Hello, Spongey here.
DCOM Month is over but it’s still July, so I thought I’d do something that is related to a DCOM. . I’d go over the High School Musical movies and how I ironically love them, but if you want to see that, read my review of High School Musical 2.
I explain EVERYTHING there. But Long story short, both are very entertaining for how dumb they are. 2 has it’s issues, but I still enjoy it. 2 was a huge hit. So of course a part 3 was in works.
But how do you go top that one? The songs were even more over the top and the budget was big for a DCOM. How do you go bigger? Well, for Disney there was only one option…put it in theaters.
That’s right, for this chapter, they got a bigger budget so they can put it in theaters. The set pieces were bigger, the songs more elaborate, and the camera angles were even more insane. I didn’t see it when it came out cuz I have SOME dignity, but I caught it on TV. I remember it being the best of the trilogy.
But is it, really? Well, the series is already over the top, so if the theatrical one isn’t narm-tasic, the world will explode. I should also mention this one has the best reception of the 3 to the point where it’s fresh on rotten tomatoes.
You have no idea how shocking that is, given what kind of movie this is. Well, anyway..
This, is High School Musical 3: Senior Year
The movie opens at a basketball game, where we can we can marvel at how theatrical this HSM is after seeing the cheap looking 2nd one. Troy, again played by Zac Efron is playing at the championship and the team gets a break and heads to the locker room.
Troy’s dad, the coach, gives him a pep talk cuz there’s only 16 minutes left and they gotta win this. Once he’s done, Troy gives a similar speech about how it’s now or never. This leads in to song #1: Now or Never as they head back out.
It’s a bit more of background song compared to some of the others, but it’s catchy enough to be a fitting opening number. It mostly plays as the Wildcats get their asses handed to him. The song also fits as a “motivational” thing for them to get their heads out of their asses. So I think it works.
Spoilers: they win. So they celebrate with a big ass party. During the party, Troy hangs with Gabriela, again played by Hudgens, in this tree house. Troy is such a manly man, isn’t he? Gabby tells Troy she’s going off to Stanford soon, which is quite far away.
Yeah, it’s that conflict. After last movie,. I’m burned on College crap. Thankfully, Troy stops her with Song #2: Right here, right now. It’s a love-y song so it’s kind of boring, but has more heart than the other love songs we’ve seen in this series. When the song ends, they have more “banter” as they hang around, as they have the most amusing moments so far. But enough of that.
It’s the part we’ve all been waiting for. Yep, we cut to the next day her awesome-ness Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) enters school in style
Just wanted to pull this out again.
. It’s one of hell of an entrance, and I can tell the theatrical element will help Sharpay a lot. It gets even crazier as boys faint at her presence…and there’s a weird shot of her butt. Ew.
I mean geez, this movie has been “normal/” but that was the most insane thing in the series to date. I’m hyped! We even see that her a big ass pink locker filled with weird stuff. I didn’t think she could get me over the top…but she did.
She is approached by Tiara Gold, a British Exchange student who saw her flier asking for an assistant. She has a goon now, oh my god. Right away, Tiara has all her stuff ready which means she has the job.
Anyway, they head to class as Darbus has that black chick tell them about the upcoming prom in another amusing scene. This movie went went from “eh” to awesomely dumb in no time flat! But of course, we need some kind of show so we have the spring musical coming up.
Sharpay suggests a one woman show but sadly a bunch of people sign up for the normal show. Well actually, the nerdy chick signs everyone up to avoid something awesome like a one Sharpay show. It’s their last chance to do something together, which is why Gabby suggests they all do it.
They still don’t like it. Well Troy is in it, of course. Darbus announces that the show is about everyone’s final days at East High
“I’ll cal it Senior year!”
In addition, Darbus reveals that Sharpay, Ryan, Kelsi, and Troy have all been considered for a scholarship at Julliard, but only one of them is to be chosen. Troy didn’t apply, so he’s as confused as we are. I guess his friends applied him as a joke cuz…that’s funny?
They each are told to stand up and say what their future shall be. The only one who doesn’t know is Troy, cuz this movie needs that cliché conflict. One abrupt cut later, Sharpay talks to Ryan about how she needs this scholarship.
Remember how she turned good in the last movie? Yeah, they hit the rest button…again. Only in the Sharpay’s FABULOUS Adventure did it ever stick. But I love her this way so whatever. She doesn’t buy that Troy has no idea what went on.
“Performers are deceitful and vicious”
“Aren’t we performers?”
And, right out of nowhere, we got Song #3: I Want it all. Yep, villain song time! And..well…I never thought they could top Fabulous…BUT THEY DID! While it lacks the cheese factor, it’s as over the top as ever Sharpay sings about how she wants it all and such. The music, lyrics, and signing is insanely over the top and they really took advantage of their …11 million dollar budget.
We get elaborate sets that resemble that of an actual broadway production, and we get many insanely awesome imagine spots that add to how insane this whole number is.
I want the world, nothing less
All the glam, and the press only giving me the best reviews
Ryan starts out as Normal as he’s like “Bitch you gonna include me” which is hilarious but he soon gives in by the end. And yes, we get plenty of fan service but that’s par for the course.
This not only the best song in the movie, but perhaps the best song in the whole franchise. At least, it is to me. They took the big-ness of the other songs in the movie and the awesome-ness of Fabulous and made this. It’s not exactly smart but it’s less dumb than the other songs, and I can sit with that.
And after we see so much insane stuff, including Ryan in a kickline (Seriously they’re doing it on purpose) we fade to reality, as Sharpay is happy while Ryan is confused. It’s like he’s thinking: “What the fuck just happened?”\
Then he points out that there is one scholarship, and two of them. But Sharpay says that they have to take them both. Yeah we’ll see how well that turns out. The next day, Troy takes Gabby to their rooftop hideout from the first movie.
Troy asks Gabriela to the prom and of course, she denies and Troy dies alone. Kidding, she accepts. They wander around and suddenly, song #4: Can I have this dance? Starts up. It has more of a lead than I make it seem.
It’s another love song about the prom and all that dance stuff. It’s about as dull as you would expect, but again, it has a bit more heart and I actually kind of enjoy it in the moment, even if I forget it once it’s over. It actually has some weight to it, and it feels sort of big.
Compare it to the love songs in the previous films which were…not very memorable. Also it rains near the end even though there were no clouds before or anything like that. So Troy heads to the locker room where we meet two of our new characters. Both have names I have forgotten.
One is a Troy fanboy (lovely) and the other is black. Both are new so when they get they’re new lockers they are not given the combo as they must “Earn them”. Did I mention they are currently in towels and must change? Yeah, I knew Chad was a dick but troy? Well, at least he’s interesting now.
A Brief chase ensues which ends at the stage during rehearsals for the musical. Darbus reacts in the awesome way only she can. Troy and Chad give them their clothes back. Well, that was pointless.
So after school Troy and Gabby talk about College stuff for the 87th time. Thankfully this one is cut short as we cut to the next when Chad wants to ask the black chick out to the prom. Cuz he likes her now I guess. Also, her name is Taylor but my name fits her better.
He starts out simple, but she acts If she can’t hear him. Then Troy makes a show out of it by quieting the whole lunch room. Chad than stands on a table and then asks her out. She says yes.
This scene is much more fun than it sounds. Whenever there is a dull spot, they bounce back with a scene like that. Speaking of, here’s song #5: A Night to Remember. Much like I Want it all, it’s got big sets and it’s very over the top….so it’s the best non-Sharpay song so far. Everyone sings about how epic prom will be, and everyone gets their own awesome verse.
It’s pretty catchy and i’m glad we have an awesome Non-Sharpay song that isn’t a love song. Well, she does have her own verse…and it’s awesome. Also we learn Ryan is going with the nerdy chick,…
Sorry, you can’t do that after he had a pink piano in the last movie. Anyway, the songs ends and we find out they were actually performing it for that spring musical. Clever way to fit in, I must admit. Certainty adds to the broadway feel though it makes IWIA’s similar style stick out.
SHARPAY: I hear Kelsey is writing something amazing for Troy and Gabriela.
RYAN: A song most likely.
Ryan went from just there…to awesome in 3 movies flat.
Troy tells his fanboy that Sharpay has a “secret crush” on him. Oh joy. Before anything can happen with that, Darbus makes Fanboy an understudy and he has a truly funny moment with Sharpay’s assistant.
So Gabby talks to Taylor and it looks like she got that scholarship but she hasn’t accepted yet. That assistant overhears this and gives Sharpay this new information. If Gabby took it, she’d miss the big show.
“Well, the show must go on..”
Ryan bumps into Kelsey, the nerdy chick and they have a moment. Again, stop it. Don’t even try. It’s a cute moment but there was no set up for this plus Ryan was…well never straight. This is just a weak attempt to prove he is not…well gay.
So we cut to song #6: Just wanna be with you, which is the song Troy/Gabby get for the musical. Why are there so many love songs so far? Well, this one is alright, and once again more memorable than the first two film/s love numbers. This one is even kind of catchy. But come on, the non-love songs have been awesome! More of those, please?
So after that, Troy and Chad head to their junkyard hangout. Troy discusses their future and also their past. This abruptly leads to song #7: The Boys are back. Forget that prom song, this is the new best Non-Sharpay song.
Theysing vaguely about how “the boys are back” and their past and whatever. The sound is surprisingly badass, sort of like “Work it out” if It had a backbone…and was better. It’s a bit BLAM-y and over the top…but that’s what I’ve come to see!
And like with I Want it all, it ends to hilarious silence , and the boys bouncing back like nothing happened. So we’re about 59 minutes in now, and not a ton has happened. It’s been fun but more happened at this point in the first two.
Granted, that stuff wasn’t as “good’ but still. So the next day, Sharpay talks to Troy and tells him that Gabby accepted the scholarship and has to miss the show. This is another cool Sharpay moment, as she convinces Troy that he is holding Gabby back. I’ve seen Disney villains less hilariously over the top evil than her.
Wait, she technically is a Disney villain. So that night, Troy shows up at Gabby’s place to hang out. Troy discusses that whole thing with her. They do the whole back and forth thing until it doesn’t really resolve. They just kiss and Gabby say goodnight. Then she sings song #8: Walk Away which is another love song only it’s a sad one.
Like with the other love-y songs, this one has actual emotion in it, even if it’s kind of dull to an extent. It even gets a bit catchy, which makes it the best slow song since that other one. After the song, Gabby decides to go through with it and heads off to College the next day.
Darcus tells the kids that Gabby is gone, so Sharpay will fill her role. Tiara the assistant will fill Sharpay’s role. That night, Troy talks to his dad.
“She’s knee deep in geniuses”
They discuss more college stuff and whatever. He isn’t cool with Troy going to a different college than the one he’s been preparing for all his life. Oh hey, drama with the dad that makes sense. Cool!
Troy gets all emo and hangs out in the school. Why the school isn’t locked at night, I have no idea. But he does sing song #9: Scream. Chris, 9 songs in 68 minutes?! Will ANYTHING start a song in this world?
Well anyway, this is his “Bet on it” for the movie, only it starts out slow…before getting badass half way through. Well, comparably badass. It gets really catchy and surprisingly cool. The lyrics are basic, but it’s like a less narmy but still cool version of Bet on it. It’s quite catchy and while it’s no “The boys are back”, it’s the 2nd best Non-Sharpay song now.
It’s incredibly over the top in it’s visuals as per usual for this movie, and that’s another reason why it’s awesome. When the song ends, it turns out Darbus was there watching him. Hey, he’s glad he didn’t wake up the whole state!
She’s here cuz the plot says so. Darbus talks how much Troy seems to like being on stage.
“Which is why I submitted an application in your name to Julliard”
WHAT A TWEEST!
She gets a sort of cute moment, considering how…not nice she’s been before. She praises troy and blah blah blah. She says bye then leaves. So the next day, things are going downhil for the musical.
“If it weren’t for Gabriela, this musical would have been just another Sharpay show”
- Gabby did absolutely nothing.
- There’s nothing wrong with that in my book. …Goddammit, I have problems.
Later, Gabby calls Troy and tells him that she won’t return for prom or graduation. Cuz of some bullshit about her coming back after she just got used to being away or whatever. She’s always been an idiot.
At least this can make some sense. I’m looking at you, 2!
Troy is more than a little sad, and Chad tries to cheer him up. He tells to snap out of it, after his girlfriend just refused to go to prom with him. …Jackass.
It shows how unrealistic this film is when it technically exists as a movie in the equally improbable world of Suite life. Anyway, Chad convinces him to come to the prom by himself cuz hey, it’s still prom.
But Troy just visits Gabby over at the college.
“I took a wrong turn on the way to prom”
Since this series actually takes place in Albuquerque, I could make the obvious Bugs bunny joke…or the weird al joke.
“What is it with you and trees?”
Heh, Zack Efron caring for a tree…that will never happen again. Anyway, Troy’s prom is now here cuz d’awww? So this leads to an okay reprise of “May I have this dance?”
After that, Troy talks about how Gabby really changed East High when she came, and it’s changed since she’s left. Some crap about East High not ready to say goodbye to her. Whatever.
After the hilarity of Sharapy’s Ring tone being “Fabulous” we cut to her backstage when Jimmy, the fanboy approaches her. After that awesomeness, he gets from Troy saying he’ll be back for act 2. Which means for act one, Fanboy is going on.
The musical starts with a brief number by Ryan which means another bullshit moment with him and the nerdy chick. Stop trying okay, it’s too funny. This leads into a reprise of “Now or Never”
Which is followed by a reprises of I Want it all. THANK YOU! Granted, this has no place in the context of that play but WHATEVER!
So then Sharpay comes in for a reprise of one of the love songs (not sure which) which is of course better than the original. It gets even better when Fanboy comes on as Troy, which does not please Sharpay at all.
Troy arrives right after to see what happened. Oh, and Gabby is here to. Would have been cool to show that happening or make a moment of It. Nope, she just shows up and goes on before we can get any explanation.
With Gabby back. Sharpay can do Sharpay but her assistant thinks she can be a better Sharpay. As if! …And she tells Sharpay to fuck off so she can make a good first impressions.
Okay, that was a good try.
“But you were so loyal. So sweet!”
“That’s called acting. You should try it sometime”
Ouch. Sharpay just got upstaged in an awesome way, even more so than in the last movie. Well anyway, Troy makes his triumphant return for that reprise again, which is still okay with Sharpay.
It gets weirdly cool when the others join in for whatever reason. This entire reprise set is actually song #10: Senior Year Spring musical. It’s on the soundtrack as such so I guess it counts.
Speaking of, now for a reprise of A night to remember, starting with Sharpay’s awesome verse, with Tiara in the role. Could it get more awesome?
It can be more awesome! Sharpay shows up to salvage her dignity. Ever saw two Sharpay’s trying to out awesome each other? You haven’t lived if the answer is No. In a way, they both win cuz they don’t break anything as the number ends.
This then leads to a bit in the musical with graduation, which has a cool “We’re all in this together “reprise in the background. It’s here Darbus announces that Sharpay will help run the drama department next year, which is followed by Tiara walking away. Yeah, take thatr, bitch!
Anyway..everyone talks about their future, and Troy says he is going to Berkley so he can be close to Gabby and do basketball and Theater. A decent compromise, but an easy one. Then again, HSM has never had amazing climaxes.
But wait, Chad is gone! Let’s focus on that. Troy finds him on the court, who is sad that everything is coming to an end. Then Troy is like “It’s cool man”. Problem solved, sweet moment is had!
Troy hugs his dad and we abruptly cut to graduation, as Troy gives a speech showing the moral this whole trilogy has been teaching: Do whatever you want, cuz fuck, the nerd can pop and lock and jam and break. (“Is that even legal?”)
Though it is sort of sweet reflecting on the other movies like this. Also, Sharpay is all smiley and nice. Huh, they drew it out in the 2nd movie, but here it’s abrupt again. Though she did some awesome comeuppance than get her revenge and showed her change and yada yada yada.
“We’re keeping friends we’ll all have for the rest of our lives. So I guess we’re really…all in this together”
With that, we get song #11, aka the finale song to the whole Trilogy. To make it even more finale-ish, it’s flat out called “High School Musical”. It’s a very fitting, nice finale song. It’s not quite as a catchy as “All for one” but it’s also quite better.
Everyone, even Sharpay, gets their own awesome verse. It’s a bit long, but given how epic, it is, I’ll let it slide. When the song ends, they are on a stage with a big ass HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL marque, and they do the famous poster jump.
Roll credits. I would have liked the Troy thing to be resolved better, as well as Sharpay’s thing…but whatever. The credits play The Boys are back, so it’s cool. END TRILOGY!
I’m not 100 percent sure how to feel. I’ll start by saying it’s just as enjoyable as I remember/expected. It’s over the top, cheesy, and of course dumb.
Really, everything I have to say in the Guilty pleasure section can be said about the first two. But is it the best of the trilogy? It should be. The over the top moments are the best, and the big songs are among the best in the whole series.
The bigger budget allowed them to get really big when it was big, and over the top as hell. So it’s obviously the best for that reason…but it’s also sort of boring as far as the plot goes.
The film is 105 minutes long. What happened? The character discuss college and the biggest issue is Troy and Gabby figuring out what to do. The first movie had Troy trying to do what no one wants hm to do, while 2 had Troy becoming a “Assshole’. This one seems less urgent in comparison.
So it should be arguably weaker than 1 but better than 2. But…it’s not flat out boring. Even during the non- song parts I found myself somewhat getting into it. I was never checking my computer clock or anything like that.
Why is that? I think it’s cuz also the most genuinely decent of the three. And that’s the key word…Genuine. It’s genuinely sweet, and I actually…grew more attached to the characters in this installment.
The sweet parts in the first two were just kind of dull. But here, they put actual effort and heart into it and the dilemma felt more…real. The scale was small on them but the heart was as big as any over the top scene. It also works as a finale, as I did buy into the “reflection” thing and oddly enough…was a bit sad when the whole trilogy ended.
Shut up. So when it isn’t being insane, it’s genuine. Of course it has the same issues of dull characters but I’m okay with that. It’s still a Guilty pleasure thanks to the obviously dumb elements. But it’s less narmy in the process.
It should be a “I liked it better when it sucks” thing…but this is the best of the trilogy, even if it isn’t the most fun. The songs themselves are actually pretty cool too.
The Non-love songs end up being really awesome, Most are pointless, but even something like Scream can be sort of emotional in how badass it is. Though there are far too many. All together, this series has 27 songs, not counting reprises, and the cut song from HSM 2.
While there aren’t as many memorable song titles than the others, the ones that are there are the best. The love songs, as I said, feel sweet even if there are too many. The best song in the movie is, as you know, I want It All, but I have to give props to “The boys are back” and “Scream”
IWIA is also my fave song in the whole trilogy. And yes, Sharpay is the best thing to come out of this series. But other great songs in this series include “I Don’t dance”, “Stick to the staus qou” and “The boys are back”
By the way, there isn’t much to report on the acting. It got better as the movies went on, but most of the performances are just…okay. Lucas and Ashley are the standouts, of course. Tisdale is pretty damn amazing in this role. It’s a case where I root for the villain.
At least all the other guys are LIKABLE in this movie. Chad and the others were dicks in the last 2, but I liked them here.
So yeah, there’s High School Musical for you. Everyone calls it shallow. I call it the biggest Guilty pleasure of all time. The actors seem to be having fun, and while it exists to make money (This one is oneof the highest grossing musicals, like ever now) , at least the creators are genuine.
I have respect for this series overall. It’s not bad for kids, and it’s incredibly harmless in the long run. Is it a dumb series? We’ve established that the answer is yes. Will everyone enjoy it like me? Hell no.
But for me, it’s fun even in it’s genuinely weak moments. Even 2 is a winner for me. HSM 3 is technically the best in the series, and is a fitting finale. Oh, and yes, I liked Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure but I did that one as a general review.
Critical Level: C+ (B- seemed too high)
Guilty Pleasure Level: B+
So, NOW my look at DCOM’s is actually over. Next time, we look at something more epic…comparably .