Released back in 2008, High School Musical 3: Senior Year was the third (Obviously) film in the High School Musical series, but the first of the films to be released theatrically, with the first two being TV movies. This film follows Troy (Zac Efron) as he struggles to choose between a Basketball scholarship or a music one as the end of his senior year approaches. Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) learns she has been excepted to an early admissions program at Stanford, clashing when her musical plans. While there are other storylines in the movie, these are the two the film focuses on the most.
Back over the summer, I reviewed High School Musical 2 over on The Undefined Gamer and gave the film a slightly positive review. While not fantastic, the film was fun and enjoyable enough. And with that in mind, I set off to review this one, the only one of the series I hadn't yet seen. I may have been better off. Don't get me wrong, the film is not complete crap, but it still isn't very good.
|This is how your Prom looked. Right?|
But first, before the bad stuff, what worked in the movie? Well, the cast mainly. As to be expected in the third film of any movie series, the cast is clearly comfortable in their roles and with their co-stars as well.The cast has good chemistry and all seem to legitimately be friends. Even in the final film, with bigger roles coming and personal problems abound (This was filmed in the middle of Hudgens's first nude photo scandal), the cast does not phone it in and there's something to be admired in that.
The rest of the film however, cannot say the same thing. The whole project feels phoned in and more like a cash grab than a true finale. The musical numbers are fine, but nowhere as memorable as with the first two, which is surprising as most seem to just be rehashes of the original songs. Plus, most musical numbers had this weird tendency to veer off in strange directions. Like one where Troy and his friend Chad (Corbin Bleu) sing in a junkyard. Partway through, they transform into 5-year old versions of themselves and then just change back a minute later. Just go along with it I guess.
The plot is also pretty sloppy. It is very similar to the first film and the sideplots are all shoehorned in with little development given to them as the film progresses. Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) has a much smaller impact on the plot then in the first two and her plot goes largely nowhere. Most of the resolutions happen quickly and are barely addressed afterward. Most of the scenes almost seem like an afterthought when the movie ends.
|The secret ending to Cars.|
High School Musical 3: Senior Year is everything someone's senior year shouldn't be: Awkward, lazy and boring. Most of the movie is phoned in, the story is sloppy and there is very little of interest happening onscreen. However, the talented young cast's charming performances do save the film from complete failure. High School Musical 3: Senior Year gets a 2 out of 6. How if you'd excuse me, horror's about to be remade.