Film review: Pitch Perfect 3 – musical trilogy concludes with great songs but little else
Boasting a bigger budget but none of the charm of Pitch Perfect or Pitch Perfect 2, this film is full of unfunny moments, has a criminal cameo by DJ Khaled and a wretched subplot. The music is its saving grace
The curse of the third-parter strikes again, bringing this previously pleasant franchise about an all-girl a cappella group to a close on a resoundingly duff note. Directed by Trish Sie, it has a bigger budget than the previous outings – glitzy European locations, star cameos and so on – but none of the charm. For those who haven’t blocked it out, it has that same cash-in feeling as The Hangover Part III .
The Barden Bellas are in a funk. Beca (Anna Kendrick) is a failed music producer and Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) is singing on street corners – as Fat Amy Winehouse, one of the many tasteless, unfunny moments Wilson gives us. Desperate to reform, they wind up in Europe on a USO tour performing for troops, thanks to blonde Bella member Aubrey (Anna Camp), whose father is a military bigwig.
There’s a wretched subplot, featuring Fat Amy’s shady long-lost father (John Lithgow, with a criminal Aussie accent), who is trying to steal her inheritance and winds up kidnapping the Bellas. There’s also DJ Khaled playing himself – he should be ashamed – and several flirtations between the Bellas and random guys, notably student vet Chloe (Brittany Snow) lusting after her military escort.
Thankfully, the songs are still top-notch, with Britney Spears’ Toxic, George Michael’s Freedom! ’90 and Sia’s Cheap Thrills all entertainingly performed. Even so, and despite School of Rock’s smart Mike White co-scripting, the film still feels like a shadow of its predecessors. Even Elizabeth Banks – returning as commentator Gail – lacks her usual snarky bite.
Pitch Perfect 3 opens on January 18
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