High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Rated 3.0

The Disney Channel TV phenomenon hits the big screen just in time for graduation (and none too soon—the still-youthful cast is getting a bit, ahem, mature for high school). Peter Barsocchini’s script is supposedly set at East High in Albuquerque, N.M., but the real setting is Neverland Prep in Disneyland, where the curriculum is confined to drama class and basketball. The battalion of songwriters barely gets screen credit, and in truth they don’t deserve much; the songs, one and all, are disposable bubble-gum drivel, albeit with an infectious beat that director-choreographer Kenny Ortega puts to good use in some impressively opulent neo-Busby Berkeley production numbers. The performers are appealingly perky, though some (e.g., Ashley Tisdale as villainess Sharpay) overact as if they were still on television.