The new film doesn’t add anything revolutionary to the Pitch Perfect formula but adds on to what made it a franchise 5 years ago. There’s drama, humor, catchy numbers, commitment and also a bit of action. The Bellas, three years after their college, are now out in the real world, stuck in the drudgery of dead-end jobs. Even Beca (Kendrick), having established herself as a record producer, gets canned from her latest gig after a run-in with an eccentric rapper. So when the Bellas are invited, by one group member’s military father, to join a USO tour of Europe, they grab the chance to seize the day, after escaping a ‘hostage situation’ in their own style.
In one way or another, the franchise is about all about the glory of showing off skills and winning in the end, and the Bellas do it from the start when they perform Sia’s Cheap Thrills, spinning around in red-and-white striped halter tops, till the last number where they declare their ‘Freedom’ from the group.
While the first film can be considered a modern classic, revolutionising and bringing forth the traditional acapella singing, the second one was a draggy affair with Bellas trying to win back their pride. The third is like their graduation film, where they realise that there’s more to life than just performing with your sisters.
Directed by Trish Sie, the movie is bubbly, fast, and a showcase for the personalities of its stars individually. While Anna Kendrick as Beca has always got her individual say in all three movies, the final film of the franchise focuses on the lives of others as well. Though Kendrick and Wilson shine out the most in their own different, weird but lovable styles.
John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks are back on deck as the play-by-play commentators John and Gail, who are now making a documentary film on the lives of Bellas. Talking about the performances, Kendrick holds the picture together with the ever-loved skeptical attitude and airy diligence. Rebel Wilson as Fat Amy gets to dig her past a bit and there enters a somewhat absurd but entertaining action-plot. Both the ladies prove that they deserve better films and make sure to make this graduation of the group as fun as possible.
In the end, when Bellas go on stage for the last time together, doing a percolating rendition of George Michael’s Freedom’ 90, it appears as a fitting end to their journey as a group of women who kept it real and funny, in the land of cheeky ‘chick-flicks’. The Bellas and the franchise had a good run and it’s only justice to stop it here. There’s a limit to the point one can be fatally catchy, and we don’t want the harmony to end now, do we?