Premiere Review #3: Pitch Perfect 3

 

The Bellas return for a final installment of their a cappella adventures in Pitch Perfect 3. They face the joys and difficulties of adulthood and ultimately share a fond farewell as they each embark on their own path. Pitch Perfect 3 is a lively and neat denouement for the series and brings a semi-satisfying closure to the story. Occasionally, the script seemed to be over-stretched attempting to tie up loose ends. For the most part, however, the film flowed naturally and even contained some genuine surprises, which is a strong accomplishment for such a well-known series.

Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins as commentators Gail and John are hilarious.

The music is as contagious as ever. The songs and renditions were creative and smart. The energy, attitude, and quirkiness so beloved of the Bellas was very much a centerpiece of the story and the music. No matter your vocal aptitude, some of the musical numbers are likely to inspire visions of your own voice echoing in vast arenas, lights flashing behind you, your fans singing their favorite lyrics…

The film’s celebration of sisterhood was also inspiring. The connection between the women was endearing and uplifting. This is a very timely message, well-shared by the cast and crew behind Pitch Perfect 3.

My main critic of the film is that it was too political at times. I don’t think an overt political agenda belongs in a movie like this one. It is much better (and effective) to let the messages inherent in the characters and stories speak for themselves without padding the script. Many references to the current political environment and common prejudices had no comic, satirical, or even informative significance and in that way were excessive. We didn’t need the obvious references; the message was already understood in the characters. These moments added superficiality to a film that was often quite authentic.

Pitch Perfect 3 is funny throughout (despite occasional crassness) and musically dazzling. It is even socially poignant when it gets out of its way.

Final Take: Pitch Perfect 3 is a maybe see.

 

Director: Trish Sie

Screenplay: Kay Cannon, Mike White

Music: Christopher Lennertz

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Hailee Steinfeld, Hana Mae Lee, Ester Dean, Alexis Knapp, Chrissie Fit, Shelley Regner, Kelly Jakle, John Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Banks

Premiere: November 29, 2017 (Sydney, Australia)

Theatrical Release: December 22, 2017

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