Over the past few years, the Pitch Perfect movies have become something of a phenomenon. (I mean, who doesn’t love a movie about an a cappella competition?) Especially since back in 2012 when the first movie made its debut, a cappella groups were all the rage. However, fast forwarding five years to the third installment of the films, the excitement over what the Bellas will do next has unfortunately fizzled out.
In Pitch Perfect 3, we see Becca (Anna Kendrick) and the rest of the ladies struggling in their post- college lives to find true satisfaction in their careers. Even the most seemingly ideal job, like Becca’s gig as a producer, only brings frustration. When all of the girls reunite for an evening, they decide to do one last competition together on an overseas USO tour, where the winner will open up for DJ Khaled. Along the way, they are forced to prove their loyalty to each other, fight off some bad guys, and even face their worst nightmare: competing against musical groups with instruments!
What I do enjoy about this film is that it does not take itself seriously in any way. It is silly and over the top, and actually plays in to that quite a bit. This is most obvious in the fact that they clearly can’t move on from their glory days as the Barden Bellas. They make a relentless effort to hold on to how “aca-awesome” they used to be, which in turn makes their interactions extremely awkward and hilarious. A welcomed new element they bring is more action…particularly the fight sequences from the always great “Fat Amy” (Rebel Wilson). And of course one of the most entertaining parts of the movie (as with the first two) is the riff-off with the other groups. This scene is not nearly long enough if you ask me.
That being said, the essence of the previous films are lost on this one, and there is very little singing when you consider that the movie is about a singing competition. Also, the fact that none of the guys from the male a cappella group make an appearance AT ALL is a tragedy. I love the Bellas and all, but let’s face it- the movie just isn’t the same without Jesse (Skyler Astin), Benji (Ben Platt) and Bumper (Adam Devine). The Treblemakers added a fun and lovable component that is missing from Pitch Perfect 3, and that absence causes the film to suffer. While nothing is overtly terrible about the movie, nothing really stands out either. To be fair, I imagine it is rather difficult to make three entire films around this without them having the exact same plot every time, so hats off for at least making it intriguing enough in its premise. Even so, after 10 minutes in you realize that really the whole point is to just give closure to this chapter of The Bellas’ lives and provide the fans with a sentimental trip down Memory Lane.
Overall, this movie simply doesn’t live up to the hype the way the previous two did. While it does have some great moments, Pitch Perfect 3 is the weakest of the three, even in its choice of soundtrack and songs it includes. Its “big moment” is okay at best, and leaves you hoping that there is actually more to it than what they leave you with. It sadly does not do justice to the series as a whole.
Rating: 65 unscripted DJ Khaled inspirational speeches out of 100 (65%)
Pitch Perfect 3 is probably the best example of where sequels go wrong. It is too much of the same and not much new. It is only worth watching if you are a real fan of the Pitch Perfect Movies.
9 pointless Fat Amy action sequences out of 20. (45%)