Like most comedy sequels, ‘Pitch Perfect 3’ has no reason to exist. The money that the previous films in this now trilogy received could have been used to plant a tree, donate to a charity, or whatever Elizabeth Banks and company set their hearts to, instead of funding for this forced, contrived, and nonsensical swan song. (Let’s hope!) I really liked Jason Moore’s ‘Pitch Perfect’; It had a charm to its female power and its A Capella moments were a romp. After the not-so-surprising success at the box office in 2012 came ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ three years later (which Banks – who also appeared in the first film – took on directing duties for). I had mixed feelings about the first sequel; in a way, it felt like an imbalanced roller coaster; one joke I was laughing, the next: not so funny. I never expected ‘Pitch Perfect 3’ (now directed by ‘Step Up: All In’/ OK Go music video director Trish Sie) to be good; in fact, a second sequel at this point sounded unnecessary, but I just could not resist!
However, through its random plotline, one redeeming quality exists: Its A Capella sequences have improved; Sie has a knack for well-directed composition and musical talent to the point where comedy seems foreign. Almost every joke is forced in comedy sequel fashion. It does not help that ‘Pitch Perfect 3’ becomes an action movie in its third act (I am not over-exaggerating)! In other words, that is not saying much.
Anyway, the movie sees the return of the Barden Bellas: Beca (Anna Kendrick), Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), Chloe (Brittany Snow), Aubrey (Anna Camp), and many others as they navigate their lives after college. However, all hate their jobs and want so badly to reunite for one more round together (because that is how sequels work). They get the chance after senior Bella, Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) invites them to watch her perform A Capella with her classmates. This disappoints them to the point where they all go out for drinks at a bar. Fate smiles upon them when Aubrey realizes that USO holds music shows as a way of supporting the troops. (Especially since her father is in the military) As a way to spend one last time together, they head out to give a spectacular show, but not without mayhem and disaster following them, along with former ICCA commentators Gail (Banks) and John, (John Michael Higgins) who have no reason to exist other than to roast the Bellas in their usual routine. Add in the likes of DJ Khaled; who is glorified as a seeker of musical talent, Ruby Rose as the lead singer of a girl group named Evermoist, John Lithgow as Fat Amy’s long-lost father (with a “G’day mate” Australian accent that seems inspired by Paul Hogan), and A Capella numbers galore, you have a crammed sequel that hits a new low, like a bass going for his solo.