High School Musical 3: Senior Year Review

Theme Song by Brian Setzer and owned by Walt Disney Records

After the extreme success of High School Musical 2 another one had to be in the works, but the next title would be bigger and grander than ever before with a larger budget because Disney was confident enough to give it a theatrical release! The Wildcats were going to take one last and grand bow and the result is the best film in the series with everything that was good from the previous 2 improved to its maximum potential and made an extremely entertaining finale!

STORY

The story is much better than the previous films by in a sense combining the good elements of the previous 2 we get the love story from 1 (which took a slight back seat in two to have Troy slip away and develop other characters) and the inevitable end and the unknown future in 2. The story is basically the senior year of our characters and how they decide to put on a show that expresses how they feel about the inevitable end of their high school years. Well a High School Musical movie that’s actually about putting on a musical?! One would think they would have used that plot sooner. Anyway it’s not just about the making of the show, but also the relationships between our characters. The resolution regarding the future in 2 was it can wait till later and enjoy the summer, well later is now and the conflict with the future is much better and extended and even though Sharpay is still the same and she has a plan thankfully that plan doesn’t go anywhere and focuses on the true conflict and the love story of Troy and Gabriella having a future together outside of high school. This film is the most meaningful, sweetest and the most heartfelt and sincere. It had a lot of small and quiet scenes that most kids films don’t have anymore and I’m thankful that there were plenty of those with our great leads.

CHARACTERS

Our characters are back and they’re still as good as they were in the second one if not better. Everyone brings their best to this film and has some of the finest moments of these characters. These said finest moments are mostly in the musical numbers.

 

MUSIC

The musical numbers are much more elaborate than ever before with the bigger budget and capturing the attention spans of people in the theatre. There were the kinds of techniques that one would see in a stage musical that couldn’t be done for the TV films seeing as most of them would take on a fantasy element where we would see the elements of a theatre stage in the number with all of these transitions and props and costumes. The songs felt more at home on a stage which I’m very grateful for. Also while the songs may not be the catchiest in the world they’re the most meaningful to what the character is thinking and feeling. The songs don’t have to be the catchiest to be the best. This movie actually did the impossible it actually made me like a Sharpay song!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know you must think I’m crazy, but there’s something about “I Want It All” that makes it not as bad as the other songs and the weirdest part is the song doesn’t do much to be different from the songs I loathe in the previous installments. I don’t know if it’s the more cheerful melody, the staging, the scale and elaborate setup, the really funny interpretations of the characters as Sharpay sees them, or simply that this song was the song that actually glamorized Sharpay’s terrible spoiled nature properly.

Another example of a really good song is “The Boys are Back” where Troy and Chad two best friends since preschool finally have a song together and it’s a great song about their childhood hangout in the junk yard and they joys of their friendship and their childhood and how that’s coming to an end.

I think my favorite song though is “Scream” where Gabriella has left for Stanford and has apparently broken up with Troy and Troy wonders where to go from there. Whether his love of theatre was just to be with Gabriella or whether he truly loves it as much as he does basketball and finding a school that has both majors for him to pursue. With all the pressure mounting and the sadness growing Troy vents his situation by going to East High in the middle of the night (how he got in I don’t know and it’s a musical you shouldn’t question these things) and sings and dances a song that perfectly vents and expresses what’s in his head. It’s a sequel song to “Bet On It” being a follow up in that Troy wants to do the right thing and life is testing him to see if he will find the answer that lies within his own feelings towards his situation and how strong his love for basketball, theatre and Gabriella really is. Zac Efron performs this song with perfection! I am convinced that Zac Efron is a combination between Kevin Bacon in Footloose and Gene Kelly! By the way not only did this movie do the impossible once it did the impossible twice! After this song is over Ms. Darbus actually has a heart to heart with Troy and Ms. Darbus is actually allowed to be a human being and breaks her stereotype!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When I saw that scene I leaped for joy!! This movie is not only good in its own right it’s actually undoing some of the bull crap from the other installments!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbn0ODYnM00
The last song I’ll mention is the last song called “High School Musical” where it’s after graduation and the series makes its one last number and I like it a lot! It shows a finality to it and it’s almost as if the cast is saying goodbye to the series and their fans and that is a very nice touch! I love how they make it a curtain call and the number along with the film has our leads doing a final bow! Great stuff!

ARTISTIC PRESENTATION

As I said before the musical numbers were much more elaborate with actual theatrical elements where most numbers actually take place on a stage usually as part of rehearsals for the show and other times when it’s a fantasy staging. The staging, lighting and costumes are all superb and really show off the extra budget. I swear to freaking God the choreography just gets better and better and this is the best in the series!

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

I’ve had my gripes with this series, but all of that isn’t here in the finale. The films learned from their mistakes and gave us the best in the entire series and a great finale! The characters are at their strongest, the song and choreography are the best in the series, the plot is the most sincere and meaningful and brings us full circle, little to no bull crap, and it did the impossible twice by doing what I mentioned above!  I really enjoyed this one!

Verdict: 4 graduation caps out of 5

I’M FINALLY DONE WITH DCOM MONTH!!!!!!!!!! I CAN FINALLY MOVE ON!!!!!!!!!!! So my Gummi Ship has reached its destination and the next World Showcase will be the Olympus Coliseum!

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