Wednesday, June 3, 2015

MINI-REVIEW: Pitch Perfect 2

Pitch Perfect 2

Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson


May 15, 2015

Elizabeth Banks

Universal Pictures

1 hour 55 minutes



It's pretty hard for sequels to live up to their predecessors, yet "Pitch Perfect 2" does that and then some.  The first film was a surprise smash back in 2012, being a blend of "Glee," "Mean Girls," and even a bit of "South Park" in terms of shocking humor.  Screenwriter Kay Cannon returns for this film, while director Jason Moore serves as only a producer this time.  In Moore's place is none other than actress Elizabeth Banks making her directorial debut. (Not counting the short segment she did in the awful "Movie 43.")  Everyone from the first film, including Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson, return to reprise their roles and are joined by some new faces, including Hailee Steinfeld from "True Grit."  The story of this film is something of a hybrid between "High School Musical 3" and "Rocky IV" in which the Bardon Bellas must redeem themselves after a stunt involving the president when they travel to compete in the world championship for Acapella groups, their main competition there being German group Das Sound Machine.  Meanwhile, the Bellas are getting ready to graduate from college and move on with their lives, some quicker than others.

Aside from, let's face it, executing the basic plot from the first film all over again, a lot of the film is pretty fresh and new.  For example, we have Hailee Steinfeld's Emily starting college with the goal of becoming a Bella just like her mother once was.  Emily also aspires to become a singer one day, having even written a couple of songs that may or may not have any relevance to the climax of the film.  Two other subplots, one involving Kendrick's Beca trying to make her way into the music industry to move on with her life and another involving a romance blossoming between Wilson's Fat Amy and Adam Devine's Boomer, are also into the film and add lots of comedic opportunities for the cast members.  These three stories are what kept the film interesting and entertaining for me, and complimented the superb covers that the characters in the film performed.

The first "Pitch Perfect" felt so organic and fresh when it first came out, and this one captures the same feelings I had towards it.  In fact, I actually prefer this film to the original, which is saying something.  Some of the jokes may fall flat and other characters aren't given as much development as they probably should have, but at the end of the day, I really enjoyed myself during "Pitch Perfect 2."  I enjoyed this so much that I went to see it for a second time recently to re-experience the fun I had with it.  There may be smarter, more visually pleasing, and better acted movies out now, but this is just so much fun and pretty irresistible that it's hard not to enjoy yourself during it.  The music is catchy, the cast is committed, and the story has a nice flow to it, making "Pitch Perfect 2" a success in my book.  If the same magic can be recreated a third time around, then consider me more than excited to see a "Pitch Perfect 3!"


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