Pitch Perfect was a surprise success a few years ago for Universal. On a modest budget it went on to make over one hundred million dollars in its theatrical run. I had so much fun with it. I even went and bought the album on iTunes that same day. With it’s success it seemed almost inevitable that there would be a sequel. Would it live up to the originals fans expectations though?
The Bella’s are as popular as ever and are performing before the President of the United States when they have a big embarrassing situation happen. That situation gets them in national trouble and gets them suspended from finishing their victory tour or even recruiting new members. Beca (Anna Kendrick) and crew ask if they can have a chance to be reinstated if they win the world championships for a cappella which is agreed upon. Finding a loophole the Bella’s are able to have a new member join in Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) a shy yet gifted freshman. As they get to know their competition, the former world champs Das Sound Machine; they must find their harmony again to win.
While it is a valiant effort, not surprising this one isn’t as good as the original, but that’s not to say it was bad. First, the songs weren’t as memorable outside of the riff off or finale, which I was expecting for a sequel. Second, just as Kendrick’s character feeling of the moronic way things were blown out of proportion at the beginning, it also grates on the audience. There could have been a better set up for the story. Third, I was disappointed on how much less screen time was given to Skylar Astin and Ben Platt, who were some of the best characters from the first one.
There was enough good stuff to make the movie worth your while. The addition of the Brigitte Hjort Sorensen and Flula Borg who lead up the films “villains” as the heads of Das Sound Machine. Anna Kendrick is given a slightly better character and has some of the better lines in the movie, especially dealing with the rival group’s leader. The film still has a good energy and a cast that have great chemistry. An out of nowhere romance in the film is also a funny bit in the film. This was a decent directorial debut for Elizabeth Banks. I also liked a story point that was refreshing in these types of movies. Instead of introducing a new love interest for Kendrick’s character, they have it that the two have been dating since freshman year. Really liked that point.
I found two things funny in this movie that I’d like to point out. First, the whole bad situation at the beginning turning into a national phenomenon that gets the Bella’s suspended was very well done. I’d like to think that it is a slam at our current media and their pretending offense at every little thing and blowing it way out of proportion. It was an accident and yet no one would listen, they just wanted to whine and stick their nose up, just like the real media. Second, and this is spoilery, but performance the Bella’s do at the end of the movie was kind of hypocritical if they were going for the whole feminist angle. For most of the beginning they are talking about how women rule the world…then finish by saying how they need a man to lighten up their life. Right. Movie was still pretty fun regardless of that little detail.
I was expecting more and was let down, but it was still a fun date movie for my wife and I. If you liked the first one, you’ll like this sequel.
2 and ½ stars out of 4