'Pitch Perfect 3' review: Out of tune
The most unsurprising thing about Trish Sie's Pitch Perfect 3, a film that seems resigned to being bereft of any surprises, is that it isn't very good.
Tired and desperate
Let's face it.
While Elizabeth Banks' Pitch Perfect 2 was deliciously entertaining despite simply rehashing the first film's mostly punchline-filled story of an underdog all-female a cappella singing group winning in the end, this 3rd entry shows how tired and desperate the franchise's formula has become.
Director Sie and screenwriter Kay Cannon, who also penned the first two films, hardly have anything new to say about the charming Bellas, who by the end of Banks' film are just about ready to leave the limelight with the entry of newcomer Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), who has been anointed to continue their legacy. The Bellas' story is one that doesn't need a continuation but by virtue of milking the franchise of every bit of goodwill it has earned, they are again introduced, no longer as awkward students but as mostly failures in their respective lives outside of college.
They all meet up in a reunion, where watching the current batch of Bellas inspires them to sing together again – this time, for American troops stationed around Europe. In keeping with the franchise's penchant for pitting the Bellas against more formidable musical opponents, their tour is later on revealed to be a contest for the opening spot in DJ Khaled's finale.
Matter of routine
The biggest problem with Pitch Perfect 3 is that everything that the first two films did so charmingly, it does as a matter of routine.
The jokes are mechanical. The musical performances are largely uninspired. The new romances are lackluster. Even the supposedly tighter competition that has been carved for the Bellas lacks tension.
The characters whose quirks carried the two previous films are now very ordinary and uninteresting.
With the exception of Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) who gets an entire subplot involving her reunion with her long-lost father (John Lithgow), everybody is lost in the crowd. Even the characters played by Banks and John Michael Figgins have been reduced to throwing hit-or-miss witticisms.
Pitch Perfect 3 pales so much in comparison to its predecessors that its very existence becomes dubious. Sure, it is fun at times, but there is always that nagging feeling that the film is nothing more than a lousy-looking profit-making exercise. – Rappler.com
Francis Joseph Cruz litigates for a living and writes about cinema for fun. The first Filipino movie he saw in the theaters was Carlo J. Caparas' Tirad Pass. Since then, he’s been on a mission to find better memories with Philippine cinema.