The first Pitch Perfect was lightning in a bottle — it was a sleeper hit that worked the trending a capella genre for full effect and spawned a radio hit with Anna Kendrick singing the cover for Cups, aka When I’m Gone.
Pitch Perfect 3 brings the group back together for one last go, this time as an overseas touring group for the USO. Hoping to relive their glory days, the Barden Bellas — who have seen their lives diminish since they’ve last been together — compete on an uneven playing field against music groups and DJs vying for a spot as DJ Khaled’s opening act.
New developments include Fat Amy’s (Rebel Wilson) father Fergus (John Lithgow) entering the picture as he hopes to build a relationship with his estranged daughter. Beca (Anna Kendrick), whose music career still hasn’t taken off, gets an opportunity to show off her producing chops when she sits in for an impromptu session at Khaled’s mixing board.
There’s an explosion, a happy ending for all, and a few sweet performances along the way along with some sexual innuendo and physical humor for effect.
Ultimately, it’s a movie for Pitch Perfect fans who’ve watched the first one too many times and needed a bit of variance. It serves its purpose if you don’t walk into it expecting too much — the plot is meager, the drama is plastic, and the character development act more as interruptions between musical numbers instead of driving the plot forward.
It’s a shame the series has to go out on a low note, especially because the potential was there to make this one big send-off.
It feels like one big rushed production — a shadow of its former trying to relive its glory days.
Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)
Directed by: Trish Sie
Screenplay by: Kay Cannon and Mike White
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Hailee Steinfeld, Hana Mae Lee, Chrissie Fit, Elizabeth Banks, John Michael Higgins, and John Lithgow