This review contains no spoilers
When the Bellas sing, they’re doing the best sales pitch, leaving us a big question on why they don’t consider singing as a career path. Can’t they handle it? Or is it more interesting to see the Bellas as raw talent every time they make appearance?
Since their debut on stage, the Barden Bellas have awed us, not only with their harmony but also integrity and calamity and serenity and so forth. Veracity and Charity are the last two mentioned before Fat Amy/Patricia (Rebel Wilson) declares that she could be like Obesity. Quoting the funny line, it’s our way to point out that Pitch Perfect 3 knows how to tune in, as the thing the Bellas did nearly perfect in the first movie, could be now vague.
Let’s say they once had their moment. Their moment on top when the plot stays true to music and competition thing and when we can hear clearer sound of their voices and the discussion of the last of the franchise was none. Whether we finally bid farewell with the franchise or not, Pitch Perfect 3 sounds as if it’s the last but they’re not ready and they face problem. Elements are mashed up, making sure that everything is in but neglecting the spirit of a cappella competition.
We still love the Bellas; their personality and their bond of friendship. They’re still adorable, lovable, role models to many girls who can’t define themselves as themselves. But we need them the most when they perform, boost us energy through the ears. They still perform and come alive but sadly not in the capacity to beat the musical instruments and pop improv of other groups, Evermoist (see below), for example.
This time they’re together, the situation has been quite changed. They’re no longer driven to sing, busy pursuing their own ways without any luck. And when they finally decide to sing again, they sing not to compete but to please and kill time and meet their fathers and so forth. Just as Gail (Elizabeth Banks) and John (John Michael Higgins) are being cynical about, the bright Bellas are fading out. So here comes a set-up.
The plot turns cliche as soon as Aubrey (Anna Camp) gets the Bellas invited to perform for USO (United Service Organizations). There’s no really a twist; Beca (Anna Kendrick) just quit from her job and suddenly got a plenty of time, Chloe (Brittany Snow) isn’t occupied with anything while waiting for her admission to vet school, and Fat Amy seems go nowhere with her personification of late Amy Winehouse. Things are too normal, no plot sabotage.
The bright side, they’re still good performers. Beca hits the high notes, Chloe the low notes, the audible Lily (Hana Mae Lee) even gets better beatboxing, and Fat Amy now makes an impressive feedback. The problem is when we all know they’re good but going nowhere, Pitch Perfect 3 is missing out something.
The side plot of Fat Amy keeping in touch with his father (John Lithgow) opens the act just to give us hint that there’s a conflict larger than the ID crisis of Bellas’. There’s also DJ Khaled playing himself indicating a potential future for Bellas. Will they finally make it to the worldwide selling record? The pedantic nature of the Bellas is seemingly overshadowed by grown up issues, potentially followed by serious tone and convoluted plot. Goodness, the tune in is amusing and effective despite turning the movie more into a comedy, allowing us to enjoy the jokes more than the singing.
Director: Trish Sie
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Hana Lee Mae, Hailee Steinfeld, Ruby Rose, DJ Khaled, Elizabeth Banks, John Michael Higgins, John Lithgow
Duration: 93 mins