Directed by: Trish Sie | Produced by: Elizabeth Banks, Paul Brooks, Max Handelman | Screenplay by: Kay Cannon, Mike White | Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, John Lithgow | Music by: Christopher Lennertz | Cinematography: Matthew Clark | Edited by: Craig Alpert, Collin Patton | Production Companies: Gold Circle Films, Marc Platt Productions, Brownstone Productions | Distributed by: Universal Pictures | Official Website
Back on 2012 when the first Pitch Perfect was released, it was a fun movie telling us about female friendship along with some amazing a cappella covers of song we know. The first movie is a breathe of fresh air, we even didn’t need of a sequel. Yet there is a less excited Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) that had the most intense cover of Fall Out Boy’s My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark. Then there is this second sequel, on which they claim to be the end of the franchise.
Out of college, our ex-Bellas is now living their lives separately. For ex-Glee geeks, you know where the conclusion would direct. Beca (Anna Kendrick) is now working as a music producer who has resigned her job just before Chloe (Brittany Snow) pop up on her room, which she lives with her roomies Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson). The breathless Veterinarian Chloe reminds them of Bellas reunion, which leads to disappointment since it’s just a show for the new generation of Barden University’ Bellas. It’s a clear sign that the end has just come for the Bellas and I really expected that the movie would just be ended there. However, Aubrey (Anna Camp) comes to an idea that they should perform to the USO tour, using her father’s recommendation.
The Bellas come to USO facility in Spain, just to realize that there would be a competition for DJ Khaled (play by the real DJ Khaled who tries so hard to look uninterested but failed successfully. All I wanna do is screaming in Olaf’s voice “Who is this DJ Khaled?”)’s opening act along with the USO tour. This creates a new confusion in the plot, so are they now competing for DJ Khaled’s opening act or just entertaining the US soldiers? Anyway, the Bellas are competing against three bands: country cowboys Saddle Up, young hiphop star Young Sparrow and all-female rockers Evermoist. The bands’ name sounds more like porn title or porn star instead of the name of a band. Long story short, while Fat Amy is now encountering her estranged dad Fergus (John Lithgow), the Bellas are now preparing their Swan Song.
This is a mess. The movie is totally boring, there are too much plotholes and it’s lost both of their charm and fun. The story is so light that you probably tried so hard to wish they are going to sing that amazing David Guetta’s song one more time. The intensity of singing competition that had been highlighted on the first and second movie was gone with the wind. The Bellas are now facing one bitter truth: that this world wouldn’t be so nice to a group of beautiful girls, wearing same dresses and singing other people’s song in a cappella. They try to add some thrill with Fat Amy’s father suddenly turns bad with kidnapping the Bellas, but it’s unnecessary and failed. The also never explained who is Fergus actually, why does Fat Amy call him a crime king, and John Lithgow has added up a negative entry to his portfolio with his pathetic Australian accent.
The casts were lost of their characters too. As long as I remember, Pitch Perfect has some ensemble casts with their unique characters. In this third movie, they got little to none opportunity to show their character. Anna Kendrick is one of the most lively actor nowadays, but she even cannot remember how to be Beca. Beca should be the unofficial alpha on the Bellas, but this movie’s Beca is just be there, doing nothing while she has to bear all the emotion of the movie. The other girls are almost wasted too. Ruby Rose is rocking with her androgynous looks, but the screenplay makes her no more than just a badmouth.
However, there are two positive things on this movie. First, the song. You can listen to one of the most beautiful cover of Britney Spears’ Toxic here. I have seen and listen to so many covers of Toxic, and although I like the rock or metal covers more, their cover of this extraordinary song is quite an ear-pleasing. Also, although I cannot understand how come they suddenly sing George Michael’s Freedom at the final scene, it’s still a good cover. Second, Fat Amy. While other casts are wasting their time on this movie and just collecting their paychecks, Rebel Wilson did something that should have been done by Anna Kendrick: driving the entire story to the direction it should be. Rebel Wilson has the most intense fighting scenes, and be the unnamed hero of this movie that keeps me awake with her sometimes-shallow humors.
Overall, this is a bad Swan Song that Pitch Perfect gives to their loyal audiences. For those ex-Glee geeks and those singers in the bathroom, this is a perfect waste-timers. I’m so glad it’s ended. In the end, it’s like Ruby Rose said, it’s like the Karaoke: no matter what song you sing or how you sound like, it’s all about the company you keep.