By: Felix Felicis (Four Beers) –
It’s Pitch-mas and your fave *mashup mavens are back, y’all! (*Gimme a break here, it’s really hard to alliterate mashup) It’s been five actual years and seven Bella years since these vocalizing vixens exploded onto the Aca-scene (fun review Drinking Game: Take a Drink: every time I make an Aca-pun — yes that counts and Take a Sip: for every alliteration). They crushed college, but, like every millennial nightmare starts, they’re stuck in a rut longing for the days when their biggest problem was being a plucky underdog in a collegiate singing competition, instead of “how do I make rent this month and NOT move back in with mom and dad?”
We open on Becca as she’s living her best life as a music producer (She’s not. She’s in literal hell trying to produce a hit by shining up a lyrical turd) until she quits to pursue artistic integrity. Brb. Laughing until I can’t breathe because Becca’s entitled privilege has sucked up all the air in the room. The Bellas get back together for a sad reunion where they watch shinier, perkier versions of themselves perform at an aquarium (Yep. That’s the DREAM). The group then decides that one last hurrah performing on a USO tour for the troops abroad would be aca-AWESOME (and totally possible because Aubrey’s weird-saying-generator of a father is in charge of the lineup so they’re automatically IN).
Once abroad, the Bellas find out there’s a competition to open for Placeholder Famous Person (DJ Khaled) that one of the acts on the tour will win. Because of course there is. Half-fizzled romantic subplots and weighty exposition followed by some dynamic action sequences (you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Fat Amy wield a sausage – surprisingly not a sex thing) and ridiculous shenanigans ensue in a smorgasbord of countries to round out this amehzing final flick in the Pitch Perfect-verse… or is it?
No one can deny that Rebel Wilson is the heart of this franchise (fight me, I’ll die on that hill) and, I say this with love in my heart for Anna Kendrick, super fuck Becca you guys. She’s entitled and whiny at the best of times and obnoxiously overbearing given her tendency to land on top during the worst of times. Seriously. Pitch 3 finally, FINALLY gives the major plot points and spotlight to Fat Amy who far and away RUNS WITH IT IN AN INCREDIBLY EPIC WAY. I mean, not actually runs with it because (as we remember) cardio and Fat Amy don’t get along.
But to give Pitch Perfect 3 the credit it deserves, the ensemble cast can make magic out of almost anything. Their undeniable chemistry and charm with one another helps the Bellas buoy this sinking ship long enough for it to dock/possibly explode. But outside of that, and Rebel Wilson’s runaway performance, Pitch 3 rings hollow and formulaic in the most disappointing way.
Picture your mother giving your uterus pointed glances all throughout Christmas dinner followed by AUDIBLE SIGHS as you fight your shockingly spry-yet-ancient Aunt Judy for the last of the peppermint schnapps before dessert and you’ll be about halfway to the level of disappointment I felt at this final chapter in the Pitch Perfect franchise that my mother felt compelled to express at our holiday dinner over my perpetually single love life (next year I’m playing dead unless I end up married to Channing Tatum or one of the Chris’s – Evans, Pratt, Pine any one of which would do). The strength of the Bellas has always been killer mashups and performance-based Aca-awesomeness but in Pitch 3 I didn’t get thrilled, chilled or even a little bit trill (again I remind you rhyming is hard) over any of the Bellas’ performances because they all felt like an afterthought pushing the plot along – kind of like when you nudge a recently dead body deeper into the swamp to hide it (super unrelated to the beginning of the paragraph… promise).
Which is weird because the plot to Pitch Perfect 3 felt like what I imagine the inside of Nicholas Sparks’ brain looks like (just a clusterfuck of Aca-Awful ideas and “plot twists’ which are simultaneously fucking insane and somehow also super derivative and formulaic). From myself and (I feel confident speaking on his behalf) Hawk Ripjaw, please start making movies again, Nicky Sparkles, we love to hate you and (unrelated) after we write up the last Fifty Shades flick which will, undoubtably, taking a piping hot Cleveland Steamer on our immortal souls, there’s really nothing else for us to look forward to other than the unrelenting slide into middle age, and, inevitably, death.
There was also nothing here in Pitch 3 that felt fresh, or original, or funny beyond a few expected laughs at some callbacks to the franchise (and pretty much anytime Rebel Wilson was onscreen). AND FOR THE LOVE OF CTHULHU IT IS NOT FUNNY WHEN YOU NAME A RIVAL GIRL GROUP EVERMOIST. NOT A GOOD ENOUGH REASON TO USE THE WORD MOIST EVEN TYPING IT MAKES ME GAG. And let’s talk about how the film made *shudders* Evermoist catty and unrelentingly bitchy until the last scene in which they begrudgingly kind of half smile when the Bellas (and Becca- ughhhhhhhhhhh) come out on top… Again.
Which brings me to my last point. Pitch Perfect 3 was a shell without a soul. It was a pretty sparkler hoping to dazzle you enough with spinning sausages -again, weirdly not a sex thing- and mega yacht explosions long enough for the studio to moonwalk out the theater with your money. And I say this as a fan of the franchise, I enjoyed myself… but 95% of that was residual goodwill from the previous films and 5% seeing it in theaters with friends (and in the back of my mind I was aware of every minute ticking by onscreen). All the right parts were there in Pitch 3: a fire, some explosions, high-stakes a cappella, a swarm of bees accidentally released into a room of well-dressed people in the south of France and yet… satisfaction lay just out of reach like multiple orgasms (or a sane political administration).
Thing We Needed More Of In Pitch Perfect 3:
- Fat Amy -ALWAYS MORE FAT AMY
- high-powered a cappella mashups that didn’t feel like helium slowly escaping from a sad balloon
- awkward yet endearing Bella moments
- I’ll just say it, porgs. This movie needed porgs.
Things We Didn’t Need At All In Pitch 3:
- DJ Khaled
- The serious use of the phrase “bless up” (see above)
- Brittany Snow thirsty AF for a dude like she ain’t shit without a man *cough* feminism *cough*
- naming a rival girl group “Evermoist” NO A THOUSAND TIMES NO
You can’t help but enjoy more time with these Aca-Weirdos (and they make the most of what they’re given by turning full force into the Aca-skid) but P3 doesn’t entirely recapture the initial magic that the first film had pitch… perfectly. 100% worth a matinee for franchise fans. Hard pass for everyone else, though.
Pitch Perfect 3 (2017) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time the Bellas get pwned either by life or by the competition.
Do a Shot: whenever DJ Khaled’s Producer stalks Becca and/or gazes longlingly in a bemused-yet-creepy fashion at this magical unicorn of beauty and talent.
Take a Drink: any time Fat Amy’s dad pops up/Fat Amy does something epic.
Take a Sip: for each a capella performace. Take Two: if it doesn’t go well for the Bellas.
Shotgun Your Beer: for boats and ho’s (you’ll know when, trust me).