Film Review: ‘Pitch Perfect 3’ is a Fun, Satisfying End for the Bellas


Fat Amy is an action star.

If you’re good with the above statement, congratulations, you’re in for a treat with “Pitch Perfect 3.” If not, the final installment in the a cappella trilogy has enough laughs and fun moments to build up the goodwill necessary to ensure you’ll simply keep smiling and watch in awe as Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) briefly morphs into Jason Bourne.

A few years removed from their World Championship victory in “Pitch Perfect 2,” the Bellas have scattered and seem to be collectively suffering through a quarter-life crisis. Becca (Anna Kendrick) quits her job as a music producer over creative differences with a client who may be the world’s worst rapper, Cynthia-Rose (Ester Dean) has been kicked out of flight school for killing too many hypothetical passengers, and Fat Amy is having a tough go with her one-woman show, “Fat Amy Winehouse.” Thankfully, through a connection with Aubrey’s (Anna Camp) military dad, the Bellas find themselves reunited to sing one last time on an overseas USO tour and, as they say, hilarity ensues.

The Bellas arrive at a military base in Spain for the first stop on the tour and are greeted less-than-warmly by their tourmates. One band, an all-female rock group, has the cringe-worthy (in a good way!) name “Evermoist.” I’ll pause while you recover from that word being placed into your brain.

We learn that at the end of the tour, DJ Khaled (he’s also there) is going to pick one of the groups to open for him on the final night. There’s drama with Becca again being singled out for being the most talented Bella, but in reality, all of these plot points only serve to put the cast into as many laugh-inducing scenarios and classic riff-offs as humanly possible, and it doesn’t disappoint. If only the producers could have found a way to shoehorn the Green Bay Packers (or the Treblemakers, who are sadly absent) into this one.

“Pitch Perfect 3” is a never-ending stream of great one-liners, smiles, and thoroughly enjoyable music (there’s an assumption that you’re into a cappella if you’ve made it this far). If you liked the first two entries in the Pitch Perfect series, you’ll love this one, too. It’s a super fun and satisfying conclusion to the trilogy; equal parts hilarious and emotional, especially in the final musical number.

Kendrick, again, is magnificent in her role as the lead Bella, and Wilson’s ratio of words spoken to laughs generated is off the charts. Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins also reprise their roles as Gail and John, the world’s preeminent a cappella commentators, podcast hosts, and now documentary filmmakers. I’d gladly watch a “Pitch Perfect 4” that centered on their raw footage and commentary from following the Bellas here.

Coming in at a tight 93 minutes, “Pitch Perfect 3” will leave you smiling from ear-to-ear for each and every one of them. And that’s one hell of an aca-ccomplishment.

“Pitch Perfect 3” is distributed by Universal Pictures and opens Dec. 22.

GRADE: (★★★)