Color! Peppermint candy colored costumes set against a green, blue and bronze backdrop of a country club in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Rich, vivid colors that smack you in the face. Highly saturated colors that look almost fake. Maybe a nine year old colored the film with a 12 pack of crayolas in post production?
If you haven't seen it yet, don't expect the unpretentious magic of HSM1. The music and the look is exactly right. However, for the sequel they polled the [6-14 yr old] fans (brilliant, but unfortunate) to find out what they wanted to see. And I guess they wanted "more dancing, less boring character stuff."
It's an amplified, bouncing, caricatural, excessive version of the original that's over choreographed and choppy.
HSM1 started slow and whisked you into the colorful whimsical world of east side high. HSM2 slaps you in the face immediately with flashy radio disney music videos and saved by the bell humor/style.
You might giggle sweetly during HSM1, but it's with it not at it. HSM2 makes you laugh in a roll of the eyes kind of way. But once you give into that, it's not so bad.
"Bet on It" is Zac Ephron's moment to show that he can sing(!) and dance(?), he's the next Justin Timberlake! And that scene was amazing. Troy pumps his fists to the sky, spins around, hits a golf ball, got mad at his reflection... That was probably my favorite moment. (youtube it - seriously.)
Overall I wasn't disappointed, but it's not the original. I have this feeling that this could be one of those exceptions where the third in the series is the best of the bunch. I remain hopeful.