5 years since the first film took the world by storm back in 2012, and the Pitch Perfect franchise is ready to take its final bow with Pitch Perfect 3 - the conclusion to the trilogy is nigh, and my verdict is in.

With their acapella run now behind them, Pitch Perfect 3 opens to find our Bellas all grown up with their own jobs and lives; they're now past their college days but fixating on the past, reminiscing of their better time together. When the Bellas are offered the chance to take part in a music competition/world tour performing for the US Army and competing for the chance to... perform for the US Army (oh, and DJ Khaled, of course) - because the narrative deems it so; it's just making this up as it goes now - the girls come together for their farewell tour. But it's not a smooth journey and along the way, in typical Bella fashion, things going awry when they end up hostages for a big, bad villain.

Yes, you read that right. Honestly, the premise for Pitch Perfect 3 is easily the weakest thing the film has going for it; we've already seen two films in this franchise, and there's not exactly a breadth of plots to be cherrypicked from when you're focusing on an acapella group. This is evident by the fact that Kay Cannon and Mike White have an entire subplot dedicated to Fat Amy's evil dad (played by John Lithgow, no less) who kidnaps the Bellas and holds them at ransom for $170 million, forcing Rebel Wilson to go full Atomic Blonde in the third act and defeat a slew of henchmen to save her friends. I mean... it's a little far-fetched for a film about music and friendship if you ask me. It just feels like the film is kind of making things up as it goes along. It's pretty convoluted and all over the place, the story just kind of meanders around its various subplots to create a tone and pacing that feel very choppy and uneven. It's this element where Pitch Perfect 3 really takes a hit: it feels too lazy in really giving the Bellas a thought-out, cohesive and pretty taut finale and just kind of bumbles around aimlessly checking boxes to fill out a runtime.
Thankfully, though, we don't exactly come to these films for the writing, but for the Bellas themselves and the musical numbers and the film certainly delivers on that front. As mentioned above, it checks the boxes and has everything you'd expect from a Pitch film - we have Wilson making fat jokes; the cutesy, idealistic romance(s); Beca having to deal with her own musical career and obstacles; the pulpy acapella numbers; the competition that seems tough; Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins acting as expositional mouthpieces - it's all here. The film certainly hits those beats; we know what we're in for and the film can become a little repetitive and predictable as a result, but, at the same time, we're three films in now and the franchise has a pretty solid handle on executing all of it without enough heart and wit.

Pitch Perfect 3 is admittedly a bit of a trainwreck as a film itself; if it was any other film, it would be a frustrating piece. But we know what we're getting into with a Pitch Perfect film and for fans like myself that have been with them and with these girls since 2012, it's pretty serviceable. Director Trish Sie certainly cannot be commended for ingenuity here but she brings enough heart and wit to the table to make an affair that will certainly put a smile on your face - whether you like it or not - and one that also brings a pretty satisfying close to the franchise. The camaraderie between the Bellas is, as always, electric and these girls have such palpable chemistry and it makes the dynamic between them always so exuberant and fun to watch; its also quite a funny film too and will have you laughing perhaps more than you'd like to admit. But, yes, the action is just awful; that entire subplot involving Lithgow and Wilson feels so shoehorned in and contrived and the incorporation of DJ Khaled in the story is also painfully cringe-worthy and frustrating.

As I've said, this is far from a perfect film and it's far from the original that started this whole thing 5 years ago. It's baffling at parts and will sometimes test your patience along the way but Pitch Perfect 3 is a film for the fans and whilst it's more The Godfather Part 3 than War for the Planet of the Apes, it's an admittedly enjoyable and satisfying endeavour nonetheless. The chemistry between the girls is great; the humour works, for the most part; the musical numbers are pretty solid and enjoyable too and the story is so shockingly sprawling that it can be admired for its efforts and its absurdity. The Bellas have a good run but perhaps it's a good thing that this is the last entry, though, because it's evident this is a franchise running its last fumes. 

Pitch Perfect 3 brings the trilogy to an admittedly satisfying conclusion, albeit one that can feel a little convoluted and tired along the way.

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About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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