Director: Trish Sie
Writers: Kay Cannon and Mike White
Starring: Anna Kendrick et al.
Aca-believe it. Firstly I want to pre-face this review by saying that I was a big fan of the original Pitch Perfect. It was refreshing, the music was different to anything else on the big screen at the time, the story was fun and engaging and the characters worked. The second film was less than enticing, it wasn’t awful by any means but it certainly didn’t hit the heights of the original. Now we have the third and final instalment in the franchise, and everything about it stinks.
In short, this movie didn’t need to be made and it is very evident in the way that it comes across on screen. The plot is almost non-existent, with twists and turns being thrown in there for the sake of being able to say that there was actually a story and payoff that’s so underwhelming that you leave the cinema questioning what the point of seeing the film really was.
I would have been willing to forgive an awful plot to some extent if the music hit the same levels it had been in the first film. But astoundingly there are barely any songs from the A Capella group we’ve been following for 6 years now. There is the seemingly contractual “riff-off” and feel-good final song, but apart from that any songs performed by the Bellas are either rushed into a montage or are cut spliced with of other scenes, most notably Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) taking down a yacht of arms dealers ala Liam Neeson in Taken (Yes I’m serious). It feels as though the series lost its identity after the first film and even more so in this third entry, which is likely in part down to the varying directors who have taken the helm. Which is a real shame, as the first film had an innocence and like ability that was lost along the way.
The one shining light in this film, and something which has been a positive in each of the three films, is the chemistry shared between our heroes. Each member of the Bella’s feels like a fully fleshed out character by this point and they genuinely feel like friends, which is no doubt a fortunate consequence of being three films deep into the series. Even the hardly acknowledged characters of Ashley (Shelley Regner) and Jessica (Kelley Jakle) no have their own identities.
All in all this was an incredibly promising franchise going out on a whimper. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Becca (Anna Kendrick) get her own spring-off, but without the character work of the Bella’s themselves I doubt whether there is any juice left in that idea.