Pitch Perfect 3
Starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Ruby Rose
Directed by Trish Sie
The a cappella-themed franchise, which started in 2012, should have just stuck to two movies and quit while it was ahead. The latest (and, hopefully, the last) chapter sees the Barden Bellas, now no longer in college, reunited to compete for a spot to open for DJ Khaled’s USO tour. The Bellas’ main rival is a band called Evermoist, fronted by Orange is the New Black’s Ruby Rose, doing her best Joan Jett impression. She rocks; the movie doesn’t.
Clearly suffering from the laws of diminishing returns, it isn’t as fresh, funny and charming as its predecessors; the get-together feels forced, more like an afterthought, where everyone is there to fulfil a contractual obligation. Even though it’s an ensemble piece, Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson have more meat to their characters (the former’s Beca has a shot at a solo career while the latter’s Fat Amy reconnects with an estranged family member), while their co-stars are lost in threadbare subplots.
Further proof that the movie has run out of steam, the writers include a superfluous action sequence — where Fat Amy shows off her fists and legs of fury — which seems to belong in another movie. Maybe that’s a dry run for the upcoming Charlie’s Angels reboot to be directed by series star and producer Elizabeth Banks, who’s also back as kooky commentator Gail, more annoying as ever.
For fans, the threequel is a so-so distraction. For the rest of us, we’re better off with the album. (**)