Pitch Perfect 3
Jacob Richardson| 02/01/2018
Eschewing the now standard Pitch Perfect formula, this third instalment manages to utterly obliterate any goodwill that remained from the previous two instalments.
After winning the world championships, the Bellas find themselves split apart and discovering that their day jobs aren’t particularly enticing. They get the chance to reunite for an overseas USO tour, going up against actual bands in an effort to win a chance to perform as the opener to DJ Khaled on the tour. Alas, things derail when Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) discovers her long lost father; an Australian pirate who returns to his daughters life in an attempt to swindle her out of her (suddenly announced) $100+ million fortune.
It’s difficult to identify exactly how many times one could watch a film about the not-that-talented-a-singer Beca (Anna Kendrick) be offered an undeserved recording contract and attempt to turn it down so that she can sing poor acapella covers with a group of emotionally unstable friends in over-exaggerated regional singing competitions, but three is definitely too many.
It seems even the director (Trish Sie) felt the same, because she ditches the singing competition plot as the primary focus very early on, instead giving us a Cars 2-esque sidekick spy focus with Fat Amy’s dad. Rebel Wilson may well be the most interesting part of the series, but that doesn’t stop John Lithgow from being horribly miscast as her Australian father. The entire subplot feels driven solely by runtime considerations. It distracts from the main focus (the singing), is utterly unbelievable, and comes with enough sizeable plot holes to sink Lithgow’s giant yacht.
Interestingly, it also subjugates Ruby Rose’s Calamity, and her girl band Evermoist (also, disgusting name). A brief early performance sinks fears from the trailer that this group would be terrible, with the three piece female band actually very interesting. Their performance with the Bellas is riveting, and while we’ve seen similar stuff in the previous instalments, this particular one feels fresh and very well done. Alas, as soon as the Fat Amy subplot kicks in Ruby Rose is sidelined, and it’s a shame.
That being said, there are enough subplots here to fill a small film-related museum with content for three weeks, and while Ruby Rose's may have potential, the rest resoundingly fall flat. Whether it is the overlong, pained exchanges with Brittany Snow’s Chloe and USO Chicago (Matt Lanter), the insufferable documentary produced by Gail (Elizabeth Banks) and John (John Michael Higgins), the first Bella baby being born, Beca being offered, once again, a ridiculous recording contract, or DJ Khaled standing and texting for 98% of his screen-time, Pitch Perfect 3 manages to fuck up every plot thread it tries to unravel.
It’s as if screenwriters Kay Cannon and Mike White were intent to cram the plot of every movie that had ever seen into this instalment, and the movie, the movie-going public and the reputation of cinema as a whole suffers for it. It also leads to the film feeling impossibly bloated; an overlong, overtired mess of cliches. That only runs for 93 minutes.
Pitch Perfect 3 is a confusing mess that will make you angry. If you hate yourself, buy a ticket to this living hell. Otherwise, do literally anything else; nothing could be a worse decision for your mental, emotional and physical health than buying a ticket to this dumpster fire.