(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from High School Musical 2)
Doug (vo): Well, I've finally finished up the High School Musical trilogy with High School Musical 2. I know that's not the last one, but I actually saw the last one first, the first one second, and the second one last. Yep, that's entirely out of order. So I'll just jump right into it. When I popped this movie in, I'm not gonna lie, I was blown away. This opening is amazing, probably the best thing I've seen out of all the movies.
Story and reviewEdit
Doug (vo): First off, it has a legitimately funny intro.
(The movie's opening musical number is shown)
Doug (vo): The kids are all waiting for high school to end and summer to start, and the clock behind the teacher literally gets bigger every single time it cuts back to her. That's so clever, it could be a John Hughes joke. Then the song singing about summer break starts, and...I'm not gonna lie. It left me kind of speechless. They must have thrown everything in to this one musical number. Look at the dancing, look at the movement, look at how they're utilizing everything around them, look at the creativity in these steps. How many things can they do with a basketball in dancing? Damn, they find just about everything you can do with it! Look at the editing, look at the camera work, look at what a grand scale this is.
(Several funny scenes in the movie are shown)
Doug (vo): And on top of that, parts of the film have legitimately good jokes. Yeah, not jokes like, "Oh, it's for kids. I guess I'll laugh." No, legitimately funny jokes. I love these yuppy parents that use their kids' balance, the scene demonstrating how bad kid golfers can be is downright hilarious.
Troy: (speaking to a kid who's hitting the course with his golf club) Good job, killer. Make the ball fear you.
Doug (vo): I actually rewound the film to hear that line again, it made me laugh so hard. It's also the only High School Musical to show the bloopers, and they're pretty funny, too. So, yeah, an unbelievable opening followed by some real good laughs in an all-around..."eh" movie. Yeah, if you thought this was the one that was finally gonna win me all the way over, you're tapping to a different tune. While it does have some of the best parts of any of the movies, it's still on par with, say, that season of Saved By the Bell where they all got jobs at a resort over summer vacation. You remember that? Of course you don't. If you're watching this, you're not in your 30s.
(Various clips resume showing as Doug now describes the story)
Doug (vo): Summer begins, and everybody just so happens to get a job at, of course, a fashionable resort owned by Sharpay's parents. Sharpay decides for the resort's talent show, she wants Zac Efron (Troy) as her co-host. This, of course, angers her insectious brother...okay, I'm not the only one who sees this, right? Tell me somebody else sees this! Of course, he, his girlfriend Gabriella, and all his friends want to be in the talent show, too, but Sharpay thinks that it's too many people and tries to, of course, sabotage him into only working with her. Yeah, okay, pretty lame, but it is made a little bit more interesting when her parents seem to be opening a lot of doors for scholarships and good schools. This makes him more susceptible to Sharpay, and even easier letting his friends go. While doing the talent show, in the grand scheme of things, is not a big deal, they do make kind of a bigger deal that he is sort of manipulating himself in changing himself to open doors, and he doesn't know how much to hold onto and how much to give up. This is kind of an interesting subject to talk about, and sometimes, they do treat it very seriously, but the problem is, it's dealt with a lot better in the third one. When all the kids are graduating, they're trying to figure out what to do, where to go, what colleges they're going to be at, splitting up, discovering who they wanna be, and...yeah, it's just done better, more realistic, more thought-provoking, and this is just the typical "You're letting that girl brainwash you, man. Who are you? I don't know who you are anymore." Granted, it's done a little bit more delicately and they don't entirely make Sharpay the villain, but the version I saw is almost two hours, and it feels like it. When they try telling jokes and doing visual humor, it works. But a lot of the drama and, yeah, even a lot of the song numbers aren't exactly that strong. I feel like they opened with too strong of a punch. That first musical number was such a big deal that nothing in the rest of the movie could possibly top it. So, a lot of it just kind of meanders. A good half of it is them just moping around the resort and...
(A scene showing Troy and Chad skipping in the kitchen is shown)
Doug (vo): ...skipping in kitchens. Okay, rewind that. We gotta see that again. Can somebody explain what this is? And while nothing in it is certainly bad, it doesn't really all gel together either. I remember kind of looking at my watch saying, "Man, how long is this movie? Can we get to the funny stuff again, or can you throw one of them a basketball? I don't know. Just do something like what you were doing before." But, yeah, when it gets to those enjoyably corny scenes, they are enjoyably corny. The last-minute duet that pops up at the end had me laughing so hard when it's revealed who's he gonna do the duet with that I had to pause it, I was laughing so much. You just shrug and lovingly say, "Only the Disney Channel would give us something so schmaltzy."
Doug (vo): And like I said, that stuff surprisingly doesn't bother me. That's part of the fun. For me, it's just when it's slow, serious and been done a million times, adding nothing really new. It, by no means, does it throughout the entire film, but it does it through a lot that you do kind of move around in your seat a bit. There's not even a high school musical in it. The first one, we don't get to see the high school musical, and this one, they just write it out of the entire movie. Talk about false advertising. Does it need to exist? No. Does it really further the characters that much? Not really. But, again, there are some very impressive, very creative, and even very funny scenes. I guess if you like the first one, you'll like this one enough. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to see some parts again, either to laugh or just admire how well choreographed it is. Kind of a mixed bag, but that's High School Musical in a nutshell to me. Get your dance shoes on and check it out for yourself.
(The final scene, showing Troy and Gabriella celebrating their summer vacation in a pool party, is shown)