It started with a song that roped a group together, and it has blown up into one of the most popular comedies to serenade the stage. The movie is Pitch Perfect and the trilogy comes to a close tonight as the Bellas take center screen once more to sing their “potential” swan song. After copious media advertisements, does the third installment have the vocal chords to shatter our ear drums in delight? Or does it fall to bad singing in the shower. Robbie K here to once again give you his thoughts on a movie. Let’s go
Back to its comedic roots: Pitch Perfect has always been globally popular thanks to the comedic antics of the cast at hand (primarily Rebel Wilson). Pitch Perfect 3 returns to those roots and brings back clever writing, inappropriate remarks that are well-timed, and banter that somehow works despite how silly it is. Much of the overacting from the second film is gone, and it proves that balance and timing go a lot farther than comedic meme stuffing.
The Character Development Story: The third installment has a lot going on to wrap up the show, but the story most endearing and true to the series is Beca’s development. Like the first film, the plot is all about testing Beca again in the qualms of life, choosing which aspects of her life she is to pursue in her road to success and happiness. While comedic, and a little rushed at times, her growth as a character is touching, blending the painful growing up moments with the emotional zing that hits you in the heart. This component is by far the most solid ground of the film.
The Music: It wouldn’t be a Pitch Perfect without music and this movie comes back in spades with the remixes of a number of songs. The acapella numbers certainly are the most impressive and energetic of the bunch, though they still lack in regards to choreography, shimmer, and comedy that we have seen in the past. Additional songs with actual instruments also have a nice twist to the franchise, especially the new riff off scene that is sure to stick in your minds. For me though, there needed to be more and I missed the competition component of the film, despite how much they made fun of it.
The Conclusion: What can I say, I’m a sucker for a solid conclusion, and Pitch Perfect 3 does not disappoint with the final sequence. It captures the spirit of the girls, brings their relationship to life, and solidly wraps up this journey that has been progressing over seven years. Does this mean the series has to be rebooted? No, there are plenty of docks to launch from should, and probably most likely will, Hollywood want to pick it back up. Nevertheless, count this reviewer happy with the ending of this film.
The Hosts: I’ve always loved Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins banter in the films, as the writing is unique, the delivery exaggerated but fun, and the randomness just perfectly timed. This film though really weakened their characters for me, turning them into annoying, unnecessary extras who seemed forced into the story. I admit, I chuckled a few times, but the writing was much weaker for me with these characters and it might have been better left out to make room for other plots/characters.
The Dropped Characters: The hosts were just the start, as Pitch Perfect’s cast loses a couple of members at the start that I hadn’t expected to see… well dropped. While I appreciate dropping the crappy romance tales of the second movie, and even seeing the girls grow up, some of the decisions in this movie I didn’t agree with. Letting these characters fade into the background, started to become plot ploys, that were forced, simplified, detours to unite the gang or quickly fill in gaps. I guess it’s better than having them just stand in the background, but it’s not much of an improvement to see fan favorites once again become background characters.
The Weak Rivals: I mentioned this earlier, but Pitch Perfect 3 once again makes washed-out rival bands whose potential is sucked dry after one scene. Why? I can’t answer that question, but the three bands that we are introduced have an awesome riff-off and small partial numbers that are the only quality participation on their part. The promise of combined tracks, duets, and heated rivalry was broken, again letting these characters dropped into annoying story ploys that are more bark than bite. It does get points for creativity, but not many given what they were substituted for.
The Other Parts Of The Story: I love the character development in this arc, but the other plots…not so much. Pitch Perfect 3 has a boat load of subplots trying to compete for attention. Sadly, many of these are again rushed messes, trying to give the movie a little bit of everything to please the audiences. Some cute romances, some “surprise” life events, and some backstories are the more positive of these, but the Fat Amy tale was out of place for me. I liked learning about her history, but the crime element of it didn’t seem to fit into a music movie, though it certainly agrees with the comedy…primarily pitch perfect 2’s comedy. These parts weren’t the worst thing mind you, it just felt like too much in one film for me that took up more time. Time that could have been spent on more musical spunk.
Overall, Pitch Perfect Three is still the fun, girl power film the dedicated fans will enjoy. The humor has been toned back to Pitch Perfect One level, the numbers are still just as toe-tapping, and there are plots that work so well to wrap everything up in a honorable manner. Yet, the movie still has trouble with its plot balance, and utilizing its characters to the fullest still eluded them in this film. I like this one better than 2, but the original still rings the bell as the champion of this series. Worth a trip to the theaters? Yeah, I think it is, but there are other options that are probably better.
Movie Overall: 6.0