The Bellas are back, and like old friends we embrace them with a big hug for their lovability and with a roll of the eyes for their foibles. We know exactly what to expect from the members of the a capella group of “Pitch Perfect,” and that’s what they deliver in the third episode.
This time, the Bellas are all grown up. They were going to rule the world — as Beyoncé told them and they once sang, “Girls, we run this motha!” But now they’ve left college, and like many a millennial, their careers are not exactly what they expected. Beca (Anna Kendrick) has even quit what should be a dream job.
We find the Bellas with broken egos, afraid to admit that life isn’t like they imagined it now that they’ve entered the real world. They long for their college days, singing in an a capella group with their besties — so much so that at any moment, when called upon (or sadly, when they think they are called upon), they suit up in Bella gear, scarf and all.
Has their time in the sun passed? Are they old hat?
That might be what critics of the “Pitch Perfect” franchise might be wondering. The answer is no. Together these girls are magical. They love one another, they work together to make one another better, they call each other out for their flaws. They even save each other’s lives. With a long history of teen movies and teen TV shows in which one girl sabotages another girl for laughs, the “Pitch Perfect” franchise doesn’t do that.
It shows the strength that women could have when they support one another. The weak links of these stories are always the people who are out to tear apart the Bellas’ bond.
This time the Bellas are offered the chance to reunite and go on a tour in Europe with the USO. Arriving in Spain, the girls find out there is more to this tour: They are in competition for a chance to open for DJ Khaled.
Of course, nothing with the Bellas ever goes as planned. They are awkward, they try too hard, they become down and out, they almost catch a hotel on fire. They have to figure out a way to come together and save the day.
Along the way, “Pitch Perfect 3” explains more about the back stories of Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), Aubrey (Anna Camp) and Lilly (Hana Mae Lee). Fans will notice the recurring theme in these movies about dads and their daughters.
And along the way, the Bellas’ adventure is all being filmed for a documentary by our favorite a capella commentators John (John Michael Higgins) and Gail (Elizabeth Banks). They are just as terrible as always.
While “Pitch Perfect” movies always feel current with today’s music (or at least music of this century) and with pop culture references, this one does miss the mark with John and Gail. John is his same sexist pig, but with the #MeToo movement that has begun since after this movie was shot, John’s constant sexism and sexual harassment feel even more out of place this year.
The rest of the movie, you’ll find yourself once again rooting for the Bellas while trying hard not to sing along with them. And, as the movie wraps — and it really does feel like it’s a tidy wrap up and a goodbye to them — you might even realize how much you’ll miss them in the future.
‘PITCH PERFECT 3’
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Hana Mae Lee, Ruby Rose, Elizabeth Banks
Rating: PG-13 for crude and sexual content, language and some action
Running time: 1 hour, 33 minutes
Theaters: Alamo Lakeline, Alamo Slaughter,Alamo Village, Barton Creek, Cedar Park, City Lights, Evo, Flix, Galaxy, Gateway, Hill Country, iPic, Lakeline, Moviehouse, Pflugerville 20, Round Rock, Southpark, Stone Hill, Westgate.