Friday, 29 December 2017


Starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Stainfeld, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Hana Mae Lee, Ester Dean, Alexis Knapp, Chrissie Fit, Ruby Rose, John Lithgow, John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks. Written by Kay Canon and Mike White. Directed by Trish Sie. Running time 93 minutes. Budget $45 million.

In the good old days of the 1970s when successful British sitcoms would be given their own movie, I'm thinking Are you Being Served, The Likely Lads, and Love Thy Neighbour the desire was always to take the situation out of the comedy and plonk our characters in an utterly new environment, usually with terrible results. Indeed this tradition has carried on into the present with films such as Absolutely FabulousBad Education and The Inbetweeners.

And this third outing for the Barden Bellas, the all-girl a cappella group whose adventures we've been following since 2012 sees that tradition proudly carried on.

This time round the girls get the band together for a trip around some parts of Europe, while performing an USO tour for the troops. They're forced to compete with two other bands for the honour of opening for a DJ called DJ Khalid. One of the bands is called Evermoist led by Clamity (Ruby Rose), the other is a sort of country and western outfit. Anyway much hilarity ensues when these three bands go head-to-head during a soundcheck and the Bellas get their heads handed to them on plates. Oh! And there's also a totally unnecessary plot involving Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) and her criminal father (John Lithgow) who turns up back in her life to get his hands on $180 million dollars of his money that's been signed over to Amy by her mother in a trust fund. Added to that are the usual subplots involving each of the underdeveloped Bells mostly about finding a boyfriend, or girlfriend in Cynthia (Ester Dean) - The Bella's token diversity character - case. Added to that a handful of songs which sound so staggering artificial as to render any suspicion that they've actually been produced naturally dead.

And that's it. Thankfully it's mercifully short, but could have been even shorter and so utterly bland and generic as to be totally inoffensive. It's like skimmed milk, what's the point?

I thoroughly enjoyed the last two Pitch Perfect films, they were silly, fun and entertaining, everything this tired three-quel isn't. And even Rebel Wilson who I love is criminally wasted. The packed cinema of mostly young women and mums sat stoney silent throughout this, and were more excited by the trailer of Momma Mia 2.

So, this is how the year ends, not with a bang, nor even with a whimper, but rather the slow gentle hiss of a flat tire. 5/10

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