Review: Pitch Perfect 3

Pitch Perfect 3 shows a franchise at its creative end. Bereft of new ideas and with a cloud of tiredness all over it, the film lumbers through the checklist of ‘what worked before’ but never dares to try anything fresh. A disappointing finale for the Bellas.

Reuniting a troupe of performers whose central two have certainly moved onto bigger and more adult focused offerings (Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson), Pitch Perfect 3 has this overwhelming sense of arbitration about it. Sure, the pay packets for all involved would be well up from previous entries, but the reason for its existence feels like it has evaporated. I suspect that’s what happens when you get a cast of 30 somethings to continue playing 18-20 somethings?

School’s out, College is over, and now the Bellas are out in the real world and struggling to eke out an existence. When an opportunity for the acapella group arises in the form of performing for an offshore military tour, they reunite for one last hurrah.

Anchored by the solid presence of Anna Kendrick and an over reliance on Rebel Wilson’s awkward-uncomfortable-commentary-shtick, the wafer thin plotting barely holds the film together and is only saved when it focuses on the songs themselves.

Director Trish Sie (Step Up: All In) doesn’t know how to handle the drama or comedy from Kay Cannon & Mike White’s flimsy screenplay, instead shining only in the performance aspects of the show. Credit where credit is due, the signing and companion choreography is a step up from previous entries (all puns aside) but given they aren’t as connected together in the story, the narrative lumbers to them rather than gunning from the outset.

As a final call, Pitch Perfect 3 will scratch the itch of franchise fans as a sweet confection but doesn’t bring anything new to the table. Less of a send off and more of a ‘did you really need to come back?’ – it’s a disposable closer that you’ll wish was just that went a little bit further for the Bellas.