High School Musical 3: Senior Year Movie Review

First off, I have to admit that the only reason I spent $8.50 (matinee price) X2, to see this movie is because I am a kick ass dad and my eight year old daughter is psycho for HSM. I also planned to review it, so I was paying attention looking for material.

I had every intention of mocking scene after scene and corny quote after agonizing quote. For instance, the lead male, Troy (Zach Efron) uses a lot of “big arms” while singing seemingly giving the swarms of 11 year old fans a hearty embrace from the big screen.

He also climbs a lot in this movie: balconies, trees, tree houses, stages, ladders, he climbs onto a piano and over theater seats and even the drama teacher at one point. I imagine that to a Tween, nothing is cooler than a kid that can climb like a spider monkey. Also, I haven’t seen private, angry dancing done so well since the violent dance solo in Footloose all those years ago. Kevin Bacon is still my hero. “What’s wrong with getting a little psyched about Ren?” –Sarah Jessica Parker (1984)..when she was still cute.

The plot is exactly as the title suggests. Our current bunch of Disney brats are finishing up their senior year and going through the fun and stress that the ending of an era usually entails. What to do, where to go, and how to deal with the reality that your best friends will soon be nothing but memories. Of course, mix in a bunch of dance, song, “the big game”, and some teenage romance, and you have a cliché plot wrapped around some surprisingly impressive dancing and some fair music that I will likely be hearing for the next year or so from my daughter’s room….and Radio Disney, of course.

Now, here comes the creepy part. I absolutely see how young teens will love this movie and the heartthrobs they are there to see, but I didn’t anticipate anything but boredom if not annoyance on my part. To the contrary, I felt nostalgic and a little sad thinking about this portion of my life and how it is gone forever. That led to self reflection of how old, fat, and untalented I am, and how most of the great opportunities that this life has to offer have come and gone. I then looked at my daughter and realized that she is going to be graduating high school in a blink of an eye and I was sad again for a different reason. I don’t know if that was the intent of the writers, but I damn near teared up at one point.

Troy and Gabriella’s relationship is cute and relatable to a sappy person like me. If you have ever gone away to college and left someone behind, you know what I am talking about. At one point she says something like “I’m sorry, my heart doesn’t know I’m only in high school.” I remember that. Well put Gabriella.

If you are familiar at all with the HSM franchise, you know what this movie is going to be like and what it is about so I will spare you more details. Cheesy, Yes. Corny, Ok. I understand that most people over 16 will likely only watch this out of obligation, and I know most won’t admit to liking it. Along those same lines, thinking with the female, Tween part of my brain, the young girls will love it. My daughter said it was the best yet. Young guys will likely not be able to get past the singing, but if they do, there is a little Kung Fu in there for good measure. Fair music, good dancing, and plenty of eye candy if you’re a 13 year old, so I say mission accomplished.


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