Review: Pitch Perfect 3

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.

Final score:

3/10 Porgs.


Rogue One: Review

We enjoyed Rogue One more than The Force Awakens, there, we said it.

In fact with that being said we currently have Rogue One sitting as our second favourite Star Wars film in the entire franchise, only just edging out A New Hope (Although this may change over time) and obviously being beaten by Empire Strikes Back.

The film as a whole isn’t perfect; the characterisation of some characters is minute to none-existant and there is one CGI character in particular who we felt really took us out of the moment whenever they were on the screen and they could’ve been left out entirely.

However, the story that is portrayed on screen and the way that it is directed by Gareth Edwards is simply outstanding. As the director of the first ever Star Wars standalone movie, Gareth Edwards has set the bar incredibly high for future films.

The climactic battle scene is the best of any movie to date, it has moments of dread, sorrow and even moments that make you want to punch the air in triumph. There are moments involving AT-AT’s where the CGI seamlessly blends in with the real-life actors who are running around underfoot, helping to draw you into this world.

Furthermore for any hardcore fans of the series (Particularly those who watch the TV shows Star Wars Rebels/The Clone Wars, or have read a number of the canon books) this film is a must-see. There are subtle references (And not so subtle – We’re looking at you Chopper) to a number of characters and events from elsewhere in Star Wars canon and it makes the film all the more enjoyable.

Despite the poor characterisation of the sub-members of her team, Jyn Erso (Played by Felicity Jones) managed to stand out as a strong female protagonist, but in a completely different way to Rey was in The Force Awakens. Much like this film, Jyn is a far edgier heroine and isn’t your stereotypical good guy, which makes her even more relatable. And whilst a little stereotypical, Cassian Andor (Played by Diego Luna) was a fitting companion to Jyn. The two were helped by the fact that Disney and Gareth Edwards decided against a love angle between the two and instead settled for a “brothers-in-arms” kind of affection, which works incredibly well for their situation and characteristics.

Despite a strong female protagonist, it is none other than Darth Vader who manages to steal the entire film in one scene (He appears in 2 in total). We finally see the brutish and menacing side of Darth Vader that has only been explored in canon elsewhere than the films prior to the release of Rogue One. A shout-out also has to be given to K2S0 (Voiced by Alan Tudyk) who provides excellent comic relief throughout the film, and Chirrut Imwe (Played by Donnie Yen) who is easily the most enticing character fighting the good fight, outside the three already mentioned.

So don’t go into Rogue One expecting a perfect film, but if you want to see the first ever Star Wars movie that is actually made as a “war” movie then you are in for one hell of an experience.

Rogue One is a fantastic film that allows you to forgive its flaws because of the emotional journey it has sent you on and the fantastic action sequences that it has allowed you to enjoy.

Final score = 8.5/10