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Pitch Perfect 2 will remind you why you fell in love with the original, and honestly, is probably one of the funniest movies released in 2015 thus far.
Review (with Spoilers) – Below
Characters & Story
It’s senior year for the majority of the Bellas and it seems only Beca (Anna Kendrick) is really worried about her post-Bella life. Though as she plans her exit, Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) plans her entrance. For with her being a “legacy,” meaning a child of a former Bella, she has grand dreams of joining the team.
Issue is, thanks to Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), the Bellas are damn near blackballed and almost completely stripped from competing. However, due to Chloe (Brittany Snow) trying to make sure their class goes out with a bang, and Beca not wanting to ever go down without a fight, it is arranged where if they can win the world competition for acapella groups, the Bellas will be reinstated. But in their way is the German group Das Sound Machine lead by Kommissar (Birgitte Hjort Sorensen) and Pieter (Flula Borg). A team so in sync that it makes it seem despite the Bellas’ past success, they may end things with each other, but without the crown.
In total, I found myself laughing 45 times and honestly it was thanks to the movie keeping the same offbeat, if not downright weird, jokes the 1st movie had. For, like in the original, Lilly (Hana Mae Lee) has some of the most outrageous whispers; Wilson continues to give Melissa McCarthy a run for her money, as well as any other comedian you could name; and while Beca may not be insulting Das Sound Machine like she did her competition in the first movie, her compliments to Kommissar were quite funny.
Focusing on the story, though, what I found most appealing about this film is that it didn’t seem like it was made solely to cash in on the first one being a hit nor to set up a threequel. For with the movie jumping to senior year, and us seeing the Bellas contemplate marriage, their careers, and graduating, it seems like everything is final. And while Emily does seem like a segue to a 3rd movie, I think through her mother Katherine (Katey Segal), and what she brings to the film, more so her part is to show the Bellas will continue on and the sisterhood lasts forever.
Leaving what really matters when it comes to Pitch Perfect 2, which is the music. Now, let me just say, between a showdown hosted by David Cross’ character, the competitions, Snoop Dogg and Beca mashing up “Here Comes Santa Claus” and “Waling in a Winter Wonderland,” and then the original song “Flashlight,” this movie strongly may remind some of you not only why you loved the original, but why you may have perhaps, at one time, enjoyed Glee. For the mashups are wonderful, the arrangements were killer and honestly, the temptation to buy some of the songs from the film is tempting.
For me, the main things worth criticizing is the fact that we didn’t really get much additional development when it came to the less established characters, like Ashley (Shelley Regner), Jessica (Kelley Jakle), Flo (Chrissie Fit), Cynthia (Ester Dean), Lilly, or Stacie (Alexis Knapp), and the jokes in the film. Speaking first on the development, to be honest with you, outside of Cynthia, Lilly, and Stacie, solely due to how sexualized she was in the first film, I was asking myself if the others were in the first film. For Jessica and Ashley, which the film jokes about, are barely established and almost glorified backup singers. Then, when it comes to Flo, outside of some racially tinged comedy, there isn’t much to remember about her. Though, in general, what do these supporting characters have outside of the jokes dealing with the stereotypes many people would perceive?
But while their development is bad, at times the jokes used are bad as well. However, I don’t mean bad as in they aren’t funny, but they are the type of jokes which bring a bit of shame for laughing at. Take the many misogynistic jokes John (John Michael Higgins) has. I mean, you will probably laugh every time he is on screen, but if you think what you are laughing about, it sort of taints the joke a little bit.
Lastly, though perhaps not a huge issue, I must admit the romantic plot between Fat Amy and Bumper (Adam DeVine) bored me to tears. For while it did lead to a few comedic moments, honestly, there is nothing really cute or awe-inspiring about them. If only because it seems their whole relationship is founded on comedic effect and not so much love, completing each other, or what have you.
Overall: Worth Seeing
Does Pitch Perfect 2 have flaws? Absolutely. However, I would say this is the type of film that unless you decide to scrutinize it, you’d easily enjoy it. For whether it is the musical numbers, the jokes, or it not seeming setup solely on the basis to rake in cash, it ultimately comes off as a good movie. Hence the worth seeing label for, while I may not want to see it again opening weekend, I definitely believe sometime this year, or the next, I would want to revisit this film.
“I must rest my neck for it is getting sore looking down on you.”
— Pitch Perfect 2