Sometimes, just sometimes, a trilogy needs to stay at a trilogy and not spawn prequels, spin-offs or reboots. It needs to quit while it’s ahead. Sadly the third installment of ‘Pitch Perfect 3’ is not that far ahead and perhaps should have quit at number 2. The third part is not tragic, but sadly the least favourable. Let’s just say, ‘the Pitch Perfect’ trilogy could never meet up to the standard of the ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy. They’re incomparable. There are merits to the film, however, the flaws outweigh them.
Moving on to the plot, following their win at the world championship, the now separated Bellas reunite for one last singing competition at an overseas USO tour, but face a group who uses both instruments and voices. How will they compete and what twists and turns will occur? We know these characters now and they are likable ladies that strut their stuff. Their singing, on the other hand, is what keeps us enthralled. The harmonies and the beatbox girl aka Lilly still have it. There may be some manipulation to an extent with their voices and one may question whether their singing really is acapella, but if you allow suspension of disbelief you’ll enjoy the music and how they deliver the songs. Be aware that’s the best you’re going to get.
It must be appreciated that the Bellas or more rather the actors that play the Bellas exert so much effort in their musical routines. Anna Kendrick’s Beca is truly the likable leader of the pack and Rebel Wilson is always playing Fat Amy to the ‘T.’ That’s the problem! We’ve seen it all before with her sarcastic wit and sexual innuendo one liners as well as the constant making fun of herself in regards to her weight. It gets boring and tedious and if a fourth installment befalls than the next Pitch Perfect might as well be named after Fat Amy’s farts.
The subplots or the whole plot is weak. John Lithgow is a new addition to the cast, who plays Fat Amy’s Australian father. Lithgow may have had good employment this year, playing Will Ferrell’s father in ‘Daddy’s Home 2’ and did a great job there. His performance in ‘Pitch Perfect 3’ just doesn’t work out here. His Australian accent was not convincing enough or maybe as we know he’s American that tackles British accents well, E.G. ‘Cliffhanger,’ ‘The Crown,’ Australian doesn’t slip off the tongue as well as British. Moreover, the twists with Lithgow’s character doesn’t do Fat Amy’s character background any justice or more rather, it doesn’t work.
Hailee Steinfeld playing Emily doesn’t bring anything useful to the table and her character is underdeveloped from the second film. She is underused and needed more of a storyline like she did in the previous film. Overall the film depicts themes of moving on after the success and giving moral support to your loved ones by letting them go. The fact that Anna Kendrick’s Beca is given a chance to succeed as a solo singer, should she embark on this chance or face her loyalties to the Bellas? That little subplot is the most intriguing part of the film as dilemmas always captivate the audience, especially if you’ve become emotionally attached to the Bellas. By all means, watch it if you’re a fan of the feel good films, but be prepared for it to be the worst one. The first film was outstanding that will be held as a modern musical/comedy classic. It is with regret to state that the third one is disappointing, on the other hand, the music battles still rule and should be watched for that reason alone.
Aly Lalji |
Comedy, Musical |USA, 2017 | 12A |20th December 2017 (UK) | Universal Pictures |Dir.Trish Sie | Anna Kendrick, Ruby Rose, Rebel Wilson, John Lithgow, Hailee Steinfeld,