A Little Off-Key: A Review of Pitch Perfect 3

Natalie Schonfeld

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The shockingly loud opening of Pitch Perfect 3 will leave you in sensory overload.  The movie begins with the beloved Bellas inappropriately singing “Toxic” by Britney Spears, while standing on a boat floating in the water.  The entire scene is encompassed by chaos and confusion, and the dialogue and plot feel out of context. The movie then proceeds to travel back in time, recounting the story of how the Bellas led themselves into this pickle.

The film details the Bellas’ journey around the world competing at military bases in hopes of earning a spot as the opening act for DJ Khaled, who makes an appearance in the movie.  The major twist in Pitch Perfect 3, in contrast to the first and second, is that this time our favorite acapella singers compete against musical groups that use instruments, setting them up for new challenges.

The characters that fans have come to love, including Becca (Anna Kendrick), Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), Aubrey (Anna Camp), Chloe (Brittany Snow) and even Pitch Perfect 2’s new addition, Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), have all reprised their roles.  This return of familiar faces is a delight for audiences of the third installment.  In this new production, the Bellas have graduated college and now are struggling to deal with the newfound realities of the working world.  Just like the storylines in the preceding films, life throws the characters many curveballs, though the obstacles in the latest installment are crazier than anything we have seen yet.

Pitch Perfect 3 has less of the feel good, sing-a-long vibe that is typical of a Pitch Perfect film and feels more like an action movie bordering on cheesy.  Perhaps this change of tune is because the third installment was directed by Trish Sie rather than Elizabeth Banks, though Banks still makes an appearance as one half of the hilarious Gail and John (John Michael Higgins) duo.  However, the music was just as playful, and the characters were just as funny. Sequels often disappoint, but Pitch Perfect 3, while different in tone, still manages to entertain.