Troy (Zac Efron) leads East High School's basketball team to a championship victory, as he and his teammates sing, dance and shoot hoops.
But it's a bittersweet time.
High school days are coming to a close and college is looming. But first, of course, the kids have to put on a show! The drama teacher (Alyson Reed) has invited recruiters from Juilliard, who will attend the senior musical and award one scholarship.
The ever-scheming Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) is hoping for the starring role, as well as a place at Juilliard. Also vying for the single spot is her more talented and likable twin brother, Ryan (Lucas Grabeel). A forced conflict is cooked up involving Troy and his brainy beloved, Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens).
Lest it seem the franchise might come to an end, rest assured that younger students are being groomed to take over for their senior counterparts. English transfer student Tiara (Jemma McKenzie-Brown) will probably assume the attention-seeking Sharpay mantle, and a pair of goofy new basketball players will presumably try to fill the shoes of upcoming graduates Troy and Chad (Corbin Bleu).
This threequel is a major showcase for the charisma and talent of heartthrob Efron. The movie's highlight is The Boys Are Back, a rousing number that features Efron and Bleu and some great choreography in a junkyard full of inventive props.
Director Kenny Ortega (Newsies) gets props for ensuring a place for musical theater in the hearts of a new generation.And with the latest plethora of gross-out bathroom humor in movies aimed at a young audience, High School Musical 3 really does emerge like a breath of fresh air. Even if the refreshing gust doesn't stay with you long, it's fun while it lasts.