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Pitch Perfect 3

Cover Media logo Cover Media 26/12/2017

All fans of musical comedies will agree that the first Pitch Perfect movie was "aca-awesome".

After five years since the release of the original, the third instalment has been unveiled - and perhaps unsurprisingly - very closely follows the formula of the first two movies.

Directed by Step Up: All In's Trish Sie, the film picks up where the 2015 sequel left off, and focuses on The Bellas after they find themselves split apart and fed up with the real world. Beca (Anna Kendrick) is a music producer bored by her work with obnoxious rappers, Chloe (Brittany Snow) is a vet student, Cynthia-Rose (Ester Dean) fails to become a pilot, Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) is a college student and Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) is an Amy Winehouse impersonator.

An a capella performance once again draws them all together, and still desperate to perform, the girls accept an opportunity to reunite for an overseas United Service Organizations (USO) tour of Western Europe, where they will not only perform for the troops and their families but also in front of DJ Khaled, and possibly win a chance to be the hip-hop star's opening concert act.

Evoking the memorable riff-off scenes from the first movie, the group travels to an army base in Spain and as soon as they arrive, they embark on a singing challenge with their fierce new competition Evermoist, as led by Calamity (Ruby Rose).

The singing sequences are where the movie is at its best, with the performers shining as they cleverly meld catchy pop hits from Britney Spears, Sia, George Michael, Flo Rida and DNCE in fun ways. But while the dance numbers are predictably great, the storylines fall short and fail to anchor the plot in any sort of reality.

For instance, Beca becomes involved in a vaguely romantic scenario with DJ Khaled's sidekick Theo (Guy Burnet), and he tries to convince her to ditch singing groups and pursue her own brand of pop music. The idea that Beca would want to be a popstar in her mid-20s seems a bit of a stretch, especially as screenwriters tried so hard to portray her as a sarcastic outsider.

Other plot threads involve Fat Amy's conman father Fergus (John Lithgow) attempting to rope her into a dodgy scheme involving the transaction of millions of dollars, Chloe falling for a handsome army officer, and Aubrey (Anna Camp) trying to resolve her daddy issues.

a group of people posing for the camera © Provided by Cover Media

Even though the gang don't have much to work with from Kay Cannon and Mike White's threadbare script, the singing remains very good, with Kendrick nailing every note, and Wilson stealing every scene she's in, whether she means to or not - and in fact, her witty lines deliver the only genuine laughs to be had.

Pitch Perfect 3 is one for dedicated fans, or perhaps those desperate for some popcorn entertainment while taking a break from the Christmas crowds. It is unfortunately the weakest link in the franchise - let's hope the producers have learned that it's not necessary for this particular show to go on any further!

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