Pitch Perfect 3: Film Review

I love the original Pitch Perfect – I have seen it multiple times and I know the musical numbers word for word – but the second one was nowhere near as good and I groaned when a third was announced because I just had a gut feeling it would be even worse. Pitch Perfect 3 is a slight improvement on two but certainly not a return to form.

The Barden Bellas are no longer in college and are living in the real world, although it’s not what they thought it would be and they long to sing with each other once again. Naturally, they get that opportunity when a spot opens up on a USO tour overseas. They are one of four acts on the line-up – which also includes Evermoist, lead by Ruby Rose – and the one which makes the best impression on DJ Khaled gets to open for him on his tour.

All the familiar crew are back – Beca (Anna Kendrick), Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), Aubrey (Anna Camp), Chloe (Brittany Snow) and Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) – and it is great to see our Bellas together and singing again. They had witty banter, awkward lines and epic one-liners before, and while there are some genius bits of dialogue here, they were too many that fell flat, went on too long or just didn’t work, no matter how hard they tried to sell it – and they really did try, especially Wilson.

The a capella performances are always a highlight and there are still some good ones such as the classic riff-off, their rendition of Sia’s Cheap Thrills, and the George Michael finale but a few felt too overproduced, obviously lip synced and obviously not a capella – certain drums noises definitely didn’t come out the girls’ mouths! There were also tracks I didn’t know which is odd for me because I’m down with current pop, and this is a shame because Kendrick sounds incredible.

They try to up the stakes and add more to the film by bringing in John Lithgow to play Fat Amy’s dad, a criminal who is trying to worm his way back into her life to get his hands on her money. Lithgow is a good piece of casting but his Australian accent wasn’t always convincing – it was obvious he was putting it on as it was the classic Aussie impression. They also have bigger set pieces, stunts and action but I honestly preferred it on a smaller scale. A set piece in DJ Khaled’s hotel room was obvious, pretty lame and with poor CGI and I was internally screaming “You are better than this!” (However, it was great seeing Wilson do stunts).

The film feels like the end of the franchise and I hope it is because the format is getting tired, the novelty and originality has worn off, the reasons for them getting together is becoming increasingly contrived, the plot is barmy, and they just can’t replicate or surpass the unexpected awesomeness of the first one. Even if this one makes a bunch of money, I hope they don’t commission another because it feels like they’ve run out of ideas.

Pitch Perfect 3 isn’t absolutely awful – it is still enjoyable, a lot of fun and leaves you in a party mood – but it is disappointing given the standards set by the original.

In cinemas now 

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