Thursday, January 4, 2018

Pitch Perfect 3: Movie Review


Ludicrous plot doesn’t fit the Pitch Perfect tone.
Given the poor reception that Pitch Perfect 3 has received, it would be tempting to say the series has gone out with a whimper instead of a bang, but no, the movie literally goes out with a bang. The Bellas are performing on a yacht, Fat Amy comes crashing through a glass ceiling, blows up the boat, and Amy and Beca jump into the water together. How do we get there? Well Fat Amy becomes a fighting ninja, the Bellas get kidnapped by an international assassin, while they’re touring with the USO in Europe. 2017

Directed by: Trish Sie

Screenplay by: Kay Cannon and Mike White

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp

Now is a good time to start a rule that says if a comedy sequel involves explosions, it does not get the greenlight, no matter how much money the first one made. Bigger does not equal better, and that could not be truer in this case.

The main comedic theme the film is trying to go for is that these girls are ill-equipped for the real world. Being in a singing group in college does not make a life career – but almost every single Bella seems to think that it does. Those types of simple jokes are what Pitch Perfect was based on and we needed more of those for the aspiring-Bellas in the audience to relate to and laugh at.

Images courtesy of Universal Pictures
Now several years after college, the Bellas are each failing at life: Beca (Anna Kendrick) has quit/got fired from her job producing musical idiots, Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) has been unsuccessful in making it big as a Fat Amy Winehouse impersonator, Cynthia Rose (Ester Dean) has failed flight training school. All of the girls are single, including Stacie (Alexis Knapp) who is 8-months pregnant (and is thus written out of the rest of the movie). This means that we had to say good-bye to the male Barden alumni in the last movie. I criticized that for too little of Jesse (a character who has still not gotten his due) and no Jesse at all doesn’t make it any better.

Aubrey (Anna Camp) uses her dad’s military connections to wangle an invite to the USO – which they immediately turn into a competition, because that’s the only thing they know, despite not being all that good at it. The one scene which best sums up the movie occurs when the Bellas arrive for sound check and meet the other bands which they’ll be performing with (or to them, competing against) so they start a riff off (a very entertaining one) to prove they’re the best, which they then lose and quit. The main question is how do you lose/quit sound check? The joke fits the personalities of the Bellas, but feels like there is something else missing.

Pitch Perfect 3 has a few good jokes and sends the characters off in a good direction, but the ludicrous plot doesn’t fit the tone of Pitch Perfect, and you’re left wanting to watch the original instead.