PITCH PERFECT 3 will still hit sweet notes for its fans
Pitch Perfect 3 is what it is. It is not War and Peace, it is not Citizen Kane. And that’s completely fine because it’s quite content being exactly what it is…a fun, sassy, and silly musical. This third film is billed as the Farewell Tour, and it’s for the best as there’s only so much you can squeeze out of the wearing concept. It is the official swan song. Fat Amy has sung.
In case you missed the first two, the movies are about a competitive a capella female singing group called the Barden Bellas and the miscellaneous adventures they get into. You may remember the earworm mini-hit that Anna Kendrick had with “Cups” (aka “You’re Gonna Miss Me”) as Beca. The third movie finds the girls (now women) struggling with adulthood and careers instead of college classes and rehearsals. An invitation to a performance of Barden University’s current Bellas reminds them of what had been some of the best times of their lives.
After pulling a few strings to get a spot on a USO tour, the Bellas find out that DJ Khaled (as himself) is looking for an opening act and using the USO tour as one long audition process. Because there always has to be a competition (according to the Bellas), there are three other acts along for the ride who use (oh, the horror!) musical instruments. Don’t take anything about the plot seriously, because it’s not meant to be serious…it’s a backdrop for the musical performances. When people repeatedly drop what they’re doing to break into song, you’re meant to go with it! The only problem is that there aren’t that many musical numbers, and that’s a bit disappointing.
Instead, there are a few other minor flirtations and predictable plot twists, one of which leads to the final climax. I finally gave up trying to make this movie fit into any kind of reality and just sat back to enjoy the friendships between women. That, along with the few performances are the film’s core strengths, and the actresses carry that burden admirably. John Lithgow’s accent, on the other hand, is Razzie-worthy.
It’s unfortunate that the movie as a whole isn’t a better product. It’s one film too many and one unneeded. Just as the Bellas have to actively look for a competition to wedge themselves into, the movie is shoehorned into an original story that didn’t need it whatsoever. If it’s just supposed to be silly and unbelievable, then why the angst and moaning about the realities of life after college? Worrying about rent doesn’t necessarily mesh with the musical groups having a “riff-off” within minutes of meeting each other, including choreographed dancing.
If you’re a fan of the series, then it goes without saying that you’ll need to see this movie. It’s a “fun night out” kind of movie, but check your expectations of reality at the door to get maximum enjoyment out of this last of the series.