Pitch Perfect 2 is an entertaining remedy for post-Glee scars, but it fails to hit the high notes that made its predecessor special as it gets dragged down by a poorly directed already thin narrative, underdeveloped characters, and fan service.
In a bid to redeem themselves after a botched performance, The Barden Bellas join an international A- Capella contest that no American group has ever won. With graduation ahead and a tougher competition in their path, the Bellas must find their voice for one last shot at redemption and face their last curtain call.
Pitch Perfect finally releases the much anticipated sequel, with
the sole intent of charming its still growing fans once again.
The sequel doubles its own spin of gags and non-sequiturs that made the first movie entertaining. Fat Amy delivers the jokes of the moment without fail and gets paired with Bumper for an off kilter romance. Minority fan favorites are given screen time. It seems that the writer is aware of the fanfiction surrounding its two leads – Bechloe – and makes subtle sapphic digs at the pairing (in which one of them discovers her latent tendencies).
There are bigger and better musical numbers to enjoy as the Bellas get thrown into the big leagues. They encounter more super groups including the main competition – Das Sound Machine, a world champion with an angsty 80’s techno vibe.
The cast – except for Ana Kendrick – do well with what they’re given. Rebel Wilson easily steals the spotlight. Keegan-Micheal Key also proved to be a good addition as he makes his minor role count. The film has earned enough popularity to feature a few cameos.
All of this gives the fans exactly what they want, but at the expense of what elevated the conventional feel good trappings of the original.
The poorly structured narrative rehashes the first film rather than flesh out the obvious story. The graduating Bellas must face an uncertain future and face the limitations of A Capella singing. Covers and dubsmash would make amusing You Tube videos and Vines, but its kids play in a digital age where anyone talented enough can tinker with an audio editing software and produce an indie hit.
The script reverts back to the predictable underdog story. The film prefers to throw cheap shots and stereotype jokes rather than develop its characters. I sense that even Anna Kendrick knows this, as she performs without any conviction.
Pitch Perfect 2 is like any other typical Blockbuster sequel who just wants to make money (with the new song “Flashlight” and a different version of Cups) while the novelty hasn’t yet worn off. It’s still charming in its own way, but the film ultimately lost its voice as it gets drowned out by fan service.
My Rating: 6/10