Thursday, June 28, 2018

Film Review: Pitch Perfect 3

Sexuality/Nudity Mature
Violence Acceptable
Vulgarity Acceptable
Anti-Catholic Philosophy Mature

This review will be short as my memory of this film is hazy at best; it was that forgettable.

Pitch Perfect 3 is the last gasp of a one-and-done movie that was stretched into a trilogy.  Most of the Barton Bellas, the a capella group we've followed over the series, have graduated and have jobs in the real world.  Beca (Anna Kendrick) has just been fired from her job at a record company.  Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) is her roommate and is also at a dead end in her career.  Chloe (Brittany Snow) is an unfulfilled veternarian, and the like.  Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) is leading a new group of younger Bellas, causing the older ones to feel awful.  So they decide to join a USO tour through Europe with other bands and the best one will be signed with DJ Khaled.

Oh, and also Fat Amy's father (Jon Lithgow) comes back into her life but is a shady person.

The movie isn't terrible and it is at times mildly diverting.  But everything about it feels wasteful.  Kendrick somehow manages to shine in everything that she does and Wilson can be incredibly funny if you give her the right material.  But that doesn't happen here.

The musical sequences are fine but nothing as memorable as the first movie.  The stakes are low.  I mean, honestly, who is going to care about DJ Khaled in ten years?  I don't care about him now.  It reminded me of when CeeLo Green cameoed in Begin Again.  I thought to myself "In a few years people are going to ask who the hell this guy is."

In fact, the stakes are so low that they have to add artificial peril by creating a life or death situation with the Bellas.  But because you care so little for the story, it doesn't register very much.

When you end a trilogy, the emotional stakes should be what holds you.  But in the first few minutes they jettison Beca's romantic storyline (key in the first movie) and Fat Amy's romantic storyline (key in the second movie) and blank-slate the entire emotional landscape.  Instead of building on an foundation of character to get us to care about what happens, the filmmakers ignore any emotional investment you may have made.

The Bellas seem to have no growth or development over three movies.  In fact, they seem to have devolved.  When they decide they need to make a bigger impression, even Beca's first thought is to go "sluttier."  You would think that the filmmakers would give the characters a bit more self-respect.

The humor is crude and usually doesn't land very well.  But I didn't find myself wanting to tear my hair out, which is better than something like The Hangover III.

So while the first movie came on to the scene like a bang, the series now ends with a whimper.

image by Yasir72.multan

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