Tweenie nightmare set to lousy music
6.30pm, Seven THIS typical tween- targeted film begins with the cast asking tauntingly ( in song, of course), ‘‘ What time is it?’’ We all know the answer: it’s time to switch off your television before it’s too late, particularly if there is any risk that the nasal singing and soppy tunes could suck you into the absurdly unrealistic world of this unnecessary sequel. The plot, for what it’s worth ( and that’s not much, I assure you) unwinds excruciatingly, with plenty of up- beat tunes thrown in at predictable moments.
Troy Bolton ( Zac Efron) and Gabriella Montez ( Vanessa Anne Hudgens) are on vacation from East High School for the summer, and get jobs at the local country club. Naturally, all of their friends come along as well, which serves as the foundation for numerous sickening singalongs and a series of run- ins with their posh, prissy and snobbish schoolmate Sharpay Evans ( Ashley Tisdale).
It so happens that Sharpay’s parents own the club, and she comes up with a few manipulative and rather ridiculous ploys to pinch Troy from Gabriella and his other friends.
Without the trouble that Sharpay causes, this movie would be all of 10 minutes long which, frankly, would have been an improvement.
Led on by Sharpay, Troy strays into a more affluent crowd but, of course, he eventually sees the error of his ways, sorts himself out and is reunited with his girl and other friends in the soppiest, most cloying way possible, even by Disney standards.
If High School Musical 2 has a redeeming character, it is Sharpay. She is a fascinating object of derision, and the fact she bears a striking resemblance to Paris Hilton only makes it easier to loathe her.
Her performance alone makes it possible to watch this movie whole way through.
Naturally, by the ghastly happy ending song, even she is great friends with everyone. The only thing good about this final musical number is that it’s the last one.
I have nothing against the noble tradition of the musical: Grease and The Sound of Music are among my favourite films. But when third- rate
the singers collide with fourth- rate songs, the resulting mess is an insult to the entire tradition of the musical. It is also an insult to the intended audience. Those tweenies really deserve something better than this.
The scariest thing is that High School Musical 3 is in production. All we can hope is that the next instalment is a tad less predictable.
Encore: Zac Efron and Vanessa Anne Hudgens reprise their roles