‘Pitch Perfect 3’ Review Roundup: A Cappella Franchise Takes It One Movie Too Far
The Pitch Perfect franchise returned for a third installment, and it is not being well received. Anna Kendrick returns as Beca, now a graduate from Barden University is finding real life difficult. Rebel Wilson‘s Fat Amy, Hailee Steinfeld‘s Emily, Brittany Snow‘s Chloe, and Anna Camp‘s Aubrey are all having similar issues discovering that a cappella singing doesn’t have much a place in the job world. The Bellas get back together one more time for performance on the USO tour.
Directed by Trish Sie and written by Mike White and Kay Cannon, Pitch Perfect 3 doesn’t live up to its two hilarious predecessors. The themes and music become trite with the third and, as one reviewer put it, “Aca-nough already.” The film earned a 33% on Rottentomatoes.
PITCH PERFECT 3 REVIEW ROUNDUP
“Aca-nough already… We really didn’t need a second Pitch Perfect movie, much less a third one… The best thing I can say about it is that it’s not another retread of its predecessor. Instead, Kay Cannon has blown things up entirely. She maintains the overly produced pop tunes as a through line, of course—it’s the only real source of cohesion, and it’s the reason you’re here. But it’s as if she and director Trish Sie decided to just go nuts in this final outing, turning it into a globetrotting, James Bond-style action picture. That doesn’t necessarily make it an improvement, but it’s at least an ambitious departure.”
–Christy Lemire, rogerebert.com
“The second sequel to the a cappella choir comedy feels less like a movie than a bunch of deleted scenes strung together in the guise of a plot. The leads belabor the same tired conflicts repeatedly with zero progress. Secondary characters have nothing to do for so long, it’s disarming when they finally speak… The slapdash screenwriting doesn’t allow any momentum to build. These are presumably independent young adults — most of the lead actresses are in their 30s now — continuing to wrestle with 18-year-old problems. And when they finally take the stage, it’s hard to care.”
–Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle
“Pitch Perfect 3 fares best when its director, Trish Sie, treats it as a fantastical buddy comedy. A side plot reuniting Fat Amy with her degenerate father (John Lithgow) nearly takes over the movie when Amy’s father kidnaps the Bellas. What follows is the film’s funniest scene, as the suddenly spry Amy, in an attempt to save her friends, refashions sausages into nunchucks and sandwich tinfoil into explosives. In another divergence, the Bellas destroy a hotel suite, releasing a swarm of bees and lighting curtains on fire to the horror of party guests. With a plot as unfocused as its freshly graduated characters, the shaggy Pitch Perfect 3 gets by on karaoke logic: What makes for a good time isn’t the song you sing, but the company you keep.”
–Teo Bugbee, New York Times
“The latest in a once-appealing series of movies about the joys of female friendship, campus rivalry and vocal percussion, it’s a coarse, ugly, pointlessly action-packed reminder that every modestly sharp and amusing property must eventually be converted, by the commercial logic of Hollywood, into a soul-killing cash grab. I won’t dwell on the details. The laziness with which this movie has been slapped together can’t really be described… The only way I could ruin Pitch Perfect 3 for you would be by encouraging you to see it.”
–Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times