TL;DR – To be honest this film feels like some fan fiction that came to life, good fan fiction, silly but in a fun kind of way.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a sort of mid-credit sequence
As a series I’ve really liked each of the Pitch Perfect films, they blend humour with fun characters, and great musical performances. So walking into the third and potentially final film, if its promotion can be believed, there was a bit of trepidation on my part. Cinema is full of movies that can’t stick the landing on the trilogy, and have instead gone out on a fizzle rather than a bang. Well, I am happy to say that Pitch Perfect 3 is not one of those films and hell you even get the bang in the first five minutes. So let’s dive in and look at our first film review of 2018.
So to set the scene, it has been about three years since the Bellas last performed in the World Championships in Pitch Perfect 2 (see review) and everyone has gone their separate ways. Since that time Beca (Anna Kendrick) has become a music producer in New York and promptly quits her job in the first moments of the film. Which is fine because as her roommate Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) reminds her that it is24 the Bellas’ reunion event that night at the New York Aquarium. However, as all the Bellas arrive to perform they find out that the event was just for Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) and the new Bellas. As they nurse their embarrassment in a bar, Aubrey (Anna Camp) had a great idea for them to sing as a group for the final time, her father is in the military, and there is about to be a USO Tour across the US Military bases in Europe. So do they sit and wait for the inevitable irrelevance of getting old, or go have one last romp across around Europe escorted by cute military officers, it was an easy choice. So the Bellas are off to Europe, but things have changed because this time the other groups have instruments … gasp …
So there a couple of things you have come to expect from a Pitch Perfect film and they are all there in some form. The theme is all about friends bonding in the face of opposition, several more elaborate musical performances, Fat Amy throwing shade everywhere but people are chill with it, and a series of unfortunate events that they all have to overcome. This does give the film a sense of familiarity even when it does start to move away from the core scenario of the last two films. It is also a film series that never quite takes itself too seriously, which is good because it gives them more flexibility to tell stories and it also allows you to have small 4th wall winks to the audience like “That’s a lot of exposition” right after a large exposition dump. Now one of the issues I had with Pitch Perfect 2 is they shoehorned in a lot of the characters from the first film for no other reason than to have them there. In 3 they took the step to actually cut out a lot of those unnecessary plot points, well not all of them because Gail-Abernathy-McKadden-Feinberger (Elizabeth Banks) and John Smith (John Michael Higgins) are still there for some reason.
Where Pitch Perfect 3 really sets itself apart from the last two films for better or worse is in its plot, but to talk about that we need to engage [SPOILERS] so be aware going forward. So there are two big plot points running through the film. The first is the more standard plot line of there are three different groups on the USO Tour and the best team will get to be the opening act for DJ Khaled (DJ Khaled) in the final show. So, this is something we have seen before but there is the added layer of this is their final tour so there is no next time if they fail. However, the second plot line is about Fat Amy’s estranged father Fergus Hobart (John Lithgow) who finds her in Portugal and tries to reunite with her. Ok, this seems fine, but then he has his own private yacht, and well let’s just say some ulterior motives, oh and maybe the worst Aussie accent I have heard in a while but I think that is part of the joke. Look if we can turn the Fast and Furious franchise into a spy film series then sure anything can be, and if you are going to do that, well then Britney Spears’ Toxic is the way to go. Yes this plotline gets silly at times, and well it does feel a little bit like fan fiction, but its good fan fiction, and it is just a fun scene to watch. Though considering it got support from the US Armed Forces to get made, it does come off a bit like a recruiting film at times.
So, in the end, do we recommend Pitch Perfect 3? Look if you have seen the last two films, you are going to want to watch the last one, if you haven’t well if you want to sit back and watch a mostly fun story with some good singing added throughout then this if the film for you. It is a bit silly, a lot of fun, and I am glad they got to finish the series off.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Pitch Perfect 3
Directed by – Trish Sie
Story by – Kay Cannon
Screenplay by – Kay Cannon & Mike White
Music by – Christopher Lennertz
Cinematography by – Matthew Clark
Edited by – Craig Alpert & Colin Patton
Starring – Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Hailee Steinfeld, Hana Mae Lee, Ester Dean, Chrissie Fit, Kelley Jakle, Shelley Regner, Alexis Knapp, John Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Banks, Matt Lanter, Guy Burnett, Ruby Rose, DJ Khaled & John Lithgow
Rating – Australia: M; Canada: PG; Germany: 6; New Zealand: M; United Kingdom: 12A; United States: PG-13