Due to a timing mix-up, I saw Pitch Perfect 3 in a very last-minute call. It was only until I was seated that I remembered I hadn’t seen the second installment! Most mercifully, the story is more or less self-contained, and I remembered enough of the first one to keep track of everyone (with the exception of Hailee Steinfeld, who’s obviously an addition from the last one and is embarrassingly reduced to being the straight girl to Rebel Wilson’s shenanigans). As many critics have already noted, Pitch Perfect 3 never coherently justifies its existence other than to eke out a few more bucks from this girl-powered franchise, and you see this from the start. The college kids are now graduated and living in the real world—but take away the schooling atmosphere and its apparent that very few of them are actually interesting characters. Why do we care if none of them are exactly excelling in their careers? The film automatically assumes we should. Okay?
The acapella group is forced to reunite under false pretenses; they then decide, hey, let’s tour with our troops, because clearly we have no other reason to sing with each other! Cue a lot of fancy European destinations, sassy hijinks with occasional vagina/breast/obesity jokes, musical rivalries (that don’t lead anywhere), and some daddy issues that quickly turn dangerous. Oh yeah, and a bajillion cover songs that, while not exceptional, are enough to make you bop along in your seat before the next plot twist arrives. It’s not very good, admittedly, but the silliness is spirited, and the cast is familiar with each other so that they gel well.
The worst thing you can say about this is that John Lithgow’s subplot is a very clumsy attempt at adding conflict to an otherwise lightweight production. It also turns Rebel Wilson’s character into an action hero out of the blue for no reason other than to make her the audience favorite by default. Which she already was with her crude jokes and whatnot. It’s very baffling. If you’re not a fan of Wilson’s, you’re going to dislike her even more if you see this. And if you love her, you’ll still love her. Her performance will not be changing anyone’s opinion.
The fact that this trilogy has concluded is for the best. There’s nowhere else for these characters to go. Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson are already stars; the others, I’m sure, have greatly benefited from the experience. Time to move on.
P.S. That Guy Burnet dude looks so much like Adam Scott that I honestly thought it was Scott doing an English accent the whole time. I would be embarrassed in admitting this, but I compared their pictures on Google and holy shit, they are almost exactly alike. I don’t think I’m the only one.