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High School Musical 3 (DVD)
Member Name: pmcds
High School Musical 3 (DVD)
Advantages: Fantastic end, issues dealt with well
Disadvantages: Not so much bite for the bulk of the film as the other two
Having watched and been a (reluctant) fan of the previous two High School Musical films, I was looking forward to this one, cheese and all! Taking cues and scenes from magical shows such as Grease, HSM3 takes up the story of a group of High School students as they prepare for their senior year, complete with college decisions and everything.
Jock Troy Bolton and the love of his life, brainiac Gabriella Montes, are the school's sweethearts, with friends Chad, Kelsey and others equally as popular. Then there are the Evans' siblings, a family with money, and I suppose talent, but a large amount of theatrics and ego to boot. All in all, the characters work together very well, and the cast do a pretty good job of convincing us of the roles they play.
Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens have gone lunar in terms of showbiz, but it's not just luck that has landed them in this situation. They are very talented singers, dancers and actors, and they have great screen presence. I suppose it's mainly that they're believable and this goes a long way when constructing something aimed predominantly at kids, to give them an idea of how idyllic a life could be, despite and because of all of the tricky decisions there could be. Being the main centre fo stage on sch a huge trio ofi films cannot be easy, but they blend well with the other co-stars, who also do a fantastic job of singing, dancing and acting.
The main focus of the film is the end of year drama performance, where the Juilliard School of Drama (the mutt's nuts of performing colleges) will decide if one of 4 potential candidates get a scholarship. On the way to this show is their finals, the prom, and some tricky colege and future decisions from all invovled. For Troy in particular, he has set his sights on a particular college since he was tiny due to the basketball team there, hoping to pin his future as a player. For Gabriella, it could be Stanford, a huge deal, and would mean a lot of distance between her and Troy.
All other characters have other such dilemmas facing them, and it was nice to see that they didn't just paint a picture of utopia, with the huge white picket fenced houses with balconies and treehouses. Sure, there is this element, but the reality of teenage angst is explored in a decent amount of depth.
However, the film is called High School Musical, and so the bulk is, really, on how they go about everything, using the medium of song. To me, it seemed as if there was more singing and dancing in this film than the other two. There are more solos, with one particular one from Troy towards the end being particularly powerful. The main song I suppose is a duet between Troy and Gabriella, and is repeated a couple of times. I found it to be less of a 'wow' song than the previous two films have mustered, and in general the film doesn't quite have the kick to it throughout. The ending does, though, so hold on to your hats if you liked the first two. This one is even better.
Director Kenny Ortega has done a fabulous job. I can only imagine how much all the performances cost, because they have really gone to town on some of the numbers here. Simon Cowell would hate it, absolutely hate it, as there are gimmicky props and dancing for everything. It's flashy and flamboyant beyond belief. For me, I loved it, and found the plot was decent enough as well. It dealt with things in a light hearted manner but didn't fall into the trap of painting everything as a perfect picture. This gave it a bit more bite as a drama, and improved the overall feel, so I thought.
The DVD is available for £9.98 from amazon.co.uk at the moment, and is unlikely to drop much in price, it being a Disney production. I saw it a while back so have not had the chance to check out the extras, and so this is a film only review, but it is a film that's definitely worth watching, irrespective of the extras. If you were a fan of the previous two, you'll absolutely love it!
Summary: The third (and final?) High School Musical film