Bandslam review

Some kids at high school getting musical...seem familiar?

It was wholly inevitable and now it’s arrived… the first wave of High School Musical imitators.

New kid at school Will (Gaelan Connell) is roped into managing a band by its chirpy lead singer (Disney Channel alumnus Alyson Michalka). But will leading the group to a record contract interfere with Will’s romancing of edgy – well, brunette, anyway – outsider – Sam (HSM grad Vanessa Hudgens)?

Todd Graff’s slicker follow-up to Camp sports a respectable set of reference points – Will listens to The Velvet Underground and David Bowie; Sam loves Evil Dead 2. In other words, they’re not so much modern teenagers as avatars for filmmakers long past their own adolescence.

Whether your nine-year-old niece will care about that is moot – but she’ll definitely resent the poor ratio of musical numbers to clunky, contrived emotional scenes. (Nothing like an elderly character’s death to spur resolution…)

Earnest performances – but you can’t dance to those, can you?

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