After a humiliating command performance at The Kennedy Center, the Barden Bellas enter an international competition that no American group has ever won in order to regain their status and right to perform.
Beca, a freshman at Barden University, is cajoled into joining The Bellas, her school's all-girls singing group. Injecting some much needed energy into their repertoire, The Bellas take on their male rivals in a campus competition.
Two hard-partying brothers place an online ad to find the perfect dates for their sister's Hawaiian wedding. Hoping for a wild getaway, the boys instead find themselves out-hustled by an uncontrollable duo.
Stephanie is a single mother with a parenting vlog who befriends Emily, a secretive upper-class woman who has a child at the same elementary school. When Emily goes missing, Stephanie takes it upon herself to investigate.
After the highs of winning the World Championships, the Bellas find themselves split apart and discovering there aren't job prospects for making music with your mouth. But when they get the chance to reunite for an overseas USO tour, this group of awesome nerds will come together to make some music, and some questionable decisions, one last time.
Pitch Perfect (2012) is the third highest grossing music comedy film of all-time, behind School of Rock (2003). Meanwhile, Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) is the highest grossing music comedy film of all-time, ahead of School of Rock. Mike White, who wrote and co-starred in School of Rock, co-wrote this third installment of the Pitch Perfect trilogy. See more »
The Spanish registered Silver Mercedes Sprinter that drops the Bellas off at the Spanish hotel is in fact a US model Sprinter. European Sprinters don't have the door badges. This one is badged '2500' See more »
[after the Bellas escape from the yacht's explosion, as helicopters and boats arrive at the scene]
I HATE CALIFORNIA!
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The music accompanying the Universal logo is sung a cappella. See more »
The Barden Bellas are back once again for one more chance at acappella glory. This time, the film begins with the women singing Britney Spears's "Toxic" on a yacht in front of a group of severe looking men. After the song reaches its coda, Fat Amy (Wilson) the heretofore unseen member of the group, crashes through a window ceiling, opens up a spray of fire extinguisher foam, then yells at the group to "get out". They all do only moments before the yacht unexpectedly blows up.
Why not? Why the f**k not. This series already jumped the shark back in 2015 so why not have a movie entirely based on taking the shark and repeatedly kicking it? So sit back and enjoy the now mid-to-late-20's Bellas finding some contrived way to sing again then find some contrived way to compete again and then finally find some contrived way to have Anna Kendrick have her cake and eat it too.
The Pitch Perfect series as a whole is an interesting beast to say the least. The first was a sleeper hit that depended on little more than it being a good movie to get butts in the seats. And wouldn't you know it the movie actually reached its target audience, making a cool $115 million against a $17 million budget. Who knew there was such an eager audience for a female-centric comedy? Next you're going to tell me water is wet.
Thing is, I doubt the makers of Pitch Perfect themselves thought it'd be as successful as it was, thus the existence of its hastily made and forgettable sequel. Now we're on its second sequel, and if you want a comparison for the trajectory of this series, know that the Bellas have gone full Goldmember (2002) featuring much of the same stale jokes and completely ignoring overall thematic progression.
The impetus behind this latest reunion has the group singing their hearts out for a USO tour set up by Chloe's (Snow) absent father. Once they arrive they soon realize it's more than just fun and games. DJ Khaled it seems is there hunting for a new opening act and the girls will be pitted against bands with actual instruments for the top slot. As the gals gear up for competition (again), Fat Amy bumps into her father (Lithgow) for a reunion that winds up being less than ideal for her and the group.
Of course most everyone apart from Jessica (Jakle) and Ashley (Regner) get subplots that are setup and knocked down with less than ten lines each. Kendrick's involves the flirtations of a music producer (Burnet) while Anna Camp has her own paramour waiting in the flies. The one follow-through between everyone? the undeniable fact that life is never quite what you expect and my, isn't that disappointing.
In that regard, Pitch Perfect 3 may actually be the darkest of the series, offering everyone only a small reprieve from their humdrum life of anonymity, to once again capture "the glory days". The film doesn't resolve this thread nor give us an alternative worth reaching for. Instead it merely establishes as a point of fact that life after college sucks. Oh well, might as well sing about it.
But of course anyone who's been with the Pitch Perfect franchise so far knows it's not about the messaging, it's about the music and the characters. In both regards the film succeeds about 50% of the time. Despite little screen time Hailee Steinfeld and Anna Camp do fairly well in growing their respective roles. The songs, specifically the melded "sing-off" between The Bellas and girl-punk band Evermoist does have its charm once you get over the tonal whiplash.
Yet there's so precious little connecting the songs with the characters or for that matter the songs with the characters lips. The direction, especially during the singing sequences is so slapdash and lazy with no attempt being made this time around to make it seem like their actually singing live.
I'd be embarrassed for the actresses on the screen if I wasn't so convinced they were having a ball up there - an attitude that ultimately saves this movie from being an absolute waste. Nothing is taken seriously other than the friendship these characters (and by this point, these actresses) have. Every broad comedic stroke and patently ridiculous action sequence is done with such congeniality that it's hard not to at least muster a warm smile.
Pitch Perfect 3 is ultimately a one-and-done disappointment. In a year full of female-centric comedies that managed to be incredibly entertaining, it's sad to see a series that arguably kick-started everything to be this lazy and uninspired. Still, if you're looking for mild entertainment and have grown with these characters and you really, really want to see this one, you may just get your money's worth. After all many movie theaters now sell alcohol right?
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