Film: The school kids are alright

2008-11-02 00:00

High School Musical 3 should be restricted. People holding either a driver’s licence or identity document shouldn’t be allowed in.

Yes, the material is that target-audience specific. The film is critic-proof in that an adult’s perception of this song-and-dance extravaganza is virtually irrelevant.

Nothing is going to prevent scores of vivacious adolescent boys and girls from stampeding into movie theatres nation-wide. This phenomenon is flourishing. And that’s the point of it all. High School Musical is for the kids.

Troy (Zac Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Anne Hudgens) are back, along with all the other woefully one-dimensional characters that inhabit the school. The plot concerns our ageing cast dealing with their final year. That’s about it. The anything-goes nature of the musical genre makes that okay, though. It’s all one big excuse to break spontaneously into song.

Musicals can be fun for adults; we all enjoy escapism at times. However, this is not one of those musicals. The boys behave like Backstreet Boys on steroids and the girls are Stepford Wives — all girly and feminine. The songs don’t really deliver and are not memorable either.

From a technical viewpoint, the choreography is outstanding. And though it’s nothing exceptional, the way in which the film has been put together is of an acceptable standard — something to look out for is Troy’s solo at the basketball court.

It’s difficult to gauge the quality of actors in a film where everybody’s been instructed to deliver cheesy performances, but Hudgens shows some promise, I think.

Sitting through High School Musical was for me a trying exercise, a test of patience. Every kid in there seemed to have a good time, though; there wasn’t any talking or throwing of popcorn. And to hold a kid’s attention for a running time of a hundred minutes, High School Musical 3 deserves some credit. This one isn’t good, but it’s a joy for children.


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