High School Musical 3: The trilogy is complete

It’s not *that* terrible.

Here are all of the reasons to go see High School Musical 3:

  1. You are a thirteen year old girl and you saw the first two. Fifteen times each. Plus you own the soundtracks and know all the words and insist on singing along to every song. Alternately, you’re the little brother or mom of the aforementioned thirteen year old girl, and you’re forced to tag along or supervise.
  2. You lost a bet. Not just any bet will do, though. It needs to be the sort of bet where, if you had won it, someone else would have gotten a tattoo. On their face.
  3. You’re the second string movie reviewer at RVANews.com, Quantum of Solace doesn’t come out until next week (when the first string reviewer conveniently returns to action, damn her), and your editor thinks it would be hilarious to send you to ask a box office for one ticket to HSM 3. Well, the joke’s on her because I bought the tickets from a machine and I brought a friend.

In this third edition of the High School Musical juggernaut franchise, Troy (Zac Efron, whose hair looks like it took 3 hours to carefully tousle even when he’s in the middle of playing a basketball game while simultaneously dancing and singing a song) and Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens, who mercilessly returns to her role despite rumors she’d be fired for giving the Internet naked pictures of herself, which your intrepid junior-varsity movie reviewer took it upon himself to view only to find out whether it would make the movie awkward [verdict: yes]) are having doubts about their future.

Naturally, in part because this movie is written to appeal principally to thirteen-year old brains, but also because this is literally how high school seniors think, these doubts take the form of a false dilemma. Troy is experiencing conflicts between the basketball and drama sides of his life, which is no surprise given that it was pretty much the entire plot of the first movie. And Gabriella is having some sort of angst I wasn’t able to really figure out. Whatever. Honestly, who cares?

Not the aforementioned accompanying friend, who continually whispered in my ear things like “Oh dear god, not another song please” and rejected any attempts on my part to discuss which female costar was the hottest (“Kelsi is my favorite I think.” “Who cares, she looks stupid, they all look stupid.”)

It’s not that High School Musical 3 is terrible, because it’s not. Some of the songs are mildly catchy, and the vocal syncing isn’t entirely mismatched. Even the writing is kind of cute once in a while. If you are absolutely forced to chaperon some adolescent, you can keep yourself amused by looking out for Top Gun-esque gay vs. straight subtext (e.g. Troy to best friend Chad, while laying on his bed: “I don’t want my life to be all about balls.”) But I walked out of the theater humming the tune from a Bollywood song I had seen two nights prior, and I’m pretty sure that after I finish writing this review that I’ll never think about this movie ever again.

That is, until HSM 4 comes out.

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Justin Morgan

Justin Morgan knows that there is no problem an Excel spreadsheet, a sweet tea, and a pass to the tight end won’t solve.

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. I have so many things to say…

    1. Zac Efron’s face is mildly disturbing to me in its ability to achieve such a vacant expression.

    2. In looking for images of this article I found that the poster for each of the movies includes a picture of the cast jumping in the air. HIGH SCHOOL WAS NOT THAT GREAT, GUYS.

  2. Hey, speaking of highschool, we all went to Clover Hill. Is Freaks and Geeks not the perfect Clover Hill replica. I swear I have the most intense highschool flashbacks watching that show.

  3. Never have a read a movie review where “vocal syncing” was listed as one of the pluses.

  4. as the friend who accompanied justin, i feel compelled to throw my two cents in.

    personally, i think the best part of the movie was after zac efron got into a psuedo-argument with his dad, he wanted the audience to know that he was really TRULY upset, so he put on a black hoodie, and put the hood on his head. black hoods, so full of angst.

    the second best part was the lengths that disney went to make sure that zac and vanessa had no on screen lip action. there was lots of awkward around-the-back-be-careful-not-to-touch-your-boobs hugging, and only one kiss. but they were okay with her dancing around in the most awkwardly fitted dress ever (ON A ROOF, IN THE RAIN), which they had to angle the camera in the weirdest positions so you couldn’t see her underpants. we all saw her naked, disney. it’s too late for sexually repressive damage control.

    lastly, i enjoyed how sexually confused the character of ryan evans was. (http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0012451/). with his bright, color-coordinated wardrobe, and his mad choreography skillz, he was by far the most interesting character in the movie. but this was disney, so to throw you off of the gay scent, he had the most unpassionate onscreen romance with the girl that justin thought was cute. (which, for the record, i thought she WAS cute, but she had a weird smile. if your smile is weirder than your serious face, that’s a bummer.)

  5. PS. THERE WERE FAR TOO MANY SONGS. i was joking half of the time when i said “oh, please, not another song!” THERE WAS ALWAYS, ALWAYS ANOTHER SONG.

  6. i dont see how clover hill and freaks and geeks are alike.

  7. Julia, I like to call those hugs “Youth Group hugs.”

  8. This is all making me want to see this.

  9. hahahah those hugs were definitely from the creepy dude at youth group. my other favorite youth group hug is the awkward one-armed -only-the-sides-of-our-bodies-can-touch hug.

  10. Matthew, if you half as dorky and awkward as I was in Highschool(and still am), you would totally see it. Aside from that though, Same school colours, similar mascot (at least in the logo), super poor old construction…I don’t know. Maybe its just me.

  11. I don’t know about Clover Hill, but the guys at Monacan sure didn’t look like James Franco (sorry, high school boyfriends).

  12. If we go out picking up hipster chicks anytime soon, DO NOT mention HSM 3. Of course it would make for a great “awkward” blog post…

  13. Liberty on said:

    I would go see High School Drop-out the musical, or was that Grease

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