Reviewed by: Dymphna Meeds
|Featuring:||Zac Efron, Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, Bart Johnson, Olesya Rulin, Chris Warren Jr., Ryne Sanborn, Kaycee Stroh, Alyson Reed, Matt Prokop, Jemma McKenzie-Brown, Justin Martin, Robert Curtis Brown, Raquel Goodsell, Brad Johnson, Noli McCool, David Reivers, Tia Robinson, Leslie Wing|
|Producer:||Walt Disney Pictures, Bill Borden, Kenny Ortega, Barry Rosenbush, Don Schain|
|Distributor:||Walt Disney Pictures|
“high school graduation”
Few shows have proved to be as popular with young children and teens as High School Musical. Nor have many proved as clean and family friendly. The biggest question in my mind as I walked into this movie was “Will this one be the same? Or will my whole view of the other ones be smashed?”
Starting off with a bang, we are thrown right into the movie from the first minute on. Troy (Zac Efron) the play maker for the East High Wild Cats team is taking a rough beating in his game. However, soon it becomes apparent that this game is just a small part of how much he is falling apart in his life. Although everyone expects him to go to University of Albuquerque and become a basketball star, Troy wants to consider other colleges. Meanwhile his brainy girlfriend Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) is struggling with saying goodbyes once again. Can the two work together to find a solution that won't tear them apart or will this goodbye be for good? Hmm… we wonder…
I was very thrilled that this movie was very similar to it's prequels in message and morality! In fact, it's probably the cleanest movie that has come out in theaters for a long time! No swearing, no sex, no violence, no drugs or alcohol, no magic, etc. If only real high schools were like this one!
The main message was to reach for the stars and your dreams. Don't be anyone else but yourself. As Ms. Darbus the Drama Teacher (Alyson Reed) says, “It is far easier to play a role on stage then to be yourself in life.” Slowly throughout this movie we see each character break out of their shell or stereotype to be the person they were created to be. God created us all to be certain unique people, not a second rate version of someone or something else.
Also prominent in the movie is taking this time for now. We hear this repeatedly in the movie. “This is last time to do this right! Now or never!” The lyrics sing. “Now is the best time to find yourself. Not in ten years.” Ms. Darbus wisely says. Gabriella talks about how everything in life is just too fast and wants it too all slow down. In the very beginning of the movie we see the boys being beaten at basketball. Coach Bolton (Bart Johnson) gives his team a pep talk. “Forget about the score board! You only have 16 minutes left. Make those count! Make sure you never regret them!” And that message isn't just for seniors in high school! We are living on borrowed time, and no one knows when God will choose to take you. The kids in HSM and we learn to grab each moment because we will never have that same moment again.
Kids taking responsibility for their own life is also a major issue. “It's up to us now!” is another inspiring line from the songs. Troy feels like his dad and friend Chad Danforth (Corbin Bleu) are pressuring him to go to the UVA. Throughout the movie he struggles with what he wants to do with his life and what others want him to do. “You raised me to make my own decisions! Not to be pressured into doing something!” He tells his dad. Gabriella as well wants to make a choice of the right thing to do in her life even if it hurts.
Just like the first two, HSM3 provides a wonderful lesson about working together. To stop the spring “musi-cal” from becoming a one woman show staring prima dona Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale), timid pianist and composer Kelsi Nielsen (Olesya Rulin)signs the whole class up to participate. Although they grumble at first they end up having fun and putting on a great show. Troy, Chad, Zeke (Chris Warren Jr.), and Jason (Ryne Sanborn) all form a strong team of leaders for the other jocks.
Troy allows a younger and less talented athlete, Jimmie Zara or “The Rocket”, to step in the last few minutes of the game. During that same game Troy throws the ball to Jimmie and allows the younger boy to make the basket instead of doing it himself.
Friendship plays a major role in this film. Even amidst tears and struggles, friends stay true to each other and help one another out. Although the lead characters might be confused about their future, Troy and Gabriella are willing to sacrifice for one another and want the best thing for each other. Later we see how Ms. Darbus, Coach Bolton, Taylor and Chad all feel the same way.
“You changed East High!” Troy exclaims to Gabriella. “You might be ready to say good bye to East High but East High isn't ready to say good bye to you.” We see how characters make a difference for the good (or the bad) to everyone around them.
Ryan Evans (Lucas Grabeel) is Sharpay's twin brother who is always being used by her. We see him try to break from that stereotype and be the wonderful person he was meant to be.
In several funny scenes, Chad learns the proper way to treat a girl. When he flippantly talks about ordering his tuxedo in front of Gabriella's smart friend Taylor McKessie (Monique Coleman) as a way of asking her to prom, she turns him down promptly. Finally he brings her flowers, stands on a table, and yells out over the whole cafeteria that he would like to take her to prom. Beaming, she accepts.
Sharpay is shown for what she is: selfish, cruel, and deceitful. And in the end like the other two she *poof* turns good!
Chad and Troy reminisce back to when they were kids and really “themselves”. In an old car/junk lot we see them using their imagination and realize how real little children are.
Theater and performance arts are shown in a good clean way. As Ms. Darus says “The stage is a wonderful place to find your true self!” But she also scolds two boys who run into the theater only wearing towels. “At the theater we discover ourselves. But always with our clothes on.”
Unlike most movies Adults are respected by the youngsters and are kind. Ms. Darbus and Coach Bolton offer words of wisdom to Troy.
Many other virtues are valued such as courage, breaking the status quo, and sticking up for the under dogs.
As mentioned before this movie was very clean. However, it had a few potential flaws.
The worst part is when Troy and Chad steal the clothes of two team mates. As a result, the two boys run around the school in towels. A picture is taken for the year book. However, nothing is implied or shown and the two boys get detention. However, Troy and Chad do not.
The costumes and dancing are a tad less clean the last time. Troy and Gabriella kiss several times on the cheek and then once on the lips. They both have picnic in her room without her mothers knowledge, but this is very innocent as well. We see Sharpay walking down the hall from the back and a bunch of boys fainting. One of the lines of a song is “Dancing to impress a boy.” We see Troy change shirts.
Jimmie intrudes regularly into Troy's space. Once he enters his room and takes pictures of it without asking. On the other hand, Troy tells him that Sharpay has a crush on Jimmie so he will go away.
When Jimmie and foreign exchange student Tiara (Jemma McKenzie-Brown) both become understudies they start insulting each other. “I wouldn't sing with you if my hair was on fire and you were the last bucket of water on Earth!” Jimmie harshly states. “Well I wouldn't sing with you if I was starving and you were the last pickle at the picnic!” Tiara quips.
Troy has a wounded hand in the beginning. During the basketball game both Troy and Chad are knocked to the floor. Troy runs into someone at school. In anger Troy rips down a poster of himself and jumps up on and plays around with the fly rails in the theater.
Troy and Gabriella meet on top of school even though they know it could end up in detention. Chad steals a cake from Zeke to butter up Taylor into putting lots of pictures of him in the year book and going with him to prom.
Troy tells Chad he's going to “whoop his butt”.
From an enjoyment point of view: I love musicals and corny shows, so this was the perfect movie for me! I will warn you though that if you aren't crazy about those kind of shows, this isn't the right movie for you. Most of the talent is really good! Vanessa Hudgens is the only one who really stands out as not being nearly as talented or professional. Overall, it was very fun.
This is a very fun family movie! It is amazing what an inspiring movie can do inside of you after you see it! Let's just hope the young people of our world will take to heart all of the wonderful and clean lessons this movie teaches!
Violence: None / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: Minor
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.