries to be so many things I’m still not sure who exactly Troy Bolton really is. The two performances I was most impressed with were Lucas Grabeel and Olesya Rulin, who I look forward to seeing in other projects in the future..

Without much of a plot, and some limited performances, the film is saved only by the amount of energy and eagreness on display here which finally crescendos at the climax of the film in the school’s senior year musical.

The film knows it’s target audience and goes after it. Here’s a chance for fans to see these characters once more, this time on the big screen, and say goodbye. It won’t pull in many new viewers, and shows many of the limitations of its genre, and probably belongs more on television than the big screen, but if your a fan of the series there might be enough here to have a fun, though not that memorable, time at the movies.

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