Entertainment & Arts

Pitch Perfect 3 is music to (some) critics' ears

A scene from Pitch Perfect 3 Image copyright Universal
Image caption Pitch Perfect 3 reunites the members of the Barden Bellas singing troupe

Pitch Perfect 3 begins with a rendition of Britney Spears' song Toxic, which is exactly how some critics found it.

Yet other reviewers found plenty to love in the third instalment of the hugely popular franchise.

Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and others reprise their roles in the latest film to explore the fortunes of the Barden Bellas, an all-girl a capella group.

John Lithgow and DJ Khaled have also joined the cast for Pitch Perfect 3, which is released in the UK today.

Its plot sees Beca (Kendrick), Fat Amy (Wilson) and Aubrey (Anna Camp) reunite with the rest of the group for a tour of US military bases in Europe.

Here's a breakdown of the reviews so far, starting with the positive ones.

The case for

Image copyright Universal
Image caption Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson (centre) head the film's ensemble cast

According to The Guardian, Pitch Perfect 3 has the appeal of "a good Christmas pantomime", adding: "It looks like these performers are genuinely enjoying themselves, and it's infectious.

"The comedy rarely falters," writes Steve Rose, going on to praise the film's "choice one-liners... music-industry satire" and Wilson's "offbeat interjections".

Variety agrees, saying the franchise - expected to conclude with this instalment - "goes out on a winning note".

"The new film doesn't add anything revolutionary to the Pitch Perfect formula," writes Owen Gleiberman.

"But as directed by Trish Sie, the movie is bubbly, it's fast, it's hella synthetic-clever, and it's an avid showcase for the personalities of its stars."

Entertainment Weekly's Leah Greenblatt praises the cast's "nutty charisma", while The List's Katherine McLaughlin says the film delivers "cheesy and diverting fun".

Den Of Geek's critic, meanwhile, says it is "a satisfying end to a very fun set of films" and calls Wilson "ridiculous, hilarious and incredibly watchable".

The case against

Image copyright Universal
Image caption John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks reprise their roles as pundits John and Gail

A very different verdict comes from the Telegraph's Tim Robey, who dismisses the film as "one of those here-we-go-again follow-ups-by-committee".

"It's a sure sign of the film's desperation that it begins and ends as a thuddingly tired action-comedy pastiche," Robey continues.

Empire's Helen O'Hara is also scathing, calling the film "a tired retread" that is "coasting on fumes" and which "only truly comes alive in its performance scenes".

"Even before the end credits show glimpses of a whole lot of scenes that never appear in the finished cut, you'll have the suspicion that director Trish Sie... ran into trouble somewhere," she writes.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption DJ Khaled appears as himself in the film

"Franchise fatigue is evident throughout this mechanical enterprise," writes the Hollywood Reporter's Frank Sheck, going on to call the film "soulless", "crass" and "beyond tiresome".

His write-up, though, is positively glowing compared to Scott Mendelson's in Forbes, which calls the film "a prototypical example of a strained threequel that finished its story the last time out".

"Pitch Perfect 3 is a monumental disappointment," he writes. "If you love this series, it's best to pretend that this instalment didn't happen."


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