The all-female, all-attitude a capella group The Barden Bellas are back for one final outing. Having graduated from Barden University, where the girls formed their group and became friends, none of them are exactly loving life as they’re forced to endure jobs they’re either utterly failing at or hate. Fortunately, an opportunity arises for the girls to perform together again when they enter a competition which involves a USO tour around Europe and a chance to open for none other than DJ Khaled. This time, the girls are competing against musicians who have (*dun dun dun*) instruments and it’s not long before their accident-prone tendencies come back to haunt them.
Fans of the 'Pitch Perfect' movies will find this third instalment in the franchise a fitting and emotional finale to the series, but it’s unlikely to convert those who dislike the films. Inbetweeners (such as myself) who could give or take them will be pleasantly surprised at how fun the latest movie is, as it unashamedly embraces its own ridiculousness in a charmingly silly finale, even if the jokes don’t always land.
While its one liners have a tendency to fall flat – with the exception of those delivered by Amy (Rebel Wilson) as she empowers herself through self-fat shaming (at one point she talks about the difficulties of running away from home, because of the chafing) – the film is elevated to a whole other level when it comes to the singing and music, which is what most audiences came for anyway sure. The Barden Bellas deliver more powerhouse performances and the new bands make for a great addition. Mind you, their initial slagging of the Barden Bellas for singing covers doesn’t exactly hold up when they themselves constantly do covers…
Another misstep for the flick involves John Lithgow who, while always talented and charming, feels miscast here. Better yet, his character could have been done away with entirely. Lithgow has some kind of Cockney accent for the role which makes one think he’s about to break out into a Dick Van Dyke routine at a moment’s notice, but not only does he never sing (boo!), his accent is apparently meant to be Australian. And so the preposterousness continues.
Rebel Wilson is definitely the comic standout (her divulging of the same character over and over in recent roles had been getting a bit tiresome but she seems revitalised here as she returns to the franchise that made her a star) and she gets a ridiculous but gas action sequence in the finale. Meanwhile, Anna Kendrick’s singing talent and natural likeability is undeniable. The rest of the cast tend to blend into one another, even when their characterisations are that bit ‘louder’ or more ‘outrageous’ than their counterparts. Then again, not being a fan, maybe I just don’t see it. All in all though, 'Pitch Perfect 3' is quite a romp once you leave your predispositions at the door.