Movie Review: Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

Pitch Perfect was a 2012 film about a university acapella group, The Barden Bellas, as they attempt to win the National acapella championships. It was surprisingly good, both funny and with entertaining musical numbers, and featured an ensemble (mostly female) cast lead by Anna Kendrick. This time the Bellas are back to try and win the world championships.

+ the team of the Barden Bellas each return to their former roles, but perhaps play into their established stereotypes too much. Anna Kendrick as Beca Mitchell is again a leader of her team, and Brittany Snow as Chloe Beale is again the pedantic, almost obsessive other half of the leadership duo
+ Hailee Steinfeld is a very welcome new addition to the cast, though I admit her singing voice didn’t stand out as anything special. Either way, still a welcome change from the same group we have already seen
+ the rival team, Germany’s Das Sound Machine (lead by actors Flula Borg and Birgitte Hjort Sørensen) are simultaneously horrible people, and incredible vocalists, and provide the most impressive singing/acapella beat work
+ the musical numbers are once again impressive (I’m a sucker for a good singing voice), but an original song which has been overplayed on the radio of late (in the real world) is not as exciting as busting out a well known classic
+ Keegan-Michael Key (of comedy duo Key and Peele) has a supporting role as Beca’s boss and provides many of the film’s best jokes

– the plot was nearly identical to the first film, (an opening number mishap, road to redemption in an underground music battle, group bonding moment and then final battle against the nemesis team). A bit of variation would have been nice
– the humour comes in two forms; it is either incredibly offensive (and therefore funny, but you feel bad for laughing) or simply plays to the stereotypes from the first film (the fat one makes fat jokes, the lesbian one is still a lesbian, the weird one is still weird)
– a side plot with Anna Kendrick outside the Bellas was never really expanded on, and seemed to be simply a way for the final contest to play out

Should you see this film: Only if you are into this kind of thing. The first was a surprising hit, and this feels like it is attempting to hit the same exact notes as few variations as it can get away with.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s