The cinema is filled with singular movies that do surprisingly well. These surprise hits then inspire producers with dollar signs in their eyes to make sequels and turn them into series, inevitably churning out follow-ups that are nowhere near as good. The Pitch Perfect ‘trilogy’ is one such example.
The film sees Becca (Anna Kendrick) and her fellow Bellas struggling with adult life. When they all get together for a Bellas reunion, Aubrey puts forward the idea of reforming the group and going on tour performing for the American troops. Competition strikes when the Bellas must fight for their chance to open for DJ Khaled. Meanwhile, Fat Amy’s (Rebel Wilson) estranged and crooked father tracks her down, interested in his own reunion.
Having loved the first movie and liked the sequel just fine, I can’t honestly say that I was excited by the prospect of a third film because the whole turning-it-into-a-trilogy thing shows symptoms of Pirates saga syndrome, which I was not big on being exposed to. Where the film falls down is in its story. While the writers obviously did everything they could think of, it becomes apparent pretty quickly that Pitch Perfect was never meant to venture off campus. The college setting worked and it was a nice environment in which all the different relationships could flourish.
The adult world does not agree with these films. Pitch Perfect 3 begins with an opening akin to an action-spy movie before jumping into flashback. The central ‘drama’ is that the Bellas are feeling that post-college aftershock of being functioning adults, unable to cope without rules and competition. I will admit that the film showed this stage of life very well and it triggered the empathetic feels, but a central story it does not make. Then the story of Fat Amy and her mysterious past comes in to play and the whole thing becomes a bit ridiculous.
Practically everything we loved from the previous films is gone: no Jesse or Bumper –Skylar Astin and Adam Devine were smart enough to decide against coming back for thirds- no running gags or character quirks, and no feeling of investment in the project at all. It seriously did not feel like anyone’s heart was in this. Everyone was just going through the motions.
Even the soundtrack was lacklustre and the much-anticipated riff-off… the novelty’s worn off. At the end of it all, Pitch Perfect 3 was a dismal conclusion to a trilogy that should not have been.