Pitch Perfect 2

Comments Off on Pitch Perfect 2

Pitch Perfect 2
by Wilson Morales

Pitch Perfect 2 poster 3

The Barden Bellas are back with more girl power and mashup songs but somehow the flare is toned down in ‘Pitch Perfect 2,’ the sequel to surprise hit 2012 film. With producer Elizabeth Banks making her feature directorial debut, some of the elements that worked for the first film are still evident, but at the same time they can be long in the tooth.

While the original had each character find their own identity, ‘Perfect 2’ centers on just a few of them, and their storylines don’t add to the whole presentation. Nevertheless, it still has the music ingredients that fans want to see and should be a crowd-pleasure, even if it comes in doses.

Set three years after the first film when the Bellas won the a cappella national competition, the group has been on a roll and are currently the three-time defending champion. With John Smith (John Michael Higgins) and Gail Abernathy-McKadden-Feinberg (Elizabeth Banks) back as the snarky acapella commentators, they are in attendance when Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) suffers a wardrobe malfunction while the Bella are performing in front of President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and producer/ Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes. This embarrassing moment causes the group to be placed on suspension and possibly banned, unless by a miracle, they are able to go overseas and win the international championship.

Pitch Perfect 2 2

With the group being ridiculed on campus, TV and everywhere else, Beca (Anna Kendrick) is going through her own dilemma. It’s her senior year, and she wants to move on from being just a Bella. Interning at a music label is a start in the right direction but she fears telling the group, specifically Chloe (Brittany Snow), who’s in her 7th year in school, about where her priorities are now. Then there’s the new freshman in school, Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), whose mom (Katey Sagal) is a former Bella and qualifies Emily to join the group as part of the legacy rule. Topping this is the constant run-ins with German group Das Sound Machine, who are taking over the tour duty while the Bella are on suspension.

Pitch Perfect 2With some of the girls going through friendship and romantic issues, can their muster the strength and confidence in time to remember that it’s the music and their unity that got them through the tough times.

Despite some flawed storylines, there are more highs than lows that make the film work. As with the first film, it’s the battle sequences that are the highlights, specifically one sequence where members of the Green Bay Packers and the returning Treblemakers are going up against the Bellas and Das Sound Machine in their riff-off. The mashups are always fun to hear and that where’s the film draws its strengths from. Kendrick, an accomplished singer who scored a hit with her own song “Cups” from the first film, creates another hit with her mash-up with Snoop Dogg. Steinfeld, who was seen singing in ‘Begin Again,’ holds her own with the cast as her character creates a song “Flashlight” that’s also another hightlight.

Pitch Perfect 2

The drawback in the film are the romantic storylines that didn’t need to be included. Although it’s nice of Banks to find a way to bring back other characters from the original such as members of the Treblemakers (Skylar Astin, Ben Platt) and former member Bumper Allen (Adam Devine), it only served as a distraction. Luckily, a great Pat Benatar song sung by Wilson and Devine creates a smooth transition to the next scene. With the film focusing more on Kendrick, Wilson and Steinfeld, a lot of talent are just seen as props and wasted opportunity. It would be nice to Katey Sagal do some singing.

Everything falls back in place by the time we get to the finale, where the music matters. Overall, the pitch isn’t perfect, but through the dance numbers and some clever mash-ups, there’s enough harmony and charm to leave one satisfied.

Comments are closed.