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High School Musical 2 (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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123 out of 212 people found the following review useful:

What Time Is It? Time To Cash In! (and why HSM does exactly that)

Author: ( from Tallahassee, Florida
14 August 2007

I've finally found out the reason why the High School Musical phenomenon is such a success. Why the first movie's soundtrack was the top-selling CD of last year. Why there are ice shows, stage productions (amateur and pro), karaoke CDs, and karaoke DVDs to boot. It all traces back to the 90s.

You see, the 1990s gave birth to NSync, Backstreet Boys, the Spice Girls, Britney, Christina, Jessica, what have you. But their time wasn't meant for the 90s. They had come too early. Music honestly wasn't ready to cycle back to the confectionery, syrupy, Velveeta meets cotton candy of the late 50s/ early 60s. But now is the time.

The reason that High School Musical, and now Part 2, are such a success is because 1990'S POP MUSIC IS BACK WITH A VENGEANCE!!! High School Musical was the Reset Button, if you will, setting kidz-bop-pop back in its rightful place. Adults have their music, their innuendos, their profane-angry-paranoid-hurtfully honest songs. Why not give the kids a break? A place to be a kid?

The sequel does a great job of avoiding the urge to fix what's unbroken, but instead to polish it. This film isn't darker, but it is spunkier. More attitude, and even more confidence (if that's hard to imagine). This film is strictly for A) kids, and B) people who not only remember but enjoyed being kids. High School Musical 2 is a burst of joyful exuberance. Winks towards adult audiences have their place, but so do productions where a kid isn't talked down to or expected to grow up too fast.

The straight-up theater pop of the first has been replaced with more of a Hip-Hop/ Arena Pop edge. Less Broadway, more Billboard. Plus, the mythological task of defeating high school cliques has been replaced with simply earning a check for the summer. The movie wants to feel bigger than the last, but it's actually more intimate. That's an unintended plus.

The cast goes through some drama this time around, and some changes are made, character-wise. This was the biggest surprise. Disney Channel could have simply done a rehash of the first film, but everyone involved truly did a great job. I forgot that, as corny as the premise - the whole franchise - is, these guys can really act. And sing. And dance. No wonder Disney gonna's make a fortune.

And no wonder musical theater is so rough. Every single participant has to be a Triple Threat. But that's part of the fantasy of the first film: making the audition, giving it your all, and gaining the applause and support of your peers. What's great about this second movie is, really it's about the reverse of that. LOSING the support of your peers. Losing yourself in search of something you don't really need, not yet anyway. It's a good message: The future will come soon enough. Enjoy being a kid and being with the ones who love you while you still can.

Still, if this second movie doesn't match up to the first, it's because of moving it away from the dream of Triple Talent Status. No longer a musical about a musical, it instead becomes a musical about a country club. Instead of risking social status to be yourself, to find yourself, it is now about the dangers of losing yourself, by giving into social status. More dramatic, sure. A stroke of genius, I would say, except for the fact that it's still a freakin' High School Musical movie, not a Country Club Musical movie.

By moving into more complex territory, it grows up. But by default, it is less fun, just a smidgen less, than the original. To its credit, it isn't stale (the new setting keeps it fresh), but Disney Channel, Ortega, and all company involved will be hard pressed to create a three-quel that's just as fun, lively and CHOCK FULL OF 90'S POP as the original. A return to the theater would be welcome.

As for the songs themselves, let's just say I've been fair enough to comment that I enjoyed the MOVIE for what it was. Disney's been great at soundtracks but they'll have to do a lot better for part 3. Aside from the opener and a baseball game/swing number, there's not much to enjoy this time around, once again due in part to the removal of the high school locale.

The kids will LOVE IT, the parents will Tolerate it, Disney Channel will collect money hand over fist, and everyone else will have no idea what is going on because they've failed to realize (A) what it meant to be a kid, (B) that 90's Pop Music is back with a vengeance, and (C) everybody wants to sing and dance, even if they don't want to admit it.

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67 out of 120 people found the following review useful:

Danger! America's IQ is dropping!

Author: soitgoes5 from United States
15 June 2008

Okay, so the day the first High School Musical came out I watched a documentary on PBS instead, so I had no idea what horrors were going on at Disney Channel until the next day at school. I stepped into class and WHAM! I hear everyone belting out "We're soarin', flyin'," and "We're all in this together!" and I was like, "What the heck are you guys singing?" and in unison they cried, "High School Musical!" and I could literally see America's IQ was falling. So I decided to see it for my self, and I must say I was sickened by the time they got to, "Stick to the Status Quo." No song should actually tell you to be average. I was disgusted by all the actors, especially Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale, who seemed to have no brains at all, for bringing this message to the world. And now High School Musical 2. Even worse than the first. It's completely devoid of any intelligence. And don't think I'm some teenager watching R-rated horror movies-I'm a twelve-year-old watching R-rated Oscar winners. I'm not saying parents have to let their kids watch Silence of the Lambs instead of High School Musical-but please, at least let them watch decent musicals/movies, like The Sound of Music or Dr. Strangelove (which is not a musical but still great-and rated PG! Don't say your kids won't get the jokes either-I got them when I was seven!) or maybe Singing in the Rain. Not this crud. Do you really want your kids watching airheaded rich kids complain about their boyfriends/girlfriends and how terrible their lives are? I didn't think so. Please, save America's movie reputation by bringing and end to High School Musical!!!

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30 out of 50 people found the following review useful:

Completely unnecessary, badly written, and an unfortunate display of the Disney Channel's downward spiral

Author: randomspontaneity from United States
22 August 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really wish I could think of this movie in a way other than negatively.

I cannot stand sequels in general, and this one, I must say, was one of the most pointless. High School Musical centered around...well, just that. High School Musical 2 had nothing to do with a musical; it was simply a group of almost-juniors (or whatever grade they're in) getting summer jobs with each other and the issues they face with the jobs. Sure, there was a performance at the end, but that doesn't make up for the absence of the movie's namesake. The plot line was bland and really predictable: Jealous girl loves cute guy who's into another girl, so jealous girl gets angry and goes out of her way to make sure the relationship fails, but jealous girl's plan blows up in her face. Have we not seen that enough in our own lives? I was not thrilled to learn that a High School Musical 2 was being made, but I decided to give it a chance anyway. After viewing the movie, all I can say is this: HSM2 is just another example of how Disney Channel has evolved from a decent channel to a complete wreck.

The one good thing of this movie was Ashley Tisdale's performance; she got the character of Sharpay spot-on. (Edit: After being forced to watch the movie multiple times over, I have "repealed" my statement on Ashley Tisdale's performance: She went completely over the top. No one acts like that; it's not even CLOSE to realistic. She's like a slightly smarter, more catty version of Paris Hilton.)

A very unfortunate 1/10.

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22 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

OK singing and dancing, unconvincing plot

Author: floofloo from Canada
15 August 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I loved the first high school musical film so I paid for the on demand to see this sequel earlier. However, it wasn't up to my expectation.

Surely there were new outfits(including bathing suits), larger stage sets, better choreography, and various styles of songs. So it was not bad if you just want to see more singing and dancing, or if you are fans that only expect to see them again.

But I felt there was something lacking. I sensed more of showing off other than real passionate acting in there (Well, it must be hard to do so after they become famous), which made the characters pop out of the story and become unreal. And the plot (especially the ending) was dry and unconvincing, making it even worse.

HERE STARTS THE SPOILER -------------------------------------------

Firstly, the setting in the resort country club wasn't indeed necessary. It doesn't need to be in the country club to play base ball, swimming, or join a talent show. And the golf scenes actually made the plot weaker because it is hard to believe that Troy was "naturally" gifted in golf as well. Come on, he is a human after all. Making everyone else play stupidly wouldn't make him more like a genius. On the other hand, Sharpay's make up reminds me nothing more than Paris Hilton, especially her sun glasses and hair styles. And it is so sad to see that supporting roles didn't have chance to show their own personalities at all this time.

The major weakness is the ending. By the time I saw Troy coming back to talk to Sharpay, I was expecting Sharpay and Troy to sing together then Ryan and Gabriella. But no, Sharpay and Ryan has nothing to do with it in the end. Ryan asked Troy to do a favor for Sharpay, which turned out to be just another revenge to his sister, as if rejecting her in face was not enough. He directed the show knowing Troy wouldn't be singing, then in another split second he suddenly gave his role to Troy graciously and left himself out of it. And most interestingly, Sharpy, who was abandoned by Troy, rejected by Ryan, then tricked by troy again to believe she would have a chance to sing, end up finding herself kicked out. After all these, she was still amazingly happy and felt thankful to her brother. Well,not even Pairs Hilton would be this dumb.

It can't be clearer that such a plot only wanted to show that this film was all about Troy and Gabriella, nobody else dares to sing in the closing show. OK, I get it.

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15 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Oh dear

Author: MegWhiteIII from United Kingdom
27 October 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Where do you start? How about the warped message this film is sending out to children who's families genuinely have money issues? I almost choked on my own disgust when Troy complained that he was fed up of seeing all the rich people at the Country Club while his parents were 'scraping for pennies'. With a house the size of his I doubt they're scraping for anything. Secondly, isn't it wonderfully convenient that they all managed to get pretty good jobs with no previous work experience and that they all managed to secure employment on their first attempt, at the same place, at the same time. Apart from being the luckiest group of 'teenagers' in the world, they are all the most ungrateful group of spoilt brats I've ever witnessed. The jobs they secured aren't given away to teenagers with no employment record and you don't become an assistant chef because you made a Crème Brule and some cookies then complain about it.

Apart from those two minor points that really, really grated on me, the rest of the film is truly dire. I would happily watch High School Muscial (which, I am shamed to admit, made me laugh a little) every day for a week rather than sit through this trash again. The pointless, meandering plot-line, the dreadful, dreadful songs and the nauseating tones of Vanessa Hudgens were all too much for me. I stayed true to my word and sat through the whole thing, but not before my soul was permanently tainted. You may think I'm exaggerating, and you might be right, but a movie hasn't dragged like this since the Forty Year Old Virgin. Mercifully, I didn't have to pay for this one, but I did have to waste electricity on it.

There are many, many bad points to be raised about this poor excuse for a film, and I think Nastarinvonjacobis has made them quite eloquently. Oh, and before I forget, who in the world has a portrait photograph of themselves in their basketball gear in their own room? A dreadful film, even by Disney Channel's standards, I don't recommend this film to anyone, unless you're playing a drinking game to take a shot every time something in this film annoys you (not recommended for those who don't want to get seriously drunk)

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15 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

A great sequel

Author: Jenna Altringham (hayden-panettiere-ukfan) from Essex
29 December 2007

I understand that a lot of people feel that this wasn't as good as the first movie, but personally I think it's as good, if not better than the first one. The cast seem a lot more comfortable with each other and their characters, which make their characters seem a lot warmer and welcoming.

I also like that this film concentrates a little more on the importance of characters such as Martha, Kelsi, and Zeke. In my eyes, they're just as important as the main six, and I can't imagine the movie without any of them.

As with the first movie, the singing and dancing are flawless and perfect. My only problem is that there isn't a song that is as amazing and climatic as Breaking Free. The equivalent in this movie would be Everyday, but it's nowhere near as powerful.

Nevertheless, an amazing film that you'd be a fool to miss, no matter what age you are (take it from a 19-year-old!)

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16 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Well, uhmm..yeah

Author: sweeterlife14 from United States
22 August 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This may contain Spoilers OK. I was a hugge fan of HSM 1. But what happened to this movie? I hoped and prayed that they would not kill these movies, because they're a cute and happy movie. But the second one, well this was torture. I am normally a big musical girl and I loved HSM 1's music. But HSM 2 was somewhere of a mix between Barney and The Land Before Time. They sang everything, including Troy and Gabriella's breakup. Oh, don't worry they get back together...without talking about what went on or anything..just YAY we sang together, i love you again.

If you are a Zac Efron fan, watch Hairspray a few more times. That's what I see how the acting differs.

Not a horrible sequel..but I think we all know they could've done better. Oh yes! I cannot wait for HSM 3!!!! (sarcasm all the way)

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Not near as good as HSM.

Author: music232 from United States
27 September 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I loved HSM 1 and i was really excited when i found out there was going to be a hsm 2. With all of excitement gone to waste this movie sucked! What did i do to deserve this?! The plot is pointless and the songs that were written. I mean come on, who wants to know about sharpay, (ashley tisdale) being fabulous. That song was i waste and so was almost every other song. The only song i seemed to enjoy was you are the music in me. The singing is OK. But the acting i really hate. The only reason why i really watched this was to see Zac Efron. Without don't even want to know. There are way better movies on Disney. At least hsm was actually worth watching. I could watch it again. However hsm 2 i wouldn't want to sing again unless someone held a gun at me forcing me to see it. Little kids might enjoy it but i hated it. It's no wonder why it only got like a 5.9/10. If you really want to see a good movie don't catch your breath on this. Movies at the theaters are way better than Disney channel original movies. But if i had to pick some of the best movies on Disney they would be: Twitches life size parent trap Those are the only OK movies on Disney. Anyway, take this comment from somebody who cares about what you watch and don't watch. DON'T WACTH THIS MOVIE! My overall rating is 1/10

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18 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Big disappointment for HSM fans

Author: tjnexambk from United States
17 August 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After a truly fun and Disney magical HSM, the sequel leaves the fan flat on the floor from disappointment. I found the entire first half of the film unfocused, boring and centered nearly entirely on Ashley Tisdale. We know that Disney likes Ashley and promotes her big time, but there were other talented actors and actresses that were underutilized and basically didn't add a thing to the film because they were never part of a storyline. They were treated solely as eye candy and background dancers.

The original HSM started to imply that there might be developing other couples that I had hoped would continue in this film. I wanted to see Chad and Taylor, as well as Jason and Kelsi, but instead we got a nearly unrecognizable Sharpay shoved down our throats.

Sharpay in HSM was crafty, self-centered and self-loving, but in this sequel, they turned her into a miniature Paris Hilton. Why the drastic character personality change? She was downright annoying and far from entertaining to watch. I enjoyed her in the original HSM, but really yawned at her in this one.

While I didn't like they way they tried to transform Troy into a first class jerk, I did enjoy watching Zac show us a much deeper range of acting skill. I enjoyed his angst number in black. He truly did remind me of Ren in Footloose and I can see him using that footage to try and land work for that developing remake. Zac is too talented to keep playing Troy. He has clearly moved on in both talent and skill. It was clear he tried to salvage what he could of this poor storyline, but even his talent wasn't enough to save such a bad script. It was nice to have his voice in this sequel and the only truly memorable number in the film is the one he and Vanessa sing (Music in Me), although I did like his angst number performance as well.

Vanessa was barely in the film. Same with Lucas, Chad and Monique. These are talented actors that barely had any screen time or story. What a shame to waste such talent. Shame on the producers and director! Unfortunately the script in this sequel really destroyed the magic of HSM and was a suffer to sit through.

The choreography was promised to be stepped up a lot, but there really wasn't much in the film beyond the first ten minutes and last five minutes. So where was this stepped up choreography? I kept looking for it, but it didn't ever show its face.

The entire rest of the film was primarily a really predictable, boring story that featured a character that was completely out of character (Sharpay). What a shame to have tanked so bad after such an enjoyable original film.

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37 out of 71 people found the following review useful:

Don't compare just enjoy

Author: carly_hope from Bratislava, Slovakia
21 August 2007

the only thing that bothered me a little was that not all of the singing scenes fitted in with the plot. other then that I am completely thrilled.

the story is similar as in the first movie just the other way round. instead of loosing yourself in your friends you loose your friends searching for yourself. it still has this good ol'Disney moral at the end but it is pleasantly subtle.

it is fun - some lines are hilarious - especially from Ryan and one of the funniest scene is definitely Sharpays & Troys rehearsal.

as for the acting - aside from Zac, Corbin, Ashley and Lucas, they are mostly supporting, which is working fine for Kelsi or Jason or Zeke but not so much for Gabriellas character. Zacs dancing reminds me a little of Kevin Bacon in Footloose - mostly in his solo, but it is not a bad thing. and this role is yet another proof of his acting skills. Ashely is perfect in her role as drama queen but yet again Lucas stole them all the show. I totally enjoyed the scenes with Troy & Gabriella. they were so natural.

this movie has some awesome dancing sequences but the best one is the Fabulous bit.

and the music is even better then in the first movie. the final song is not as climaxing as should be but fits with the story nicely. IMHO You are the music in me is way catchier. Vanessa evens the score for a lack of character to play by snatching the best song - yet again. and she and Zac harmonize wonderfully - visually as much as musically. we even get to hear the rest of the gang sing which is a plus point.

this movie is different then the first one but it has all what made its predecessor so memorable. great music, simple story, beautiful cast and a heart. Disney still has it.

P.S. check out Chads t-shirts - they are hilarious.

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