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The original Pitch Perfect came out of nowhere to be a huge hit with both audiences and critics, creating a franchise that has now inspired a third entry. Does the pop chorus movie still hit the right note for the third time around? Most critics appear to say no, although, there are certainly some silver linings for fans of the Bellas. Our own Conner Schwertfeger probably sums up the general consensus well. Conner gave the film three stars and says Pitch Perfect 3 isn't without its fun and humor, but it's pretty light on everything else.
Pitch Perfect 3 is light on logic or plot, but heavy on humor. The Bellas has ventured into the ridiculous, but the shift may reward open-minded fans looking to laugh.
Some critics, however, take a much harder line and feel that the chemistry and charm of the ensemble cast led by Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson aren't even enough to overcome the problems that this movie has, as The Hollywood Reporter says.
Whatever charms the first two movies possessed (and they were considerable thanks to the talented and appealing cast) have been thoroughly lost in this soulless installment.
Ultimately, part of the issue may simply be the setup of the story. Pitch Perfect 3 sees the Bellas reuniting to go on a USO tour which also acts as a music competition. However, the girls are simply never all that invested in the competition, which has the unintended side effect of making the audience less invested in their story, as the Village Voice points out.
The Bellas aren't invested in the film's competition, and the filmmakers' aren't invested in it, and you probably won't be, either. So why bother even having one?
However, on the other side of the coin there are those who think the energy and fun of the Pitch Perfect franchise is still going strong in part three. The Guardian probably has the most positive review out there, claiming that it's clear everybody on screen is having fun, and so you probably will as well.
It looks like these performers are genuinely enjoying themselves, and it's infectious. Despite the preposterous escapades and the self-destructive satire, at the end of it all, there's something real left standing.
If its swan song sometimes feels more like a wild goose chase, plotwise (or maybe a day-drunk penguin), the sheer nutty charisma of its sprawling cast still carries the series out on a pretty sweet high note.
In summary, if you really love the music and the cast of the Pitch Perfect films, you'll probably have an enjoyable time with Pitch Perfect 3. It may not be brilliant, but it doesn't need to be.