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Pitch Perfect 3


Stars: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, John Lithgow, Elizabeth Banks, John Michael Higgins, Hailee Steinfeld

Director: Trish Sie

Oh dear! The law of diminishing returns catches up with the all-conquering a cappella girl group The Bellas in no uncertain fashion. Under Sie's desperately uninspired direction, the film's tiresome, near-the-knuckle jokes fall flat and the personalities of the 'pitches' are drained before our eyes.

Local colour does its best to lend inspiration as the reunited Bellas create havoc in Spain, Greece, Italy and Spain on a USO tour, but the plot, such as it is, is too ridiculous for words, something about Fat Amy (Wilson, grotesque this time rather than funny) having $180,000 stashed away in the Caymans, which her rascally father (Lithgow, with a truly terrible Australian accent; couldn't they find a real Aussie?) is determined to lay his hands on; while Beca (Kendrick) agonises over whether to leave the Bellas and start a solo career.

The choreography remains immaculate and there's the occasional chucklesome line - 'I had to run away,' gasps Amy, 'which was a real bitch because of the chafing' - but this poorly constructed film is a desperate comedown after the giddy heights of Pitch Perfect 2, and even the banter between commentators Banks (sadly not directing this one) and Higgins seems forced this time round, their 'barbs' landing like damp squibs.

The emotive ending though still works after a fashion and, if you stay to the end, watch for the scene in which Lithgow has a hat in one shot and goes bareheaded in the next. Film is short but, alas, not short enough.

David Quinlan

USA 2017. UK Distributor: Universal. Technicolor.
93 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 19 Dec 2017