Pitch Perfect was one of the more unexpected franchises, with the original word-of-mouth hit and the sequel being one of the biggest comedies of that year. The sequel tried to serve both being an over-the-top comedy while also serving smaller character moments. Pitch Perfect 3 smartly pivots into full-on comedy-mode, focusing entirely on jokes and songs for a trilogy victory lap.
All of the Bellas, save Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), have graduated, making this a college reunion film. In a montage opening, we see each of the girls wrestling with the pressures of adulthood, save “Fat Amy” (Rebel Wilson). Wasting no time in bringing them back together and sending them on a USO tour of Western Europe, writers Kay Cannon and Mike White understand that the strengths of these films are in the singing sequences and the ensemble cast. It also refocuses on Anna Kendrick’s Beca.
The other characters are still here and recognizable, and get some great moments, but the structure mimics that of a reunion. Like Beca, we only know some of the details about the current lives of the other characters, and reveals about what they have been up to are some of the funniest and most rewarding comedy beats in the film.
Most importantly, the music continues to be great. While these films have always followed the sports film template rather than that of a musical, Pitch Perfect 3 marks a high point. The Bellas’ USO costumes and choreography is great, and a scene featuring Britney Spears’ “Toxic” is a series best.
By focusing on making a fun, positive film with good music numbers, Pitch Perfect 3 is the perfect antidote to those holiday blues. While it won’t pull in newcomers, fans will find plenty of comfort and celebration in the Bellas’ final outing.
Author: Ryan Silberstein
Ryan spends his days at a company named one of the best to work for in the Philadelphia area, and his nights
as a mysterious caped vigilante saving his city from the disease that is crime watching movies. He lives on a diet consisting of film, comic books, experimental beer, black coffee, and those big metal historical markers around town. Follow him on Twitter and Letterboxd.