Released: May 15, 2015
I was so psyched when I heard that there was a sequel to Pitch Perfect in the works. The music from the first film is played repeatedly on my iPod, and I quote Fat Amy on a regular basis. But did Pitch Perfect 2 hit all the same high notes? Actually, for me, it fell kind of flat.
The story in this film revolves around Beca (Anna Kendrick), but also focuses a lot more on Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) and freshman, Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), whose legendary mother tells her all about how great it is to be a Bella. But this year, the Bellas have been put to shame, and the only way they can continue on as a group is if they win at Worlds. There is also a subplot surrounding Beca and her new internship at a music studio where she tries to impress the producer and get her name out there.
Story-wise, honestly, I found it incredibly cheesy. I guess the first one was cheesy too, but in a less obvious way. John and Gail, the commentators from the first film are back again, but this time they’ve returned with even more offensive slurs that I found hard to jump back from. Instead of having Gail tell John that he’s being sexist or racist, she’s now joining in on a lot of the action.
Pitch Perfect was all about being satirical and making a statement about the cliches that crop up in the show choir subculture. Pitch Perfect 2 was about showing the audience how much bigger of a budget they’ve got this time around. I was practically cringing. “Look, we’ve got Snoop Dogg! We’ve got the Green Bay Packers! We’ve got Pentatonix! We even got Obama!”
And it wasn’t so much about them practicing for Worlds, but rather a lot of having the Bellas do stuff. Watch the Bellas attend Aca-Boot Camp! Take in a montage of them doing boot camp things! Here’s Fat Amy singing as she canoes across a lake, and looks dumb while doing it! Pitch Perfect was better when it was focused on the witty dialogue and amazing music, and now that they’ve got money, there was very little of that.
Before I get into the good stuff, I have one more complaint. And that has to do with Fat Amy. This time around, Amy has a blatant romantic subplot. At one point, he refers to her as “Fat Amy” and her face falls. It would have been interesting for them to address the idea that maybe, even though she calls herself Fat, she doesn’t want to be looked at as “the fat girl” but rather “that girl I love”. But of course, that never comes up. Missing out on some good potential character development, guys.
But! Despite all my complaints, I actually did really enjoy this movie! I’m giving it three stars! The music was, as usual, amazing. Some of their renditions were heart-pounding. Das Sound Machine (the Bellas’ German opposition) is incredibly talented and creates some really awesome beats. The one-liners, particularly from the music producer Beca works for, and of course, Lilly, were hilarious. I also enjoyed the fact that while at her internship, Beca faces the fact that she hardly knows how to come up with anything original, thanks to her years with the Bellas, and has to learn how to rely on others and stay motivated to be creative. So that was nice.
Overall, I did like the movie a lot. I’d purchase the DVD and probably download the soundtrack (why haven’t I done that already?) but I felt like this time around, they tried too hard to be bigger and better that they should have focused more on plot and character development, and continued to write great dialogue.
Go check out Pitch Perfect 2, in theatres now!