High School Musical 3: Senior Year
Breezy musical romance in which a high school basketball star (Zac Efron) and his academically gifted girlfriend (Vanessa Hudgens) join their classmates (Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu and Monique Coleman among others) to rehearse a play based on their own lives, while a pampered prima donna (Ashley Tisdale) schemes to oust the girlfriend from her leading role. Director Kenny Ortega's big screen sequel to the popular made-for-television films offers energetic, family-friendly entertainment while encouraging viewers to resist divisive stereotypes. A-I -- general patronage. (G) 2008
High School Musical 3: Senior Year (Full Review)
In the world of "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" (Disney), there's no problem so big it can't be sung or danced away. Director and choreographer Kenny Ortega's breezy big-screen sequel to the popular made-for-television films, though thin on plot, offers energetic, family-friendly entertainment.
With graduation approaching, the franchise's recurring characters, led by basketball star Troy Bolton (Zac Efron) and his academically gifted girlfriend, Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens), are facing the pleasures and challenges of their final year in school in Albuquerque, N.M.
On the positive side, these include a shot at their second hoops championship in a row, the prom and, of course, their senior play. This extravaganza, their bustling drama teacher Mrs. Darbus (Alyson Reed) announces, will be based on their own lives, and, indeed, for the remainder of the film songs that express the students' real-life preoccupations are reprised on stage.
In keeping with the franchise's consistent theme of overcoming divisive stereotypes, Troy, an athlete who also loves to sing, must choose between joining the team at the nearby University of Albuquerque, as his father and coach, Jack (Bart Johnson), has long planned, or pursuing a performing arts scholarship at New York's Juilliard School, for which someone has mysteriously applied on his behalf.
Gabriella, whose innocent relationship with Troy leads to waltzing on the roof of the school and a picnic in her bedroom that ends with a goodnight kiss before he readily climbs back out the window, has an opportunity to make an early start at Stanford University in California. But she's reluctant to be separated from her true love and from the familiar surroundings of East High.
Pampered prima donna Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) is anxious to oust Gabriella from her leading part. Sharpay's Broadway ambitions are matched -- though without the malicious scheming -- by the dreams of her twin brother, Ryan (Lucas Grabeel), the show's eccentrically dapper choreographer.
Old-fashioned in the best sense, this heir to the Hollywood tradition of "Let's put on a show" is benign family entertainment, and will keep its target audience of tweens, and even younger children, absorbed with its lavishly mounted production numbers. The upbeat music is sufficiently catchy that at least one adult at a preview screening left the theater performing his own encore.
The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. All ages admitted.
These movies have been evaluated for artistic merit and moral suitability by the media reviewing division of Catholic News Service. The reviews include the CNS rating, the Motion Picture Association of America rating, and a brief synopsis of the movie.
The classifications are as follows:
A-I -- general patronage;
A-II -- adults and adolescents;
A-III -- adults;
L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. L replaces the previous classification, A-IV.
O -- morally offensive.
Note: Some movies previously were designated A-IV. Older films with this classification should be regarded as classified L.