I’m relatively new to the Pitch Perfect fandom – I hadn’t seen the first film until last year, although I’m not entirely sure why. It was fun. It was much better than I expected. And I’ve got to admit that it was one of the best things that happened to me.
Naturally, I was cautiously excited about Pitch Perfect 2 (because we all know how it sometimes works with the sequels). Thank God, I had nothing to worry about. And neither do you.
In the second film, the Barden Bellas seriously compromise themselves during the performance in front of the President of the United States and his ‘better half’. As a result, they end up being kicked out of their national tour. On top of that, the a capella governing body of Barden University forbids them from holding auditions and taking on any new members, thus basically putting an end to the Bellas. To restore their good name and get back their status, the Bellas must win the World A Capella Championship in Copenhagen, competing against the strongest a capella groups from all over the world. Yikes!
Pitch Perfect 2 was (once again) written by the 30 Rock alum Kay Cannon, and directed by Elizabeth Banks for whom it became a directorial debut.
Unsurprisingly, the trajectory and the inevitable happy-ending of the film were predictable, and some of the gags came right from the first movie, thus making some of the moments fall flat. Then again, it was to be expected. Just think of all the Step Up films – different cast, but essentially the exact same story.
That being said, Pitch Perfect 2 – in my very humble opinion – was similarly impressive, if not as good as the original film. The singing numbers were stellar, although I supposed this should come without saying. It’s worth mentioning it though, if only because they truly make the film shine. We get to see the familiar faces as well as some ‘fresh blood’. Once again, the story mostly revolves around Beca (Anna Kendrick), who, now in her senior year, has to balance the Bella life with her internship at the recording studio. Chloe (Brittany Snow), Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), Cynthia-Rose (Esther Dean), and Beca’s boyfriend Jesse (Skylar Astin) make their appearances as well, joined by the new members Flo (Chrissie Fit), Stacie (Alexis Knapp), and the Bella legacy Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) whose mother Katherine (Katey Sagal) used to be a Bella back in the day.
The competing groups this time around are much stronger as well – to win the World Championship, the Bellas have to beat Das Sound Machine (DSM, no less), an arrogant and slightly intimidating German group (whose performances were so good I wanted to cry).
Despite the predictability and knowing exactly how the movie would end, I found Pitch Perfect 2 even funnier than the first film. Yes, there were a few scenes that ran a bit longer than necessary, and Beca and Jesse could have used a few more personal moments just to remind us all that they were still an item, but the overall result was a perfect as any sequel could be. Imagine all the best one-liners ever in just one movie! The humor was more mature than in the first film, and I kind of silently judged the parents who brought a bunch of pre-schoolers to see it. Come on, people! Couldn’t they have chosen Cinderella or something? The kids probably didn’t get the best parts of Pitch Perfect 2 anyway.
In the tradition of the first film, Pitch Perfect 2 threw in some character study and the ever-present question of what the life outside of college would be like. Arguably, it might have tried to cram too much into the 2-hour slot – a problem almost every ensemble movie faces one way or another when they fail to give the audience enough time to even remember the names of the characters. However, at the end of the day, it turned out being as entertaining as you’d expect it to be, and if you’re a fan of the original film, it’s a must see.