Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer
The Farewell To Middle-earth Issue
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe: Get 12 Issues For £25
Buy the perfect Christmas present this year
Farewell To Middle-earth
Full details of our Peter Jackson-edited issue
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
U
Cast
Zac Efron
Vanessa Hudgens
Ashley Tisdale
Lucas Grabeel
Corbin Bleu
Monique Coleman.
Directors
Kenny Ortega.
Screenwriters
Peter Barsocchini.
Running Time
112 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Annie
2 Star Empire Rating
Theory Of Everything, The
4 Star Empire Rating
Bringing Tibet Home
3 Star Empire Rating
Kon-Tiki
4 Star Empire Rating
Enemy
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Leviathan
5 Star Empire Rating
Le Jour Se Lève
5 Star Empire Rating
Tony Benn: Will And Testament
5 Star Empire Rating
Nightcrawler
5 Star Empire Rating
Babadook, The
5 Star Empire Rating

High School Musical 3: Senior Year
The most exciting thing ever to happen to the under-tens


submit to reddit


Plot
Now in their final months at East High, sweethearts Troy (Efron) and Gabriella (Hudgens) face the awful prospect of going to college a thousand miles apart. But as they ponder their future, there’s a musical to stage!


Review
High School Musical 3: Senior Year

This threequel opens with a close-up on a sweaty grimace. It’s an incongruous image, given that the facial expressions generally associated with the High School Musical films are broad grins punctuated by romantic sighs. And for a moment it seems to signal a more adventuresome, more risqué High School Musical. It is, after all, their Senior Year.

But, of course, it doesn’t. This is a film so clean it squeaks, as shiny as its leads’ teeth and about as morally complex. Troy (Zac Efron) is torn between going to college on a basketball scholarship and trying out for Juilliard ’cause, well, he's gotta dance! This dilemma is complicated by the prospect of separation from true love Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens), a supposedly Stanford-bound brain who never opens her mouth unless it will better allow her to simper.

That’s essentially the plot, once you’ve thrown in a high-school musical (the first in the franchise), along with some light stirring from drama queen Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale). But the story’s not the point — there are 14 musical numbers to be squeezed in, people.

The dancing is stunning, and while the songs aren’t as catchy as those of the first film, they’re a big step up from the second. Busby Berkeley and Bob Fosse are the references for two set-pieces, while there’s a scene in a junkyard full of lost extras from Mad Max or, more likely, BMX Bandits.

But while Efron’s still got fine comic timing, the same cannot be said of his cast-mates, many of whom lose all rhythm when faced with a joke rather than a two-step. It’s this earnestness that will forever separate this franchise from, say, Grease. Still, the kiddies will adore it.


Verdict
If you’re under 12, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re over 12, the fact this is as funny and bright as it is insipid won’t stop you from avoiding it like the plague.


Reviewed by Helen O'Hara

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for High School Musical 3: Senior Year
Empire Star Rating

THE WORST DISNEY FILM OF ALL TIME

IF THERE WAS A LIST OF THE WORST FILMS OF 2008 HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3 WOULD TOP THE LIST ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by 1movieguy1 at 13:32, 28 August 2010 | Report This Post


High School Musical 3: End On A High.

Perfect. This film mixed up both films and brought out the best of both. The catchy songs, real life issues and oh the high school. The cast were great and believable, the story had some issues which everyone is bound to have to deal with at some point and the story had everyone involved and sharing there story and what they want to do. Bart Johnson and Alyson Reed were great as supporting members but I would have liked to see them have more of a role. Well I’m glad they ended the series o... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by LUCASLITTLEWOOD at 18:26, 02 July 2010 | Report This Post


damoooo 09

good film a bit cheesy but good :p ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by damo09 at 14:29, 22 January 2009 | Report This Post


damoooo 09

good film a bit cheesy but good :p ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by damo09 at 14:28, 22 January 2009 | Report This Post


RE: I'm glad I'm not so cynical

I liked it, just to annoy people! lol No it was good and a nice way to end it and kids liked it and Zac Efrons hot, yeah I am a fan but i think they should stop it now and not make a 4th but thats the thing about disney they will take anything they have which was good and drain until they cant even get a single bit out of it, i mean just look at the disney princesses and how many spin of movies each of them have! Its stupid!  But how else are disney meant to keep making money.  I... More

Posted by rosie1224 at 12:16, 10 December 2008 | Report This Post


High School Musical 3

The audience was made up of two types of people, 1. giggling pre-teens and their parents, and 2. childless adults. Type two slightly outweighed the latter, but I must say it was not by much. Selling almost a £1 million worth of tickets before its UK release, it could have gone either way – a raging success or dismal disappointment. Even with a built-in audience of fanzoids Disney could have had a thunder flop on their hands. Luckily for the ten year-old girls and us, they didn’... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Danni at 13:38, 20 November 2008 | Report This Post


I'm glad I'm not so cynical

I am glad I am not such a cynical person that I can't appreciate High School Musical. It's innocence is actually quite refreshing, it's catchy, it's harmless, of course it's not everyone's cup of tea and it is a million times better than Mama Mia ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by markwaters at 16:02, 09 November 2008 | Report This Post


worried

seeing it thursday what can i say a hot girl wants to go who am i to say no dreading saying 'can i get 2 to..........high school musical 3' would be better if not for the shame factor ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by danthefilmbuff1991 at 23:52, 04 November 2008 | Report This Post


RE: this is the last time to get it right

Aside from a surprisingly good soundtrack (Stick to the Status Quo is a very good showtune) and Vanessa Hudgens, who is generally hot, I didn't really warm to the first High School Musical, with all its contrived plotting and smarmy Zac Efron and godawfulohhowshegetsonmyfuckingnerves Ashley Tisdale. I've avoided the second one because the songs I've heard sound dismal. The third one scares me because it's made the leap to big-screen, but am I being lead to believe it's half-decent? How is it co... More

Posted by Pigeon Army at 03:28, 31 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE: this is the last time to get it right

the scene in the scrap yard is BRILLIANT!  worth the entry fee just for that song! some wonderful choreography (spl?) throughout.  it did feel a little messy though.  perhaps this is because the director is more a tv director?  didnt seem as polished as i was expecting it to.  not as good as the first film for comedy value but better than the second film.  i am a 25 year old man and i went along with my girlfriend (23).  we have sat and had a goo... More

Posted by boove at 09:42, 30 October 2008 | Report This Post


this is the last time to get it right

and they did ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by BRADENGUNNY at 00:38, 29 October 2008 | Report This Post


this is the last time to get it right

and they did ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by BRADENGUNNY at 00:38, 29 October 2008 | Report This Post


this is the last time to get it right

and they did ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by BRADENGUNNY at 00:37, 29 October 2008 | Report This Post


WOW

i didn't see 3 stars coming... but heyy it can't be that bad then? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by niallc15 at 17:20, 24 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE:

now officially lost hope in all of ye] Quite. ... More

Posted by Olaf at 22:33, 23 October 2008 | Report This Post


Like theoriginalcynic said, it's good clean family fun, and what's wrong with that? The songs are a LOT better than the first two, and although it's basically the same plot it's still kinda fresh. Catchy, energetic, will most probably get you dancing and singing along. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Pepsi99 at 22:06, 23 October 2008 | Report This Post


Like theoriginalcynic said, it's good clean family fun, and what's wrong with that? The songs are a LOT better than the first two, and although it's basically the same plot it's still kinda fresh. Catchy, energetic, will most probably get you dancing and singing along. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Pepsi99 at 22:05, 23 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE: RRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRR and a bit of rage

L: krudler I dont get the hate really, not something i'd ever want to watch but people come on here and bitch about a movie thats not even aimed at them, if you're not a young teenager or like musicals then dont watch it, stop complaining, in fact just shut the fuck up, go watch something you DO like, and leave the kids have their fun half term movie sp; Well said Kru know many people who are way past their teen years who like the franchise inc myself.  Easy going fun... ... More

Posted by theoriginalcynic at 20:01, 23 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE: RRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRR and a bit of rage

L: Wilbert L: Goodfella I'd like to personally shove Zac Efron's head into a microwave and turn the heat up to full power. Smarmy little fucker. ou can't turn a microwave on with the door open, Goodfella. You didn't think this through, did you? sp; I'll figure out a way around it...p; I'd give the girl one though! ... More

Posted by Goodfella at 19:44, 23 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE: RRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRR and a bit of rage

I dont get the hate really, not something i'd ever want to watch but people come on here and bitch about a movie thats not even aimed at them, if you're not a young teenager or like musicals then dont watch it, stop complaining, in fact just shut the fuck up, go watch something you DO like, and leave the kids have their fun half term movie ... More

Posted by krudler at 19:42, 23 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE: RRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRR and a bit of rage

L: jonson The usual moaning about this kind of film chuffed to bits it got a "decent" 3 star rating. Well done Helen! My 9 year old daughter went to see it this afternoon and just this minute rang me up just to tell me how ely brilliant. She was so excited last night, she wore her HSM cheerleaders outfit (the one I'm trying to get Mrs Jonson into as just had the cinematic equivalent of when I went to see Raiders of the Lost Ark at the same age! Good, clean decent kids films, bri... More

Posted by Wilbert at 17:52, 23 October 2008 | Report This Post


I haven't even seen this yet but the review is insulting. Anyone over the age of twelve will avoid it err no! This is good clean family fun that kids and adults can enjoy. It's strange given my name but stop being so cynical... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by theoriginalcynic at 17:33, 23 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE: RRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRR and a bit of rage

The usual moaning about this kind of film chuffed to bits it got a "decent" 3 star rating. Well done Helen! My 9 year old daughter went to see it this afternoon and just this minute rang me up just to tell me how ely brilliant. She was so excited last night, she wore her HSM cheerleaders outfit (the one I'm trying to get Mrs Jonson into as just had the cinematic equivalent of when I went to see Raiders of the Lost Ark at the same age! Good, clean decent kids films, brilliant dancing and ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jonson at 17:15, 23 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE: RRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRR and a bit of rage

L: Goodfella I'd like to personally shove Zac Efron's head into a microwave and turn the heat up to full power. Smarmy little fucker. ou can't turn a microwave on with the door open, Goodfella. You didn't think this through, did you? ... More

Posted by Wilbert at 16:59, 23 October 2008 | Report This Post


RE: RRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRR and a bit of rage

I'd like to personally shove Zac Efron's head into a microwave and turn the heat up to full power.   Smarmy little fucker. ... More

Posted by Goodfella at 00:35, 23 October 2008 | Report This Post


More user comments

SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

SAVE UP TO 69% GET 12 ISSUES FOR ONLY £25
Get the best seat in the house by subscribing to the world's biggest movie magazine today. Save up to 69% and every month you'll get exclusive subscriber-only covers, access to the biggest stars and the best news, reviews and behind-the-scenes reports straight from the set. Click here to find the perfect offer for you


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Review Of The Year: 10 Best Soundtracks Of 2014
The scores and OSTs to add to your playlist

Watch: Night At The Museum's Cast Share Their Favourite Robin Williams Performance
Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Ben Kingsley pay tribute to the actor

Watch: Jack O'Connell And Luke Treadaway Talk Unbroken
On POWs, panto and how to name your bomber

Review Of 2014: The 15 Best Cameos Of The Year
Our favourite one-scene movie-stealers

8 Things You Can Learn From The BFI's Star Wars Exhibition
The original crawl, a 'grotesque' villain and a very different princess

Review Of The Year: 40 Worst Posters Of 2014
One-sheets that you'd rather not have on your wall

Hobbit Q&As: Ian McKellen On Finally Saying Goodbye And Farewell To Gandalf The Grey
Read our exclusive Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies interviews

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)