A combination of “Grease” and “West Side Story” with catchy musical numbers and relatable cutesy characters, the infectiously upbeat “High School Musical” franchise has undeniably become a cult sensation.
With all the previous players back and ready for graduation, including comic relief villainess Sharpay (Tisdale), "HSM3: Senior Year" kicks off with the Wildcats winning their second basketball championship. Gabriella (Hudgens) has plans for Stanford, while her boyfriend Troy (Efron) is mulling a basketball scholarship to a local university, where his best friend, Chad (Bleu) and his father expect him to go. Naturally, this causes friction between the romantic pair who are the heart and soul of “HSM3” especially as both may not end up participating together in their senior year musical. Cue the violins for choices and obstacles are the dominant theme in this flick.
As in the earlier films, Emmy Award-winning director Kenny Ortega supplies a wide range eclectic choreography with a variety of musical genres ranging from a rock anthem titled "Scream" to a classical Broadway number “I Want It All” carefully adapting the styles to suite each participating character’s state of mind.
Given the built-in fan base for the franchise, the appeal here is not startling, but this is a flick strictly for a target audience which should largely comprise of high school teenagers.