Pitch Perfect 3

PP31
Flat

I s “jumping the shark” still a thing? What do the kids say these days when a series outlives its usefulness? “It couldn’t even be found on HULU?” “It got that call from Sallie Mae?” “It voted Republican?” Well, whatever the term, Pitch Perfect 3 is there, no longer universally recognizable as entertainment and nearly useless for casual film fans. However, like Daddy’s Home 2, it wasn’t for lack of trying.

There is part of me that will always love collegiate a cappella, and it’s not just because I took part once upon a time. Hence, there’s a thrill when the distribution logo screen opens and the Universal Pictures theme is sung rather than played. And then the action opens on a luxury yacht where the Bellas are performing … at gunpoint. Who takes an a cappella group hostage? Why? Hmmmm.  I’d better hold off; there are many more inane questions ahead.

The Barden Bellas have long since graduated, but like unruly hair, they just can’t part. Milking an internal connection, the women reunite for a USO tour in Europe. We haven’t even gotten past tour introductions before the Bellas collect a rival in the form of the (fabricated) band Evermoist. Why are there rivalries on a USO tour? Why would a professional band be threatened by an a cappella group? Wait. I can answer one of these. DJ Khaled is also on the tour and he will pick one of the tour acts to open for him after the tour is finished.

Look, I know plots are hard to find. But this makes no sense from any POV. And if DJ Khaled is the big prize, why are not watching the music of DJ Khaled rather than the music of the Bellas? Did I mention that the Statler and Waldorf of the Pitch Perfect franchise (Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins) are following the Bellas on their USO tour? Why? How could there possibly be money to be made from documenting an a cappella group on a USO tour? Please to explain.

And as if to up the idiocy to 11, John Lithgow appears as Fat Amy’s long-lost father, who is also following the Bellas on tour for personal reasons. And all of this leads to a hostage situation … as we’ve been pre-warned. These films were stretching the bounds of reality back when the plots were contained by a group of coeds singing on a college campus. In retrospect, I saw this film, noted every inflection or “pitch” if you will and still cannot figure out why anybody would hold an entire a cappella group hostage.

Pitch Perfect 3 is watchable whenever notorious anti-Bella Beca (Anna Kendrick) or Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) is on screen. Whenever these two are not on screen, the film is a waste of time and a credibility stretch on the order of a triplet-bearing pregnant woman’s belly. Now, credit counted carefully, this film beknows where Bella bread be buttered. In plainer English, Pitch Perfect 3 does have a lot of Kendrick and Wilson, but not enough to save the film.

Embarking on quaint Christmas carol
One might imagine a venue so sterile
Yet when pitchpipe sounds
Weaponry abounds
Who knew singing involved so much peril

Rated PG-13, 93 Minutes
Director: Trish Sie
Writer: Kay Cannon and Mike White
Genre: The perils of song
Type of being most likely to enjoy this film: Pitchmongers
Type of being least likely to enjoy this film: If you didn’t like it before, there’s zero reason to start now

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