As a lover of all things music, I have spent the last two films cringing in absolute disgust at the unreasonable amount of puking that happens in the Pitch Perfect franchise.
The only saving grace for me has been Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) and her less than clean sense of humour and the singing. I suppose then its a bit unfair to be this harsh because the point of the movie is singing right?
This time around, the Bellas have graduated from college and are having to deal with the struggles of everyday life Becca (Anna Kendrick) now is a music producer working with mediocre hip hop stars.
Fat Amy has a musical theatrical piece as Fat Amy Winehouse, that is currently on the pavement, but she has dreams of taking it to Broadway and everyone else is stuck in a job they really don’t like.
One of the Bellas is also pregnant and decides to walk away from the aca-thug life to care for her baby. Needless to say, life doesn’t seem so rosy for the Bellas. This I am particularly chuffed about as there was some element of reality in the whole movie.
We also get to learn a lot more about Fat Amy and her life, which is great because in the first two instalments, the stereotypical funny fat girl was all we got to see. Her father, Fergus (John Lithgow) is a gangster who she ran away from as soon as she could. He tracks her down because of her inheritance from her mother’s estate.
Crazy right? What’s cool about this that they have a mini James Bond scene in there that takes place on Fergus’s yacht. He kidnaps the Bellas in an effort to get to Fat Amy. It’s then up to Fat Amy and Becca to rescue the girls.
The storyline is pretty simple. The Bellas are reunited, they realise they aren’t all that any more, especially since they left the safe nest that was college.
They end up performing for soldiers at their various camps - a gig they get only after Aubrey’s father pulls strings - and end up going up against professional bands vying for the opportunity to be, at some point, DJ Khaled’s opening act.
This film was also special because it was directed by a female, Trish Sie, with a mostly female cast. It was Sie’s first time in the director’s chair.
The film’s music, acapella numbers and those presented by help of an instrument, is solid. It features songs such as Toxic by Britney Spears, Daya’s Sit Still Look Pretty, Aviccii’s Wake Me Up and Sia’s Cheap Thrills to name a few.
They shut the front door with a rendition of George Michael’s Freedom, this time backed by a full orchestra. The soundtrack has 19 tunes.
The movie features real musicians in the roles of bands that they are going up against. Girl-band Evermoist, which is made up of model, TV personality and actress Ruby Rose, Beyoncé’s tour drummer Venezella Joy Williams and singer, songwriter and one of Prince’s protoges, Hannah Fairlight.
Country group Whiskey Shivers play the role of Saddle Up and hip hop outfit from Atlanta, Trinidad James and DJ Looney, portray Young Sparrow and DJ Dragon Nuts respectively. DJ Khaled, the main attraction, also appears in the film and has some weird but funny lines.
This is something I appreciated immensely as the quality of music was not compromised.
The filming, for what could be for authenticity purposes, happened at Clay National Guard, as well as the Fort McPherson military base. The Georgia Aquarium is used for the new Bellas performance.
The one thing that I have come to respect about Pitch Perfect is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. And it acknowledges its shortcomings.
Different races and sexual orientations are still represented, as well as the very subtle sexism that young women, in a girl group such as this, may be subjected to. There’s even the acknowledgement of Jessica and Ashley, two characters that have previously been ignored, finally have some lines.
My favourite moment of the film? We discover that Lilly (Hana Mae Lee) has a voice!
The Bellas, by the end of the film, all discover it’s time to move on.
It has always been said that a good dancer knows when it’s time to leave the stage. And I’m glad that after five years and approximately 270 minutes of riff-offs and aca-awesome music, Pitch Perfect finally leaves the stage. And after a solid performance too.