Movie Review: ‘PITCH PERFECT 3’ (2017)
The second sequel to the movie about a group of girls singing without instruments keeps the spirit of the first two films alive. ‘Pitch Perfect 3’ is very much in the vein of its predecessors, while trying new things that, at times, takes away from the gimmick of the film franchise.
‘Pitch Perfect 3’ is a worthy successor to the Acapella franchise, adding more depth to its characters.
Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)
The third film of the franchise, ‘Pitch Perfect’, sees the entire star cast of the previous films returning as we get glimpses into their post-college lives. Spoiler alert: It’s not the greatest. Even though Beca (Anna Kendrick) has achieved her dreams and is a music producer, dealing with petulant artists is not her thing. Chloe (Brittany Snow) is on her way to be a veterinarian, spending her days elbow deep in animal poop. Sometimes, literally. The rest of the group are in similar, unhappy situations.
When the group reunites to watch the new generation of Bellas performing at their old college, lead by their former protege Emily, (Hailee Stanfield) nostalgia strikes. The group realizes that their lives were better as a group, and decide on one last tour; performing for the troops as part of the USO. And while it’s not a traditional competition, the best group will get to open for renowned artist, DJ Khalid, who plays himself in the movie.
‘Pitch Perfect 3’ brings back all the elements of the first films, but unfortunately, can’t make it all work as well, due to its own attempts at trying to create more substance and storylines. The film, for its credit, definitely adds a lot more plot and character development than the previous films.
While Beca has been the consistent lead of the movies, ‘Pitch Perfect 3’ spends more time with the other characters, giving them their own story arcs and plot lines. But it feels too little too late at this point of the franchise.
Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) scores the biggest subplot, with a reunion of her own. John Lithgow as her father is amazing in a return to comedic performances. And Wilson always lights up the screen with her outrageous brand of comedy. But other characters get minor arcs as well. With Aubrey (Anna Camp) dealing with daddy issues of her own, and Lilly (Hana Mae Lee) getting a love story too. The film truly tries to make us care more about these existing characters, but it honestly feels a little late in the game with the third movie!
The story is entertaining enough. The Bellas go up against actual musicians with instruments and original music.This plot point definitely tends to lift the veil of the world that ‘Pitch Perfect’ has been allowed to exist in thus far, and that’s probably the most damaging aspect of this movie.
The first two films live in a relative bubble where Acapella is the most important thing in the lives of everyone involved; judges, organizations, colleges, characters, everyone. This allows the ridiculousness and seriousness of the plot points to be believable and resonate with audiences. For the runtime of the movie, we can believe that Acapella as serious an event as sports. Let’s say.
However, when a huge part of the plot involves the Bellas being just an Acapella group in the real world of guitars, drums, DJ’s and accompanying music, they don’t plausibly seem like they can compare. The film realizes this, but still soldiers on, as the group goes toe to toe with other bands and DJ’s, which… seems unrealistic.
Regardless though, ‘Pitch Perfect 3’ maintains the funny, camaraderie and girl power between the characters, and has fun enough vibes, and some action and explosions thrown in for good measure, to be a fun and entertaining movie that is very close to the rest of the franchise.