Review: Pitch Perfect 3

Pitch Perfect 3
4 10

PLOT: The Bellas join a USO tour overseas and engage in another a capella singing competition, while Fat Amy is reunited with her long lost father, who wants more than to just be reconnected with his daughter.

REVIEW: It's not inaccurate to say I consider the first two PITCH PERFECT movies guilty pleasures. The first one surprised me with how goofily charming it ended up being and, while more of the same, the second film offered up similarly frivolous entertainment. It's not like I've watched either of them since the theater (there's only so much credit I will give these movies), but I can confirm I walked out of each more or less satisfied that my time wasn't wasted.

PITCH PERFECT 3 doesn't continue the trend. While an inoffensive movie, this third entry reveals itself to be an aimless product. The previous movies managed to exude enough high-spirited vivacity to make up for the fact that they were predictable and completely inconsequential, but PITCH PERFECT 3 is a transparent cash-grab. There's nothing at all left to do with this franchise that can be considered fresh, so the filmmakers are content to deliver something akin to a 93 minute TV commercial: bouncy and filled with some snappy quips, but not even close to a fulfilling experience. There is barely a plot, even by this series' standards, and what plot there is is ludicrous beyond words. The movie jumps the shark in the very first scene, showing us the Bellas fleeing an exploding yacht.

Pitch Perfect 3 review Anna Kendrick Rebel Wilson

Why were the Bellas aboard a yacht, singing for a mysterious man before jumping ship as it blows up? Well, it involves... I can hardly bring myself to bother. As usual, there's a competition the Bellas want to win (this one gets them a tour with mega-producer DJ Khaled) and they have to square off against intimidating new competitors. As if acknowledging how pointless it is to rehash the same plot over and over again, PITCH PERFECT 3 ultimately ignores this business, becoming less concerned with the competition angle and focusing on the relationship between Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) and her shady father (John Lithgow, hopefully being paid well). Amy's father is an international criminal of some sort, whose re-emergence in Amy's life is rather suspect, but oh who cares... This is the PITCH PERFECT series waving a white flag, admitting it has finally become contrived enough to throw in an action-suspense subplot.

The cast is, as before, very pleasant, and at their best when engaging in one of the movie's countless sing-offs, but even they look fairly over this, save perhaps for Rebel Wilson, who once again throws herself eagerly into every scene with shameless bluster. The rest of the cast is going through the motions, with Anna Kendrick appearing particularly tired during Beca's lame storyline, where she wonders if she should leave the Bellas to work with DJ Khaled. (Not to mention Beca's been given a potential love interest who is the most boring male lead in the series yet.) Unlike in the other movies, the cast's unwavering perkiness seems forced, like their smiles are plastered on in an unsubtle effort to convince us, and themselves, that they're having fun.

In between the movie's frantic set-pieces it clumsily dispenses the same inevitable life lessons about growing up, growing apart, the importance of friendship, etc. The movie is so fully on autopilot that it actually stops giving most of the girls distinct personalities. Not that they were ever thoroughly fleshed-out characters, but PITCH PERFECT 3 obviously has no problem making them practically interchangeable. Save for Amy and maybe Beca, almost every line of dialogue can be said by any given member of the group.

PITCH PERFECT 3 initially seems like one of those cases where you assume if you dug the first two you'll dig the third, but I don't believe that's true. I'd like to think the audience will see through how uninterested the movie is in telling an actual story or adding a morsel of substance to its characters. If the a cappella battles are really the only selling points for you, then I guess PITCH PERFECT 3 won't disappoint much, since those scenes still have some entertainment value. But even the most forgiving PITCH PERFECT fan is likely to realize this is a meager finish for the Bellas.

Source: JoBlo.com



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