No matter who you are, we've all come to know and love one DCOM. You guessed it; High School Musical! But there was only the American version. Now introducing Viva High School Musical! Follow this adventure with Jorge and his friends.
Cristobal is the most popular boy at High School Mexico, the captain of the soccer team, the Borregos. Mariana is the resident genius, who doesn't have many friends. Luli is the diva, with desires to be the best, no matter how she gets it. Fer is her brother and abused assistant. When a Battle of the Bands challenge is announced, only one can win, and the worlds of these students get turned upside-down.
As someone who grew up on the American trilogy, any international adaptations made me wary. At least then. Now, many years later, as I do an annual triple feature to relive my childhood, other previously unseen versions are welcome. The Mexican incarnation of the Argentine film of the same name, the plot borrows from the Tales of East High book Battle of the Bands.
Cristobal is the captain of the soccer team, the Borregos, at High School Mexico (yes, it's that obvious). His best friends and teammates, Jorge, Juan Carlos and César, have more in common with the T-Birds than the Wildcats. In fact, the filmmakers may have taken some inspirations from Grease and Grease 2, the latter only for the first song in El Desafio, a repetitive "Back to School Again" esque crowd number. Cristobal, being the most popular boy in school, is admired by all but he only has eyes for his neighbor Mariana, who balks at being the resident brain for another year.
Meanwhile, the wealthy Luli plots to steal Cristobal's attention while being the best. Her brother Fer's only character trait is to be her put-upon assistant. When the school announces a Battle of the Bands, the students split into groups: Cristobal and the Borregos; Luli and her cronies Pau and Caroline, along with only sane woman Faby; but Mariana has no one to perform with, until Fer, whom she's tutoring, encourages her to be his duet partner.
By no means is El Desafio amazing but, let's be real, neither were the originals. High School Musical was a Disney Channel Original Movie that happened to feature enough catchy music and talented stars to go big. I still love them well into my twenties but its camp value is through the roof. El Desafio doesn't have much by way of memorable songs (the "Get'cha Head in the Game" expy features extremely unsubtle lyrics along the lines of "I don't like singing or dancing/I just wanna play soccer" in the middle of a choreographed musical number). But hey, who knows, I might end up adding it to the yearly marathon.
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