I don’t know what I was expecting. The Pitch Perfect series has never been remarkable, but also never distasteful enough to shout about it on the internet for an extended period of time. It exists for the sole purpose of entertaining young girls with zany characters, hit-or-miss writing and overproduced a capella tracks. Also, Ana Kendrick. With Pitch Perfect 3, the only thing that has changed is the context, which turns what should be a funny-sendoff into a depressing whimper.
Pitch Perfect 3
Director: Trish Sie
Release Date: December 22nd, 2017
Pitch Perfect 3 stars Ana Kendrick as Beca, again, as the leader of an a capella group composed of college friends who’ve bonded through their shared love of singing. After graduating college and entering the working world, our group of girls have discovered a universal truth: the real world, like, isn’t nearly as fun as college is. But when an opportunity to perform at the U.S.O. show presents itself, our group pounces on the opportunity to escape the worries of the working world and relive their glorious singing days one last time. Joined once again by Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), Chloe (Brittany Snow) and Aubrey (Anna Camp) our group of ladies are primed to take the world by storm.
There really isn’t a lot I can say about Pitch Perfect 3. It is what it is. It’s the same hit-or-miss comedy that it’s always been, with the same actors and the same results. It isn’t well directed. The writing ranges from good to cringe, and Ana Kendrick still looks like a piece of chalk that became sentient. There’s very little about it that’s different from past entries in the series, but I’ll try my best to point out the differences.
First of all, the context for their reunion is pretty depressing. None of the girls have adapted very well to adult life after exiting the comparative paradise of college, and all of them just want to relive their former glory as a talented college a capella group. As we all know, trying to hold onto the past is a dangerous thing, and it shows in how out of place this adventure feels in the context of the Pitch Perfect series. The competition this time around isn’t to decide who’s the best group on the block, but instead to choose an opener for DJ Khaled’s next show. I swear to god, DJ Khaled is in this movie, just barely, and it’s hilarious for every second that he’s on-screen. Khaled isn’t a great actor, but that doesn’t matter: the comedically dull face he makes when the Bellas accidentally trash his apartment is the only time in the whole movie I actually felt like laughing.
Still, the context makes little sense. What, some collegiate a capella group is performing alongside fictional Rock, Country and Hip/Hop acts at the U.S.O. show? And the reasoning for them even being there is that they hate their lives and want one act of escapism before resigning to their unfulfilling post-college lifes? It’s…sad. And not in a funny way.
There are some high notes (oh god that was not on purpose, I swear) like a fight scene (?) with Fat Amy aboard here dodgy dad’s yacht, but for the most part scenes are bland and boring. The overlong and overproduced singing sounds as saccharine as ever, and the movie attempts to balance that with misguided attempts at humor. Look at Fat Amy! She laughs too long at a deprecating joke aimed towards her and start heaving as a result. Oh…funny! Look! Girl is nervous around cute soldier and make accidental joke about how she like him. Hilarious!
It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. Something about the university setting made these movies more tolerable, but seeing these girls pathetically cling to their college days puts a damper on the whole experience. Yet, by the end of the movie, their problems just start resolving themselves. In a huge bout of expository dialogue, every one of the Bellas claims that nope, they actually think they’re going to be okay with their lives, largely because a lot of them get incredibly lucky and received some special opportunity that makes everything better. How? I don’t know, but I don’t think it matters. This movie wasn’t written to make sense, it was written to entertain young girls who want to see awkward humor and singing. In that sense, Pitch Perfect 3 succeeds. In every other sense, it fails.
This movie isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it doesn’t feel like I watched anything at all. It came and went without anything noticeable or interesting. It is what it is, and it is tragically boring.