I have a confession to make. This isn't going to be easy, but it's best I come clean. I was forced to sit through the first two and scoffed at them, didn't see what was supposed to be so great (even though I do have a general weakness for teen fare despite being far too old for it). But I saw this third installment and I... well... I... umm, I...
Okay, okay, I liked it! Happy now?!?!
It's still as cheesy as ever. Troy is still a wimp who can't cope without Gabriella for two minutes (she's dumped him about three times now, once each movie, and why after two previous films of angst and self realisation does he keep forgetting that he already worked out he can play basketball and still be a luvvie?). Sharpay is still ridiculous. Ryan is still... well, Ryan, and Chad's hair is still really big.
Yet this time, God help me, I actually found it cute. The Night To Remember song is hilarious with the boys less than thrilled at the prospect of prom, and The Boys Are Back has some fantastic choreography/set pieces. The songs are catchy, might stand a chance of working independently as songs outside of the film (not all musicals manage this). It's frothy family fun that this time as an adult I was actually quite happy to sit through.
All in all... I'd actually say this wasn't a bad little movie. If I had to see it again, I'd actually be okay with that (whereas if the CIA ever need info from me, all they need do is threaten me with a copy of High School Musical 2 and I will sing like a bird).