High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Definitely better production.

So, today I watched the entire High School Musical trilogy. I did. aaand I liked them, so sue me. You know what I noticed? It was touch and go here and there, but in general, each movie got better, ending in a theatrical release for the third movie…which by the way, is really rare…it’s usually the other way around. The first two go to theater and the third is a TV movie that no one cares about…so if I’m being honest, I honestly have no idea why there was never a fourth movie with an all new cast, it only makes sense. At the same time, the story and legend of the films does a good job wrapping up here, and I’m glad they did, because like it or not, High School Musical 3: Senior Year did a good job.

The third and final film in the franchise obviously takes place senior year at East High, and with any other movie dealing with high school seniors, this also deals with the dilemmas of choosing the right college, and what that means for couples in a relationship. For their last ever musical, they decide to do it on themselves in their senior year of high school and the real problems that they are already facing every day.

The first thing you’ll realize with this movie is that it has a remarkably different tone than the previous two. That would be because of the higher movie budget and expectations. It wasn’t allowed to feel like an inky dink Disney Channel Original Movie anymore, now it had the obligation to feel like an official theatrical Disney movie, which even though you don’t think it would, presents a lot of pressure for everyone involved. Obviously, they couldn’t get it to perfection because it’s a third film in a franchise, but in my opinion…they took all of the flaws of the first two movies and corrected them substantially.

One of my complains about the first movie was that they used a different man’s voice for Troy’s singing scenes. Now, that issue was fixed in the second movie, but then the second movie also had way too much focus on the comedic characters and not enough on the High School side of things. The third movie took things back to the high school and it got back to being a musical about a musical. Not only that, but they took it a step further and actually showed us the songs of the movie in a very unique way that you wouldn’t think of. In my humble opinion, the choices made in this movie pertaining to direction were really smart.

I liked the songs in the second movie, but I didn’t think they really upstaged the first movie’s selection…and I think the third did just that. These new songs are more modern, they are written better both lyrically and melodically, and the dances that accompany them are simply mesmerizing. I’m not afraid to say that I really enjoyed the third movie…but I have one confession I have to make. All of the things that make this great in my opinion are all based off of comparisons to the other movies…as a movie all on its own…it’s really hard to say.

I still hold firm that the songs are really fun and the look alone is really great and more professional, but I’m sorry…it’s just inconsistent. You never just see a third movie go to theater. The reason why is because people who were unsure about the series may start here, because this movie actually went to theaters…which is fine, but they wouldn’t have a single clue as to what was happening once they watched it. There’s no real character development or even depth because that stuff was introduced to the audience already. All this movie really is – is an attempt to end things with a bang! That can serve as a real problem.

The Good:

Those of you who are fans of the High School Musical franchise, check this movie out! It takes every problem you may have ever had with the series and vanquishes them before your eyes.

The Bad:

If you are unsure about the franchise and are thinking about starting here because this is the one that actually went to theaters – stop. Your experience will be significantly altered because you won’t really know what’s happening or how they got to this point. Watch the other movies for context.

The Random:

One of my brothers once asked me to come up with my own “The Boys are Back” dance choreography routine in order to make a fun little video. I didn’t do it.


4 thoughts on “High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008)

  1. “One of my brothers once asked me to come up with my own “The Boys are Back” dance choreography routine in order to make a fun little video. I didn’t do it.”

    I believe we were just going to do the same thing as the movie, weren’t we?


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