Pitch Perfect 3

The Bellas are back. Kinda.

In this 3rd, and supposedly final installment, of this surprise hit of a franchise, we find the Bellas trying to make their way in a post-world-championship reality. While it appears they’re all pursuing their individual passions, they’ve all managed to remain close and jump at the chance to reunite.

Hoping to recapture the excitement of performing again (because apparently real life sucks), Aubrey (Anna Camp) gets the girls on a USO tour to visit military bases in Europe. They are one of three musical groups who are pitted against each other to compete to be DJ Khaled’s opening act. An acapella group against singers who use instruments?! What madness is this? But don’t worry, they still manage to sneak in a riff-off.

Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins reprise their rolls as Gail and John, the obsessively candid commentators, now following the Bellas for a documentary. Their blunt observation still get the laughs, as does Anna Kendrick’s sardonic performance as Beca. We learn a little bit more about Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) when we are introduced to her father played by John Lithgow.

As with the previous 2 movies, Pitch Perfect shines in scenes when there’s singing involved. In the other moments where we’re forced to follow a convoluted story pretending to be a plot, the movie falls flat. Gone are the cute romances of the previous films involving Beca and Fat Amy, replaced by an awkward one for Chloe (Brittany Snow) and a weird one for painfully quiet Lilly (Hanna Mae Lee).

Fans of Pitch Perfect will enjoy the silly fun of this movie, but take my advice and catch the matinee. There were plenty of laughs and cheers from the screener audience with Fat Amy the recipient of both. Comedy sequels rarely capture the magic of the originals and while I had high hopes for this second sequel, I left feeling they were smart to call this the farewell tour.

3 out of 5 Stars


Second Review By Joseph Saulnier

As the posters states, this is last call pitches. Pitch Perfect 3 is the final film in the franchise, and it sure does know how to send them off. PP3 reunites Beca (Anna Kendrick), Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), Aubrey (Anna Camp), Chloe (Brittany Snow), Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), Cynthia Rose (Ester Dean), Flo (Chrissie Fit), Lilly (Hana Mae Lee), and those other two girls… what are their names? Oh yeah, that’s right Jessica (Kelley Jakie) and Ashley (Shelley Regner). But no one cares about them (if you’ve seen these movies, you will get the joke. Don’t come screaming at me). Along with them are Gail (Elizabeth Banks) and John (John Michael Higgins) as they embark on one last tour: the USO Tour. The ladies quickly find themselves out of their element and facing off against two other musical groups, competing to open for DJ Khaled at the final performance on the tour.

I have now seen all three movies in the franchise. I was reluctant to watch them at first, but my better half convinced me to watch the first movie before “forcing” me to take her to see the second in theaters. I actually rather enjoyed them. I always forget how raunchy and crude the movies can be, but not in an over the top way. As with the previous entries, PP3 found a good mix of off the wall humor combined with a plot that was fast and loose with consistency. But you, it honestly doesn’t matter. It kept me entertained. Isn’t that all that matters these days. Did you enjoy the film? I did. And it helps that I have seen the previous films, I am a fan of Anna Kendrick, and they added some great talent to the cast, including John Lithgow. I will not provide details of his character, but being a talented Broadway thespian, he certainly held his own with the rest of the cast, both in acting and singing.

Continuing with the theme of good music, this entry certainly had a lot of good songs that were very well done by the acapella group, as well as some good music from the other groups on the tour, but as the Bellas said during the riff-off, they cheated because they had instruments. I’d be lying if I said I recognized more than 10% of the songs (oh god, am I getting that old), but even so, they were excellently performed.

In terms of plot, there was a danger element added in this time around, which is very apparent from the beginning of the film with an opening scene that sets the entire tone of the movie. Acting was done well, with Kendrick bringing her classic comedy/awkward moments, and Rebel Wilson playing crude but naïve so well. There were some scenes that were a little out there, look for a funny action scene towards the end that my guest (my better half again) felt was a little out of place, but I kind of felt it right in line with the way the series has always been.

All in all, this film may not win any awards (well, maybe in the music/score department), but it’s good, fun entertainment. Were there plot holes and some absurd things? Well, of course. It adds to the charm and likability of the movie. Definitely see it in theaters, even if just to experience the good music through excellent speakers, and also to get some good laughs on a night out with the girls or your significant other.

4 out of 5.