Will I still 'get' Pitch Perfect 3 if I haven't seen 1 or 2 and will never see 3?

I need to know what I’m not getting into here.
(Universal Pictures)

Sometimes, even the most avid filmgoer first hears about a film franchise partway through its run, upon the release of the latest sequel. A question then arises: can one jump into this ongoing tale mid-telling and keep up? Or must one go back to the origins, watching the films from the beginning in order to know what's going on in the new film?

I guess what I'm asking is whether I will be able to make sense of the latest Pitch Perfect sequel if I didn't see either of the first two movies, and have absolutely no intention of viewing the new one.

I have seen the trailer, that's how the series managed to arrive on my radar at all. So now I know about the blonde one, the tall one, and the other one. They'll be in it for sure, or that would probably be false advertising. And I'm almost positive they're going to sing.

But if I don't see the previous movies, will I know why they're singing, or whether they've always sung, or indeed have any sort of clue what's going on when it comes time for me to not buy a ticket to view this latest picture?

I can only imagine the difficulty someone could experience belatedly leaping into a franchise that I'm familiar with. Starting with Ghostbusters II, Harry Potter 5, or Police Academy 26 could be a recipe for absolute confusion. Where is the dividing line between a helpful clean slate and complete bewilderment?

I feel I'll be walking that line as I attempt to make sense of the latest romp featuring the… singers? I definitely believe there are singers. And I feel my attempts to make heads or tails of the situation, singing or no, will only be further hindered by the fact that I will not be seeing Pitch Perfect 3. Not by any means.

Am I going to walk out of this film saying, "Okay, I can piece most of that together," or will I be asking everyone around me, "Wait, but was the blonde one already friends with the tall one, or was she mad because she was so good at singing, or did they—"

Trick question, I suppose, as I will be doing neither. I will not be exiting a theatre that was playing Pitch Perfect 3, unless that theatre accidentally plays that movie instead of the one I was actually planning to see, and if so, I'll leave after it becomes clear in a minute or two. I may well exit a multiplex that features a theatre screening Pitch Perfect 3, yes, but I will have seen a different film playing in a different theatre within that multiplex.

Is there any hope for me here?

Please don't hesitate to weigh in with your responses, folks, as I'd love to know what I'm not getting into.

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About the Author

Jeremy Woodcock

Jeremy has been a staff writer for This Hour Has 22 Minutes, performed stand-up comedy at the Just For Laughs and Winnipeg Comedy Festivals, and co-created/stars in the popular video series The Urbane Explorer/Finding Bessarion. A 3x Canadian Comedy Award–winner and published humour columnist, he also wrote your favourite joke, the one about the fish trying to get a job at a bank.

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