They’ve moved on with their lives, the acapella all-girl group Bellas, who made music lovers so happy when they first appeared on the big screen with Pitch Perfect in 2012.
The first movie was based on a book by Mickey Rapkin, which was about the competitive world of collegiate a cappella groups.
Kay Cannon took that and came up with the winsome series, which ends in all likelihood with this kick-ass movie, Pitch Perfect 3.
It was fun, and the singing was lovely, especially the Bellas take on Britney Spear’s Toxic with sampling of Hit Me Baby One More Time. That song was in the opening sequence of the movie where the girls are performing before 3 guys when suddenly Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) crashed through the skylight, “extinguish” the guys and the girls jump overboard to safety.
We flashback to get to this scene. It’s a neat Ice Age formula, to start and end with the same scenes. A cinematic story formula that works anywhere.
So, the Bellas we know – Beca (Anna Kendrick), Fat Amy, Chloe (Brittany Snow), Aubrey (Anna Camp), Cynthia (Esther Dean) and others — are not quite making it in the real world after varsity.
They are thrilled when invited to a”reunion” by the younger Bellas, led by Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), but the latter are “shiner”.
Aubrey, whose dad is in the army, comes up with the idea of doing a tour of European US military bases, where hip-hop mogul DJ Khaled (who plays himself) will sign up one of the competing groups to his label.
Story aside, it’s the camaraderie shared by the female cast that makes the movie, and the music. Take, for example, the riff-off. This time, the Bellas take on the competing grouips with party songs, followed by “songs by people you didn’t know were Jewish,” (of all things snarky!).
At some point in the tour, somewhere in Spain, the Bellas turn DJ Khaled’s place into shambles, including his own personal beehive. Aah, the snide digs at the music world.
The incomparable emcee duo, played by John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks, are doing a documentary on how the Bellas are set to sink into oblivion, and they are hilarious.
Fat Amy also gets to meet her gansta dad, played by John Lithgow, who really wants her trust fund.
They’ve got it together on stage, but after trashing the pad of DJ Khaled (playing himself), they use their wits to vault a series of absurdist soap-opera thriller obstacles.
He kidnaps the Bellas and then we get the yacht scene. You will remember this movie’s version of “Toxic” as much as Fat Amy’s action scenes. It was so good that you knew she could never had done it.
Why watch it? Well, if you like Glee, then why not? And the songlist alone is to drool over. Like the Bellas’ remix of “Cups” with George Michael’s “Freedom! ’90”, or Grenade performed by Young Sparrow and DJ Dragon Nutz.
Perfect Pitch Perfect 3 fun. And it ends. Sigh.