Teen heartthrobs back for a third time

Devon FitzGerald

As the blue-eyed, teen heartthrob Zac Efron sings in the opening scene, “This is the last chance to make your mark, history will know who we are,” High School Musical 3 sets out to do just that–make one last memorable movie to complete Disney’s hugely successful High School Musical franchise.
Directed and choreographed by Kenny Ortega, whose credentials range from the recent Hannah Montana concert tour to the opening ceremony at the 2002 Olympics, HSM 3 strives to outdo the previous HSM films by airing the film in movie theaters across America. The switch from showing the highly anticipated third installment from the Disney Channel to the Big Screen required a bigger budget, allowing for better sets, more complex dance routines, and an overall higher quality production.
The movie resumes in the East High gymnasium, as the beloved Wildcats fight to defend their state basketball title against the rival West High Knights. The opening song has a fast pace with a feel good vibe that made the original popular; however, it is the close ups of the undeniably attractive, star athlete Troy Bolton (Zac Efron) that really make the scene, or rather the whole movie.
The plot continues as the nostalgic seniors decide to put on one last musical, suitably titled Senior Year, as it is based on their fictional last year of high school. While it becomes a little confusing whether the songs and dances are part of the play or just the movie, it doesn’t really matter as the major milestones of 12th grade, such as Prom and graduation, are portrayed.
The real conflict ensues between Troy and his high school sweetheart Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens), who are soon to be separated as they go to different colleges. Both face their own challenges, as well: Troy determining whether to attend a school for theater or basketball, Gabriella deciding if she can leave East High five weeks early in order to pursue her dream of enrolling in Stanford’s honors program, leaving Troy heartbroken and without a date to Prom.
Meangirl Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) is once again flawless as the girl you love to hate, trying for a third consecutive year to steal the show from brainy Gabriella, all while wearing an assortment of hot pink sparkling dresses and five inch heels.
The one flaw of the movie is that Ryan Evans (Lucas Gabreel), with his quick jabs at Sharpay, countless hats, and questionable sexuality, is not in it enough.
Nonetheless, Disney has created yet another equally enjoyable HSM, with 12 new songs that are bound to be stuck in your head for days. And while the acting is nothing worthy of an Oscar, it’s more than sufficient, as the inspirational songs, creative dances, and sugary sweet personalities of the characters will make anyone wish her four years in high school were more like High School Musical 3.