MovieMantz Review: ‘High School Musical 3'

“That’s the ‘School’ Spirit”

“High School Musical 3: Senior Year”
Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens
Directed by Kenny Ortega


I never thought I’d say this, but “Go Wildcats!”

After two wildly popular TV movies, Disney’s squeaky-clean “High School Musical” graduates to the big screen for its third outing, and it passes the cinematic test with flying colors.

Now, admittedly, “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” is not my kind of movie, and I never even saw the first two installments. But no matter what I say, fans will flock to theaters in droves to see it anyway.

And they should, since they’re going to love it, but the good news is that their parents will like it too. “High School Musical 3” – or HSM3, as it is commonly referred to – could have used a little more conflict, but its so charming, vibrant and irresistible, only a true curmudgeon would take the time to bash it.

It’s senior year, and as lovebirds Troy (Zac Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) struggle with the prospect of bring separated from each other in the fall, the rest of the Wildcats stage a musical that will express their hopes and fears about the future. Along the way, they sing and dance their way through 10 infectious new pop songs that will leave you beaming from ear to ear.

Returning director/choreographer Kenny Ortega gets high marks for spreading the wealth, since all the cast members get a chance to shine. But there’s no question that Zac Efron is the real star here – and definitely the most talented as an actor. But acting is secondary to the music, and at 1 hour and 49 minutes, it breezes by until the Wildcats take a well-deserved bow after graduation.

HSM3 may not have the timeless longevity of, say, “Grease,” which was also set during high school. But it definitely makes the grade as a delightful cinematic experience, and if it does gangbusters at the box office (and, let’s face it, it will), there’s a good bet that “College Musical” is right around the corner.

Copyright NBCAH - Access Hollywood
Contact Us