The Barden Bellas are back this Christmas for one last run at stardom.
1. What’s it about?
The Bellas have moved on and are starting their post-college lives (all except Hailee Steinfeld’s Emily, who is still at Barden). Anna Kendrick’s Beca is unhappily working as a music producer, while roommate Amy (Rebel Wilson) is unsuccessfully trying to earn money doing illegal street performances as “Fat Amy Winehouse.”
The whole group gets back together at a performance of the new, younger generation of Bellas and realize that they want to perform together one final time. Conveniently, Anna Camp’s Aubrey has a dad who is a general in the army and gets them a spot on an exclusive USO tour of European bases. And so the Bellas (including Emily but minus Alexia Knapp’s Stacey, who stays home to have a baby) pack their bags and head off to Europe.
But of course, the Bellas can’t just perform. They have to be competing–this time, to be the group on the tour that is picked to open for DJ Khaled. The movie briefly sets up a rival band, led by Ruby Rose, but soon pivots to John Lithgow as a foil for the women’s plans.
The other missing characters, by the way, are the men: neither Skylar Aston nor Ben Platt returned.
2. Will my family and I like it?
I think most fans of the previous Pitch Perfect movies will find this final act enjoyable. The consensus among my family was that it wasn’t as original or as good as the first movie, but decidedly better than the second.
3. What’s it rated? Why?
The movie is rated PG-13 for “crude and sexual content, language and some action”. It’s basically the same kind of stuff we’ve seen in the prior films: off-color jokes and boob and crotch grabbing, mostly thanks to Rebel Wilson.
The action scene is a weird sequence towards the end that is basically cartoon violence.
There’s no nudity, no actual sex, no bad language. I saw the movie with my wife and both kids (15 and 12), and there was nothing at all that made me uncomfortable having my kids there.
4. When’s a good time to go to the bathroom?
The movie is only 93 minutes long, so you can hopefully make it, but if you need to sneak out, there’s a longish musical montage about halfway through, shortly after the scene in DJ Khaled’s hotel suite. It shows the Bellas doing a series of performances, and while entertaining, there’s no plot development.
5. How’s the music?
I’ve enjoyed the soundtracks to both of the prior Pitch movies, and this one is no exception. It isn’t quite at the level of those others (but then, it doesn’t have Kendrick doing ‘Cups’, so it can’t possibly be as good) but it’s still a good mix of acapella covers of popular songs with a few original pieces mixed in. A key difference, though, is that the others performing on the USO tour aren’t acapella groups, so there are several more traditional tracks this time around.
And of course, there is a riff-off, although it has a humorous twist.
6. Is it funny?
Oh, yes. There were multiple times when everyone in the audience was laughing out loud.
7. Is there anything during or after the credits?
The first few moments of the credits have a few scenes that tie up a couple of loose ends from the movie. That’s followed by several minutes of clips and outtakes from the entire Pitch series. Nothing follows that, though.