Pitch Perfect 2: Review

Pitch Perfect 2

This is the story of how the Barden Bellas broke my heart. Those loveable, a-ca-awkward, nerdy, over-enthusiastic characters have been transformed from fantastic to generic. It hurts and I know you don’t want to hear it, but Pitch fans need to understand how an incredible comedy became a train wreck, and how you can make a stand against it.

After the Barden Bellas, the a cappella national champions, accidentally flash the President on his birthday, they are stripped of their performing rights. To reclaim their place in the United States hierarchy, they sign up for the A cappella Worlds. Meanwhile, Beca (Anna Kendrick, Into the Woods) is distracted by her internship at a music production company, Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb) struggles with her feelings for Bumper (Adam DeVine, TV’s Workaholics), Chloe (Brittany Snow, Full Circle) is trying to learn how to let go of Barden, and newcomer Emily (Hailee Steinfeld, The Homesman) finds her own place and voice in the group.

Doesn’t sound too bad, does it? On paper, the plot makes sense and blends nicely with what was laid down in the original film. However, the execution is painfully bland and devoid of the charm that made us fall in love with Pitch Perfect. Beca’s internship provides cheap laughs at the expense of a coworker, and while at first seems to have something pertinent to tie into her involvement with the Bella’s and her upcoming graduation, the arc falls flat and the lessons are lost. Fat Amy’s feelings for Bumper are fleshed out as superficially as possible and in the most predictable ways. Chloe has taken Aubrey’s place as the neurotic hardcore Bella, setting her endearing quirks aside. Newcomer Emily is a one-note character who lives in a manic/depressive state.

Pitch Perfect 2

The really heartbreaking problem with Pitch Perfect 2 (PP2) is that the film feels like every other terrible, generic college comedy that you dread having to see with your friends. Nothing makes it stand out, nothing makes it special, everything makes you want to cry and pitch-slap those involved with the making of this sequel. The original had interesting character relationships, character development, a certain amount of ironic self-aggrandizement, and a treasure chest of improv comedic-gold moments.

Now, every sequel gets relentlessly compared to its original, so let me change direction for a moment. Let’s look at it as a stand alone film (heck, we can replace the a capella theme with ANY other theme you can think of). The generic plot, flat writing, poor character development, moving the Bellas from one ridiculous “obligation” to the next and calling them plot devices, the overuse of montages, and the terrible cinematography are enough to make anyone want to tear their eyes out while being eaten alive by a pack of wolves. When the realization that this monstrosity was concocted by the same people who made us fall in love with Pitch Perfect, and that they are blatantly using the name brand to rob you of admission price makes you lose all faith in movies. What’s worse is that there were audience members guffawing in their seats at the jokes reaching so low on the comedy tree that they are picking up the rotten fruit off the ground. I’m also shocked that there are critics giving PP2 praise. Again, any comedy by a different name would be torn apart for the lack of effort put forth, but I digress…

The terrible writing left little room for the proven actors to do what they do best. They were put in lifeless boxes within which to perform. The worst offense was Beca’s character (that used to be feisty and reluctantly nerdy) which has been reduced to an unengaging twit that has fits of inappropriate, spastic outbursts.

Pitch Perfect 2

Elizabeth Banks (who also stars as a capella commentator, Gail) is making her directorial debut with PP2, and all I can say is that there is no where for her to go but up from here. The camera is never quite sure where it needs to be or what is important in the scene, nor does it linger long enough for the few funny gags to have an effect. Not only that, but the entire movie visually looks cheap – like the budget was less than $1 mil instead of 17. To put the cherry on top of this shit sundae of cinematic failure, the music and choreography are uninspired to say the least. How do they expect to get away with that, of all grievances? Because they unapologetically assume that we, dear audience, are morons.

Pitch Perfect 2 is lazy, boring, and horribly disappointing. I can tell you all day to not waste your money and refuse to encourage good movies to make bad sequels by NOT seeing this in theaters, but because of the title this atrocity will make money regardless. For the love of all that is good and holy, don’t watch PP2 if you are a fan of the first one – it will cause nothing but harm. If you absolutely can’t believe a fellow Pitch fangirl’s opinion, then rent it from Redbox.


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