By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
There has to be a “Pitch Perfect 4” because there’s no way that Anna Kendrick and the a cappella Barden Bellas will want to be remembered and go out with “Pitch Perfect 3”
which is supposedly the final movie in the series.
Of course if “Pitch Perfect 3” doesn’t hold up well at the box office during this crowded Christmas movie weekend, then it will most likely be the final farewell tour of the Bellas. Maybe.
It’s not that “Pitch Perfect 3” is horrible, but it does feel rushed, convoluted and more than a few of the jokes and gags fall flat. Granted, these movies have always been about the music and thankfully “Pitch Perfect 3” delivers on that count this time around too.
But it’s as if screenwriter Kay Cannon, who has been on board with these “Pitches” from day one throws everything imaginable into the storyline here hoping it all will gel.
It’s a mixed bag for sure as the Bellas wind up not only singing, but on a globe-trotting tour that has a few of them turning into full blown action heroes. The way Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) handles some sausages during a fight scene with a baddie would even make Gal Gadot/Wonder Woman and the late Bruce Lee proud.
But before I get too far ahead, here’s how things jump off in “Pitch Perfect 3.”
Reality has set in on the Bellas. With the exception of Emily (Haillee Steinfeld, “The Edge of Seventeen”) all of the Bellas are out of college now.
Beca (Kendrick, “Trolls”) is a music producer, but hates making tracks for a lame white rapper named Pimp-Lo (Moises Aries, “Ben-Hur”).
Chloe (Brittany Snow, TV’s “Temporary”) is a veterinarian who treats farm animals. Cynthia (Ester Dean, “Pitch Perfect 2”) knows she’s not ready for flight school and Fat Amy (Wilson) is still open to any and everything.
It’s no surprise that Fat Amy is the first to jump at the offer by Aubrey (Anna Camp, TV’s “Sophia the First”), the former leader of the Bellas to reunite and perform in concert for the military troops overseas.
Since everyone is frustrated with their jobs, it’s an easy decision and they all pack up and head to Spain for their first show.
Nothing has every come easy for these young women. They discover that there are other musicians out there doing some pretty amazing things musically like the fierce all-girl rock band Extra Moist that’s fronted by the singer Calamity (Ruby Rose, “John Wick: Chapter 2” and TV’s “Orange Is the New Black”). But they’re performing with instruments. What?
The Bellas have their hands full and are slowly coming to the realization that maybe their a cappella music has run its course.
There’s also a plot twist involving the tour’s A-list headliner DJ Khaled and Beca along with a surprise visitor (John Lithgow, “TV’s “The Crown”) who somehow manages to into everywhere the Bellas are.
Director Trish Sie (“Step Up All In”) juggles a lot in “Pitch Perfect 3.” There’s unfortunately less screen time for the feisty judges/commentators Elizabeth Banks (TV’s “Curb your Enthusiasm”) and John Michael Higgins (TV’s “Great News”). They’re making a documentary of the women’s final farewell tour and do manage to get in a few good zingers worthy of a few laughs. The best of the bunch come during the film’s final outtakes.
“Pitch Perfect 3” hits its stride when it focuses more on the music than the off-key, silly hijinks. Maybe the fourth time will be the charm.
Be sure to catch my N2Entertainment.net movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:40 p.m. on radio station KFBK 1530 AM and 93.1 FM.
Check Out This Trailer For "PITCH PERFECT 3."
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), the Black Reel Awards Voting Academy and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.