High School Musical 3: Senior Year

If you're gay and/or eight years old, HSM3 is the movie event of the year. From the first leering close-up of Zac Efron shaking off sweat on the basketball court before bursting into sappy song, the movie — like the two TV movies that preceded it — is a nonthreatening sexual marshmallow. But did it have to be so synthetic, so devoid of feisty life? Where's Gossip Girl's Chuck Bass when you need him? Efron and co-star Vanessa Hudgens have charm. But director Kenny Ortega buries them in formula dances, forgettable tunes and dialogue that makes Grease sound like Greek tragedy. I especially gagged on the egregious group number "We're All in This Together." You wish.

From The Archives Issue 125: January 4, 1973