Friday, July 17, 2009

Movie Journal: High School Musical 3

“Plot Synopsis: As seniors in high school, Troy and Gabriella struggle with the idea of being separated from one another as college approaches. Along with the rest of the Wildcats, they stage a spring musical to address their experiences, hopes and fears about their future.”

I have something of a confession to make as a reviewer: I didn’t actually watch the whole film; even though I had very much resolved to do so ahead of time. It's just that when it came down to it, I really just couldn’t make it all the way through; it was too painful. And there’s a reason for that. If you wanna know a good part of why, here it is: the first act of High School Musical 3(the part that I watched) shuns every cherished principle known to man in terms of storytelling, and I mean that in the worst possible way.

No, really. It doesn’t even bother to settle for cliches. The very first scene (the basketball game) just sort of plops you down in the middle of a “dramatic” situation and gets characters singing. In fact, this first scene has every characteristic of an event in a story’s third act. The only difference is that in this case there is no buildup, leaving viewers in a state of an utter lack of emotional engagement, but for the upbeat music pounding in the background the whole time. Yippee.

My intentions of seeing the film from start to finish were further dissuaded by a complete and utter lack of antagonism. Everything was just so…happy. For the whole first act(and for all I know throughout the entire movie), nobody was at odds with one another, and no single person was frustrated or hurt. Also, there were no signs of impending doom or any such circumstances. In other words, there was little or no conflict. Who wants to watch a movie in which conflict, the very essence of drama, is completely foregone?

The result is a story that isn't truly a story, just a mish-mash of cliched characters moving from one predictable sequence of events to the next, none of which have any capacity to engross the viewer on the same levels that almost all other films easily can.

It may have only been the first twenty minutes, but if the writer that wrote the first act of the story – in which even the most basic and self-explanatory principles are in no way taken into account – also wrote the rest, I don’t really think I’m interested.

The very fact the people actually get paid to write this mediocre dung is sickening to me, much less that people actually pay money to go and see it.

4 out of 10


Anonymous said...

I tried watching this movie once...It helped me get to sleep on one of those long airplane trips.

Jake said...

Yeah, you have to admit that it does have that going for it.