Ah, the third album. A Hard Day’s Night. Colouring Book. OK Computer. Artists are lucky to make it this far in the cutthroat music industry, and film is no different. There are think-pieces to the end of time debating whether sequels ever surpass their progenitors, but it’s rare to see anyone start swinging to defend The Godfather Part III or a flying time-train. Will anyone be going to the mat for Pitch Perfect 3?
The film answers this question pretty quick, as Fat Amy and Beca careen off an exploding super-yacht in the baffling prologue – before we zap back three weeks earlier, as PP3 trips over itself to justify that insanity. It’s a shame that the film ties itself to this bizarre plot, as a more interesting second act forces the Bellas to compete against real bands. Unfortunately, after a tired rehash of the riff-off they are promptly sidelined, and Ruby Rose along with them – a crying shame.
Rather than a dozen small cameos, Pitch Perfect 3 saves up and spends the dough on one big get, DJ Khaled. We never actually see him DJ, but we definitely don’t see him act even in his limited role, showing up for one bizarre scene and a run of “look, we paid for him” cutaways.
On the main cast front, despite some sequel leakage, all of your favourite characters are back and remain charming, even if they are bogged down in the same tired formulas and a handful of obtuse stereotypes.
Pitch Perfect 3 would have been a great time to throw out the rulebook, cast off the dead weight and let the band play. Sadly, a few bright sparks of inspiration are drowned out by faded covers and some experimental new stuff that should have stayed on the B-side.
CAST: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Ruby Rose, Brittany Snow
DIRECTOR: Trish Sie
WRITERS: Kay Cannon (screenplay by), Kay Cannon (story by)
SYNOPSIS: 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.