Following their win at the world championship, the now separated Bellas reunite for one last singing competition at an overseas USO tour but face a group who uses both instruments and voices.
The tagline of Pitch Perfect 3, the latest in the franchise, is “Last Call Pitches,” and we can only hope this is the case, for we do not need one more of these. Though some inappropriate humor is present, the first and second movies are cute and original, with hearty laughs to be had by most. This film is a far cry from that. It is sloppily written, a patchwork of tired sub-plots and equally dried-up jokes about vaginas and weight.Teamwork, loyalty, and the power of friendship still drive the major themes, but the songs and performances, which consume the majority of screen time and are painful to witness, are dated and second-rate at best. The Bellas are back at it again in a pathetic attempt to revive their college youth by coming together for one last competition against a “mean girls” band named Evermoist at a USO tour – also a perfect example of the level of humor this film never rises above. It might have served filmmakers well to change things up a bit and use Oscar nominee and critically acclaimed actress Hailee Steinfeld, who plays Emily, as a front person, instead of staying with the same old shtick; it felt as though Anna Kendrick (Beca) and Rebel Wilson (Fat Amy) were getting crammed down my throat. They could have done something new, but instead seemed more focused on a paycheck by regurgitating what came before—unsuccessfully. Even DJ Kahlid, who is initiator and judge of the uninspiring competition, is not used smartly, as I felt cheated that he never performs on-screen. Not only must the viewer suffer through endless dated musical numbers, but the subplots about fathers and a documentary being shot about The Bellas are random at best: Fat Amy and Aubrey (Anna Camp) struggle with daddy issues; the former’s Aussie pop, played unconvincingly by John Lithgow, is a hardened criminal, looking to take advantage of his daughter’s inheritance, and the latter simply feels abandoned and ignored by her military parent. About an hour in, the film itself is taken hostage by the actual hostage takeover playing out onscreen, where Lithgow kidnaps and holds The Bellas for ransom. Things reach ridiculous proportions when Amy saves the day, suddenly displaying ninja skills by taking out every henchman on board her father’s yacht where the final explosive scene, given away in the trailer, occurs. Of course, Kendrick is the winner again when Kahlid chooses her (but not the rest of The Bellas) for her so-called unique talent. In the end, she sings “Freedom” at the final performance, an entirely unoriginal song, not written by her. This movie is a disappointment in every way and certainly not worth the price of admission. Stay home with some popcorn and re-watch its predecessors, pretending it ends there. Due to graphic violence involving weapons and crude humor, Dove is unable to give Pitch Perfect 3 a seal of approval.