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Synopsis

Following their win at the world championship, the now separated Bellas reunite for one last singing competition at an overseas USO tour, but face a group who uses both instruments and voices.

MovieGuy Review

This film was reviewed by MovieGuy.

Yes, it's true that I played football for years. And, it's true that I was in the Marine Corps. And, of course, I consider myself 100% comfortable in my masculinity. And, yes, I absolutely love musicals. From "The Sound of Music" to "Pitch Perfect 3" and just about everything in between, I love me some musical theater...whether it's on a LIVE stage or on the silver screen. What is it about musicals that I love? If I had to boil it down to a single concept, it would probably be: I love the energy and inspiration created by dramatic scenes being played out in a musical manner. I loved it when I was a kid (my first album ever was "The Sound of Music" when I was around seven years old). I loved it in my 20s. And, I still love it today in my late 40s. I'm quite sure I will always love musicals for the way they make me feel.

And the "Pitch Perfect" franchise has been no exception. I wasn't sure what to expect when the first one came out, but my girlfriend (now wife) and her son really wanted to see it, so we did. Well, not a big shocker to me that I absolutely loved it. It's one of my Top 100 Movies. You might think I like it because of all the incredibly attractive young ladies in the film. I can't deny that didn't hurt the movie's appeal. But, the real appeal came from the awesome fusion of a capella and pop music mashups. Not that it was so incredibly unique or anything (the TV show "Glee" definitely helped pave the way for the popularity of the "Pitch Perfect" franchise). And, you combine the musical magic with great comedic dialog and a terrific cast and you have a small-budget WINNER.

I don't always look forward to sequels. Sure, "Star Wars", "Harry Potter" and maybe a few others, but generally, NO. However, I always look forward to a new "Pitch Perfect" movie and this was no exception. I was excited for it and had expectations that it would be similarly entertaining to the first two movies. And, it definitely was. Of course, it can be challenging in certain franchises to keep the storyline fresh and I knew that this installment would really have to come up with something creative to keep the story interesting. I think that choosing an international USO tour/contest as the backdrop for the new story (with a few twists and turns to keep things fresh) did a pretty good job of keeping me engaged in the movie.

The selection and performance of the music was excellent, as always, and it kept the energy high throughout the movie. However, this time, the "Barden Bellas" weren't competing against other a capella groups, but bands that were part of the USO tour. It added an extra level of complexity to the music and I thought it was refreshing. I love a capella, but adding some instruments to the mix really added some depth to the music that I believe did NOT detract from the film's entertainment value. It seemed that the "Bellas" were largely intact from the last movie, with one or two exceptions. Of course, my favorite Bella "Fat Amy" brought her exceptional comedic talents and managed to keep me chuckling throughout the movie. Her well-timed, punchy dialogue really manages to add the right amount of spice to this already tasty recipe. I know that Rebel Wilson had a failed TV show after the first "Pitch Perfect" and she was also in "Bridesmaids", but I really don't think Hollywood has truly tapped into her comedic talents. I look forward to when she finally finds her "Tommy Boy" and breaks onto the silver screen in true Rebel Wilson fashion. Perhaps that will occur with the release of the pending reboot of "Private Benjamin".

The rest of the "Barden Bellas" did a good job, as always. I would say they were as entertaining as I expected them to be...I was not disappointed. Some solid performances by Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Hailee Steinfeld and all the rest. They were all delightful. To add some new faces to the ensemble, John Lithgow and DJ Khaled answered the call, and both did a nice job pulling off their roles. And, what would a "Pitch Perfect" movie be without a capella commentators Gail and John, played by Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins. They always bring the comedy, but this time they had larger roles so I enjoyed seeing them color even more scenes with their witty, off-color banter. I've always assumed that Banks had a lot to do with bringing this franchise to the screen (as Producer), so my hat's off to her for entertaining us so well with this franchise. If this IS the end of the "Pitch Perfect" movies, then I will be sad. But, if it's not the end, I'll gladly pay to see another.

If you are a "Pitch Perfect" fan, a "Glee Fan" or even just a generic fan of musical theater/film, then I can certainly recommend this movie to you. I really enjoyed it. However, I would not necessarily allow your younger children to watch, due to the mature nature of the comedy. My 12-year-old is a big fan of all three movies, so I hope we haven't done too much damage...I think not.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars.

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