Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

pitchperfect2_2015_poster
Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)
  • Time: 115 min
  • Genre: Comedy | Music
  • Director: Elizabeth Banks
  • Cast: Elizabeth Banks, Anna Kendrick, Hailee Steinfeld, Rebel Wilson

Storyline:

The Bella’s are back, and they are better than ever. After being humiliated infront of none other than the President of the United States of America, the Bella’s are taken out of the Aca-Circuit. In order to clear their name, and regain their status, the Bella’s take on a seemingly impossible task: winning an International competition no American team has ever won. In order to accomplish this monumental task, they need to strengthen the bonds of friendship and sisterhood, and blow away the competition with their amazing aca-magic! With all new friends and old rivals tagging along for the trip, the Bella’s can hopefully accomplish their dreams.

3 reviews

  • Quickie Review:

    The a cappella group Barden Bellas fall from grace after a humiliating performance at the Lincoln Centre. As a result they are disqualified from participating in collegiate competitions. Now they must redeem themselves and regain their right to perform by winning the international a cappella competition. Pitch Perfect 2 like the first film brings back a lot of the colourful characters with great comedic chemistry. The sequel remains formulaic, story structure is practically the same as the first. Nevertheless, the movie delivers in the humour and the characters are so likeable that you have fun with their antics. This is a worthy sequel for the fans and they will be thoroughly entertained.

    Full Review:

    It took me a while to watch the first Pitch Perfect because admittedly I scoffed it off as some singing version of Step-Up. Afterwards due to all the good buzz and word-of-mouth I eventually gave it a shot and ended up really liking it. So I was looking forward to Pitch Perfect 2.

    The great thing about the movie is the cast, mainly the chemistry between Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and Brittany Snow. Of course everyone has their funny moments but it is these three that are carrying the movie forward. Each of them have their own story arcs that led to some hilarious moments. For instance Anna Kendrick’s character Beca is interning at a music studio run by one of my favourite comedians Keegan-Michael Key. His commitment to the role of a big time egotistical producer was hysterical. Rebel Wilson has a very unconventional love story in this film, which perfectly suits her sense of humour. Wilson was on fire with joke after joke, all of them had me laughing out loud or at the very least made me chuckle. The rest of the cast all have their unique funny quirks that could’ve gotten annoying if overused. Luckily that situation was prevented with a well-balanced use of the supporting cast.

    What prevents Pitch Perfect 2 from being exceptional is that it has the same story structure of the first movie: embarrassing moment, risk of never being taken seriously, bad major performance, team building moment, and then the final competition. This is not a spoiler, you will realize this formula from numerous other competition driven plots. It doesn’t ruin the movie but I would have liked to have seen the characters progress beyond their lives in college. They do attempt that with Kendrick’s story arc but in the end it’s rather inconsequential. Also there are segments in the middle that feel repetitious in conveying that the team isn’t functioning as well as it used. So there were moments in the movie that could’ve been cut out to make it more concise.

    It is easy to dismiss Pitch Perfect 2 as some random generic chick flick (I am pointing at you macho man who thinks this franchise is a waste of time). I even convinced two of my friends to check out the first film before going into watch Pitch Perfect 2. Sure we felt a little out of place as three guys in a cinema largely filled with a female audience, but we had a really good time. If you are fan of the first one, this is obviously a must-watch and deservedly so. However, if you aren’t a fan then this movie will not convert you into one because it is more of the same.

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  • Like its predecessor, Pitch Perfect 2 begins with an embarrassment and finishes with an unequivocal triumph. In between, there are some chuckles and high jinks along with the not-so-subtle but smoothly delivered messages of girl power, finding your own voice, and moving on but staying together. Theoretically, the sequel should aim to build on the foundation established in the original. Realistically, Pitch Perfect 2 falls a hair below the irrepressible delights of the first film.

    Where Pitch Perfect was fresh and spontaneous, its sequel feels predictable and engineered. Returning screenwriter Kay Cannon imparts a good deal of hustle and bustle, yet the film often seems empty and hollow. The opening scene, which finds the three-time defending a cappella champions the Barden Bellas putting on a performance for President Obama and the First Lady that ends with Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) suffering an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction, has a rushed air about it. It is as if producer and director Elizabeth Banks knew the amount of elements in play and decided that keeping her foot on the accelerator was the best and only option.

    The scandal ensuing from Fat Amy’s commando performance results in the Bellas being suspended from competing on a collegiate level. It does not, however, prevent them from competing in the World Champions in Copenhagen, though their chances of winning are highly unlikely. Commentators and a cappella governing members John (John Michael Higgins) and Gail (Banks) are so confident in the Bellas’ all-but-guaranteed failure that they agree to reinstate the all-girl group if they achieve victory. John and Gail are the film’s biggest strength – every casually bigoted aside and sharp rejoinder evoke hearty laughs. “An overweight girl dangling from the ceiling. Who hasn’t had that dream?” John posits with a Pepsodent smile. “Lots of us,” Gail assures him.

    Before the Bellas can crush their international competition – mainly the Teutonic troupe called Das Sound Machine – they must overcome their internal conflicts. Beca (Anna Kendrick) finds her attention and loyalties divided when she starts a covert internship at a record label run by an intimidating, multi-award-winning producer (Keegan-Michael Key, inspired as ever). New recruit Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), meanwhile, struggles to find her place in this ragtag bunch of misfits. Fat Amy is torn – well, not that torn – between wanting to remain an uncontained firework and committing to boyfriend Bumper (Adam DeVine). Their duet of Pat Benatar’s “We Belong” is a delight.

    Though there is so much going on and many components often feel rehashed or not fully formed, Pitch Perfect 2 succeeds due to the talents of Kendrick, who confidently anchors the film, and Wilson, who once again steals it with her brash and improvisational comic skills. Banks puts forth a solid directorial debut, absolutely hitting that finale number out of the park and turning it into a potent and stirring number of sisterhood.

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  • (Rating: ☆☆ out of 4)

    This film is not recommended.

    In brief: Off-key

    GRADE: C

    Perfect Pitch 2 is slightly better than the original, only slightly. That is as much of a compliment I can give to this silly and dumb sequel.  The film again brings the world of a cappella center stage and has non-stop vocal mash-ups that are suppose to entertain, but don’t.

    Most of the actors reprise their roles to a lesser effect, especially Rebel Wilson playing Fat Amy, who is totally unfunny and unappealing this time around. Anna Kendrick and Hallie Steinfeld bring their individual charm to their parts as the main duo of the Barden College’s Bellas. But it is only Elizabeth Banks, the film’s director, and John Michael Higgins that bring real laughs and some wit to their snarky parts. Other actors in minor roles may have earned their paycheck but not the laughs from Kay Cannon’s desperate screenplay.

    Perfect Pitch 2 lacks harmony and tries to celebrate woman’s empowerment without much power. It’s basically tone deaf.

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