In an era where Hollywood enjoys taking a successful film and rinsing as many sequels from them as possible, Pitch Perfect 3 actually manages to make improvements from its predecessor. When the first film surprised fans and critics back in 2012, producers failed to see that the small-scale, raunchy comedy was what made the film stand out, elements they decided to reduce in their large-scale sequels. What the franchise can rely on is its cast and the chemistry the group of Bellas demonstrate both on-screen and off-screen. How did this European outing compare to the high-notes of the early franchise, and more importantly is it worth a watch?
I actually enjoyed the premise of the film, the Bellas are moving into adult life and dragging their heels as much as possible. Having built up the group of girls in the first two films, audiences were interested in seeing everyone’s backstory. Both Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins excel as the acapella reporters, however, I think their jokes will feel tired if we ever (God forbid) come back for a fourth instalment. As the stakes get higher and we move across Europe, the film loses part of its charm but holds itself together just enough to be an enjoyable outing. Releasing the film at Christmas may have been a mistake as box office results seem disappointing, an early summer release might have worked better, it seemed to work for Pitch Perfect 2 which opened with $70 million.
Anna Kendrick is undoubtedly a major talent, but I feel the character of Becca does restrict her slightly. The writers decide to flick between nice, arrogant and stand-offish that is it hard to know where to stand as an audience member. She continues to impress me with everything that she is in and I always look forward to all of her projects, I enjoyed the story of her character and she leads the girl group well. Rebel Wilson continues to stand out in these films, I’m glad the character didn’t steal away the franchise like they did with Alan in The Hangover. I did find myself more often than not laughing with my fellow audience members, even if some of the jokes did seem a little stupid and obvious. The quick one-liners reminded me of the best bits of the first film.
I wasn’t a massive fan of Ruby Rose in this film, or in fact, I haven’t been in any role since she went viral in Orange Is The New Black. I feel like she overacts and it takes me right outside of the film. Although I think he is an amazing actor, I was a little embarrassed for John Lithgow in this film. Having just marathoned The Crown, Lithgow is an incredible actor especially as Churchill, but it feels like this role is a little beneath him. Despite his British accent being excellent, I think he struggled to really put across his Australian attempt. Not a great year at the cinema for Lithgow with Daddy’s Home 2 not a great example of his work.
The music in this film was a vast upgrade from the second venture, choosing to include more internationally famous songs which worked for my UK based audience. Cult classics like “Toxic” by Britney Spears and “Freedom” by George Michael went down well with the audience and helping to boost moods. My one suggestion from the last film that wasn’t really incorporated in this film was to mash up more of the music, the final Bella performance of Pitch Perfect worked so well because it incorporated multiple hit songs together seamlessly. Including some famous cameos like DJ Khalid was a nice touch but didn’t resonate, much like Snoop Dog‘s in Pitch Perfect 2.
If you are a fan of the first two films, I think you will like the end of the trilogy. The humour is there and they manage to include some fun musical numbers. Some of the action scenes felt out of place and moved away from the small-scale feel of the first film. Wilson and Kendrick stand out but Brittany Snow and Anna Camp do well to support in their smaller roles. I hope this is the end of the franchise as an extra film would feel like a major cash grab. I really enjoy some of the characters in this film, the group of Bellas is filled with personalities which help to draw the audiences in. This franchise has been massively miss-treated in my eyes, but I wasn’t as disappointed with this film as I thought I might be.
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