Rob Reviews "Pitch Perfect 3"
Boxing analyst Larry Merchant once said, “Sometimes, a fight is just a fight to a fighter”. What I took away from that (and trust me, a lot of what that dude has thrown out there in the last decade and a half took some digging to find meaning in) is that not every experience in this life has to be the end-all be-all thing. If it were, we would not be able to stop and enjoy the simple joys that our existence brings us more often than we realize. With “Step Up All In” director Trish Sie’s latest offering and the third and final chapter in the “Pitch Perfect” series, we will explore this concept.
The Barden Bellas have all now graduated college (save Hailee Steinfeld’s Emily) and are looking for their places in this world. Most of them have all gone their own directions except for Beca (Anna Kendrick), Chloe (Brittany Snow), and Fat Amy/Fat Patricia (Rebel Wilson), who are sharing an apartment. With each of the troupe having their own issues with the real world, they decide that the only solution to get themselves back on track is to join a USO tour with three other acts (two bands and one rap/DJ duo) for the opportunity to open for D.J. Khaled for a televised special.
There seem to be a lot of Grinches this holiday season, with a lot of hate being thrown around in the realm of film that I simply do not understand. Have we gotten so cynical as a society that if a moviegoing experience doesn’t simply chuck us through a wall on every level that it is just trash? I don’t really see myself as a film snob (at least I hope I’m not), but I think sometimes, a film should just be a time for all of us to escape the udder insanity that is this life and allow ourselves to simply enjoy what is there without having to find a deeper meaning in everything. “Pitch Perfect 3” is one of those films that simply knows what it is and delivers on that front. The best way that I can describe this film is simply silly fun. Hitting the right length at just over an hour and a half, this story hits most of the right notes (pun not intended until after I typed that) with its humor, solid soundtrack, and continued character development. Fat Amy/Fat Patricia is there to make those “did she just say that” moments, Chloe still holds onto the sisterhood she misses, Beca just wants to make music, and everything still is what it is (which is not necessarily a bad thing), adding John Lithgow and Ruby Rose to the mix. Granted, I wish we had some more greatness from Hana Mae Lee as Lily, but her character is just so much fun in general that it’s okay where it is. And what would a “Pitch Perfect” film be without Gail (Elizabeth Banks) and John (John Michael Higgins) along for the ride, this time as documentarians about the continuing story of the Bellas and their lives after school ends.
If there is any criticism I have with this film, it sits in a subplot that opens the film that caused more than a few question marks above the heads of the audience involving the family of one of the characters. There is a payoff to it as the film goes on, but it was one of those things that just made me go “what just happened here,” and even though it DOES all come together, it just seemed very random and thrown in. This was not enough to lessen my enjoyment, but it WAS very strange.
“Pitch Perfect 3” is a great way to finish a series that I have enjoyed way more than I thought I ever would, and releasing it during the holiday season is a very well planned move in order to keep the good feelings going as we bring 2017 to a close. Sure, if you didn’t dig the first two, this may not be your cup of tea, but sometimes, a film is just a film to a moviegoer.