Hot Take: Aca-awful story with some fun but familiar a cappella singing from characters you probably love if you’re here for a 3rd installment. Not a very good movie but it has its moments if you’re a fan of the series.
When you end up with John Lithgow with a terrible Australian accent singing Chicago’s “Hard for Me to Say I’m Sorry”, you know something has gone terrible wrong with the plot. Enter Pitch Perfect 3, the 3rd installment of the Pitch Perfect series which features the Bellas now 3 years after the end of Pitch Perfect 2 (which if you told me it was about the Bellas saving the world from a natural weather phenomenon with their singing, I would probably believe you) and graduated from college. It looks like the entire cast was signed on to return but honestly, I didn’t pay enough attention to the first 2 to know the names of anyone beyond Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld and Brittany Snow. Sorry. Thanks to a convoluted plot, the only thing going for Pitch Perfect 3 is nostalgia and some good a cappella singing that keeps the movie entertaining when not trying to tell us a story we don’t really care to follow. Just give us more singing. Seriously.
Want a taste of the storyline? The Bellas have all graduated and are now all failing at their careers. Anna Kendrick (as herself?) quits her job as a music producer and along with her roommate Fat Someone (Rebel Wilson) head to what they think is a Bellas reunion. Pretty Eyes Bella (Brittany Snow) and Blonde Bella (Anna Camp) are there along with Black Lesbian Bella (Ester Dean), Latino Bella (Chrissie Fit) and the weird one who is also Asian (Hana Mae Lee). There are also other Bellas (Kelly Jakle, Shelley Regner and Alexis Knapp) and when they get to the “reunion”, they find out is a performance of the current Bellas led by Hailee Steinfeld (as herself?). Depressed because they don’t get to perform together, one of the Bellas gets the idea that her military dad can get them on DJ Khaled’s USO Tour. The group is game and Steinfeld joins because a reason. Next thing you know, they are in Italy having a riff-off with real bands and Fat Someone is confronted by her long lost father Bad Australian Accent Guy (John Lithgow). Or was it Spain? Do you care? Anyway, turns out Bad Accent Guy is a Bad Guy (hence Lithgow, I guess?) and Fat Someone has been trained in multiple fighting skills because her dad does something bad. Oh, and the pair who played commentators are back (Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins) and they are filming an aca-documentary… or is it a doc-a-mentary… I don’t know. Something ridiculous… do I need to go on?
Anyway, there’s good singing everywhere they go which is slightly cancelled out by a ridiculous DJ Khaled cameo and more horrible plot twists and turns. I’m not saying you won’t be entertained for 93 minutes because, I’ll admit, I was. However, it wasn’t because of the plot but only because the musical numbers were good and I’m vaguely familiar with the cast (except for their names because I’m mostly just waiting for more singing). I’m sure if you love these characters, Pitch Perfect 3 will be at least a small win for you but depending on how much you can overlook the stupid plot, your level of enjoyment will depend on that.
You’re a fan of the Bellas and a sucker for cash grab sequels that ignore any reasonable request for a decent story. (That would be me, honestly.)
You never like the Bellas in the first place and you also hate music. (Really? What did music ever do to you?)