Pitch Perfect 2
Starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Skylar Astin
2012 seems like forever ago, and in between now and then, Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick has become a global superstar, had a hit single and unfortunately turned her amazing voice into a gimmick. I have grown to admire the tremendous talent that is Kendrick, her dark performance in Cake last year, the gritty indie turn in Happy Christmas (one of her best performances), but regurgitating material for a movie that absolutely didn’t need a sequel loses my respect. When I first heard they were making a sequel, I just asked why? What are they going to do, tell the same story with the same jokes and win another competition? Yes, because this is America, and teenagers love watching the same movies with the same stories and a digit at the end of the title.
The Barden Bella’s are rounding out their senior year, and while they should be focusing on their careers and paying off tuition, instead they are trying to recover from an embarrassing mishap while preforming for the President. They have one chance to reclaim glory at the world championships in Copenhagen before they are no longer the Bella’s. Beca (Kendrick) is a little distracted while interning as a record producer, while the rest of the group try to reinvent themselves hoping to beat the German international champions. They accept a new freshmen member Emily (Steinfeld), whose energy is exactly what the group needs. Chloe (Snow) is still taking her leadership role too seriously, while Fat Amy (Wilson) tries to avoid feelings for a certain a Capella male.
At two hours, it's an overkill of competitions, melodrama and a continuation of characters who barely resemble real humans.
John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks, who play the sideshow commentators, were the funniest parts of the previous film; however even their duality has lost its charm in the sequel. Banks is doing double duty, making this her directorial debut. The Hunger Games actress might have a big year in front of her, with a head turning and award worthy role in Love & Mercy, hopefully Oscar voters won’t use this against her. The German actor who went viral with the “party pooper” video playing is one of the German rivals in one of the many exhaustive subplots. At two hours, Pitch Perfect 2 is an overkill of competitions, melodrama and a continuation of characters who barely resemble real humans. One of the few highlights of the films was referencing Kendrick’s hit song, “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone”, although I won’t miss anything about these poorly developed characters.
The plot is about as clear as a sheet of paper when we hear the words “No American team has ever won the world championship”. The only time the sequel finds any rhythm is during the singing sets which are disappointingly tied to musings from your average college aged movie. The first film seemed to aim for universal appeal with both genders getting equal screen time, but this film focuses mainly on its female teenage audience, relegating the male characters, anything to do with responsibility or maturity to the background. The characters are more like cartoons than human’s in their “only for laughs” behavior that gives Oscar nominee Steinfeld (True Grit, Begin Again) the most awkward and nearly unwatchable character of her career.
You have heard this pitch before.