Pitch Perfect may have been a flawed film in many aspects but it did one thing very few satires can: be an amazing film within that genre while also making fun of it. Joining the ranks of films like Hot Fuzz and I’m Gonna Git You Sucka in that category, it would’ve been nearly perfect if it hadn’t been as big a hit as it was.
With two sequels of declining quality, Pitch Perfect represents a flawed trilogy instead of a near picture perfect first note. And Pitch Perfect 3, which managed to be the highest grossing film of the franchise, wound up easily being the worst of the three films.
Simple premise. The Bellas are now in the work force and all isn’t going well; none of them are as happy as they were during college. When they get a chance to perform on a USO tour and compete for a spot on the worldwide tour of DJ Khaled, the Bellas are in for the fight of their singing lives. This time the competition won’t be against other singing dorks; two other groups of real musicians are battling for the tour too. It’s up the Bellas to rally the troops and win themselves an extra moment in the sun.
All the while Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) and her father (John Malkovich) have a weird quasi-stalker relationship that sets up the film’s opening set piece.
There’s something interesting in this film that it marginally addresses; leaving your glory days behind. This is the final film in the franchise, as they’ve explicitly stated, and it’s not shocking because there isn’t much left to go beyond the final moments of glory. The problem is that the film has no real way of allowing us into the world other than asking us to remember what we enjoyed about the first film.
The best, unexpected parts of the first film (like the Riff-Off) worked because they were quirky parts of the culture of acapella singing. It was a world building moment and it worked in the sequel because it was still geeky. In this film, which has another riff-off, it becomes more of a glorified jam session and the frustration from the Bellas makes it all the more irksome. What could’ve been a fun moment between everyone becomes a “take my ballt and go home” moment from them.
We haven’t seen them grow as characters so them trying to force their whole collegiate experience of winning at music onto a set piece that doesn’t quite work with the characters. There hasn’t been any growth or changes in them since we saw them in the first film; a concluding chapter of a trilogy should allow us to see the finished character arc.
Instead we’re given a big bottle of ‘member berry juice about how great the original film was. Do yourself a favor and watch that instead.
A handful of EPK pieces and not much else is included of substance.
Universal presents Pitch Perfect 3 Directed by Trish Sie. Written by Kay Cannon and Mike White. Starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, John Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Banks. Run Time: 93 minutes. Rated PG-13. Released on: 3.20.18
Tags: Pitch Perfect 3