Theatre & Reviews

Peter Feldman reviews Pitch Perfect 3

Cast: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, John Lithgow, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Hailee Steinfeld, Elizabeth Banks, Ester Dean, Hana Mae Lee

Director: Trish Sie

“Pitch Perfect 3” reunites the crazy group of female á cappella singers in another bizarre adventure yarn. It may appeal to die-hard fans this holiday season but, for others like me, it was one long yawn.

The third instalment of this seemingly popular franchise is desperately short on fresh ideas, but happily goes about the task of emphasising the joys of female friendship. It also fails to continue with the complex conversation which was started by its predecessors about the power of women’s collective voices and the ways in which the world tries to silence them.

Ruby Rose

The new offering reveals how the best-laid plans after college can go awry and how the girls decide on getting together for one last performance. They have not entered another á cappella competition this time around, but rather engage in a battle of the bands on an overseas U.S.O. tour. Each group is trying to impress DJ Khaled and be chosen to open for him at the tour’s final stop. It’s a premise that conspicuously exists for the Bellas to remind viewers that women are at their strongest when working together towards a common goal.

The stakes are so low here that the film resorts to crudely wedge in an unnecessary sub-plot involving the enormously irritating Rebel Wilson (as Fat Amy) being shaken by the sudden appearance of her long-absent father, played by an unshaven John Lithgow, saddled with an awful Australian accent. Amy believes that he’s finally ready to be a part of her life, but it turns out that he’s actually trying to steal the contents of her trust fund, which she hadn’t realized has ballooned into millions of dollars. The Lithgow character kidnaps the other Bellas and holds them hostage on his yacht, Fat Amy and Beca (Anna Kendrick) are forced to sneak on board and rescue them in a set piece that involves cross-cutting between Britney Spears’ Toxic and Fat Amy building a bomb below deck.

Another gratuitous scene takes place at a casino in Spain involving Becca who inadvertently burns down the plush hotel suite of the DJ whom she wants to impress. These sequences are silliness in the extreme and reflect overall the film’s dubious tones.





About the author

Peter Feldman

Peter has been a journalist and arts critic for almost 50 years and served on The Star in various capacities for 35 years, ending up as a specialist writer on films, music and theatre. During that time he travelled extensively on assignments and interviewed many international film and pop stars, both in South Africa and overseas. He also covered some of South Africa's biggest film and musical events. He was one of only two South African journalists to be invited by Steven Spielberg to the Hook film junket in LA in 1991 where he interviewed the famous director as well as Dustin Hoffman and the late Robin Williams. He attended the gala James Bond premiere in London in 1981 and did an iconic interview in a Rolls Royce with Roger Moore who played Bond. He spent a week touring England with Queen prior to their Sun City visit in 1983, interviewed a host of international stars on films sets in Hollywood and London and was the first local journalist to nail an interview with The Rolling Stones prior to their SA visit in 1995.
He is active in the freelance field and his work has appeared in a variety of South African newspapers and magazines. He has also worked on TV and radio (ChaiFM 101.9) in his specialist capacity. Over the years Feldman has been the recipient of several awards for his contribution to music journalism and the SA record industry. He is a recent recipient of the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz award in recognition for his long standing journalistic support for the arts. He wrote lyrics for some top artists, including Sipho Mabuse, and had a hit disco single, "Video Games," which was released in 1988. He coined the phrase "Local is Lekker" which he used in his columns in The Star Tonight and broadcast in the 70s on David Gresham's popular afternoon show on Springbok Radio.

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