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Movies

REVIEW – ‘Pitch Perfect 3’: It’s exactly the same as ‘Pitch Perfect’ 1 and 2

A scene from the film "Pitch Perfect 3."
A scene from the film "Pitch Perfect 3."

If you let your mind wander during “Pitch Perfect 3” – and oh, my friends, it’s very easy to do – you might picture the world 20 years from now. Life as we know it may be entirely changed, except for “Pitch Perfect 17,” or whatever number it might be, which will be exactly the same as all the movies before it. Because that’s what’s happening here, even more so than most movie franchises: It’s just the same movie over and over, until the end of time and everybody dies, in which case “Pitch Perfect 45: A-Ca-Wait-Are-We-Dead?” might be a thing.

In the first “Pitch Perfect” (which was actually kind of fun), we met the hair-flipping, harmonizing Barden Bellas as they attempted to win an a cappella singing competition. In “Pitch Perfect 2” (significantly less fun), the Bellas were a teeny bit older, and attempted to win another competition. Now, they’ve finally graduated – and yet, there’s another competition to be won. (Not fun.) They’re still being obsessively followed by commentators Gail (Elizabeth Banks) and John (John Michael Higgins), who this time are making a “doc-a-mentary”; Beca (Anna Kendrick) is still trying to find her way as a music producer; Aubrey (Anna Camp) is still bossy; Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) still says off-color things in an offhand way. An uncredited John Lithgow shows up, for reasons I devoutly hope had to do with a big paycheck. Oh, and there’s a hostage situation tossed into the middle because, I don’t know, the filmmakers needed to stretch things out to 90 minutes. (Life lesson learned from “Pitch Perfect 3”: If you are trapped in an unexpected hostage situation, sing.)

There are hints, at the end, that this franchise might be done (including some fairly absurd about-faces from several of the characters), but never say never. Or sing it.

‘Pitch Perfect 3’

1.5 stars

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Hana Mae Lee, Elizabeth Banks, John Michael Higgins, John Lithgow.

Directed by: Trish Sie; screenplay by: Kay Cannon and Mike White

Running time: 94 minutes.

Rated: PG-13 for crude and sexual content, language and some action.

Now playing: The movie will be shown at 12:15, 2:45, 5:05, 7:30 and 10 p.m. today at AMC Classic Sauk Valley 8, 4110 30th St., Sterling. Go to amctheaters.com for more showtimes.

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