Pitch Perfect 2 (Universal Pictures, PG-13)

Pitch-Perfect-2 __75If this film stood on its own, it might be more than okay, but as a sequel, Pitch Perfect 2 misses the high notes.

 

Pitch-Perfect-2 500

If this film stood on its own, it might be more than okay, but as a sequel, Pitch Perfect 2 misses the high notes.

Pitch Perfect 2 continues three years after Pitch Perfect ends, where the Barden Bellas have once again tarnished their name due to an embarrassing mishap on stage. Determined to regain their status and right to perform, the Bellas must win an international competition.

If this sounds familiar to you, yes, the Pitch Perfect 2 plot is almost identical to Pitch Perfect. Beca (Anna Kendrick) is still the central focus of the film, as she is the only Bella with a major story outside of the singing group. There are two major differences between Pitch Perfect and its sequel, the first being the screen time afforded to The Treblemakers, and the second being the jokes.

Since this film takes the Barden Bellas a step up to an international competition, their rival becomes a group from Germany, making The Treblemakers, the all-male a capella group at Barden University, obsolete. The Treblemakers do make an appearance so we know they still exist, but it is obvious they are only in the film at all to give lead vocalist Jesse (Skylar Astin) something to do when he’s not seeing girlfriend Beca off to her internship.

It is clear Kay Cannon wanted to make this script bigger and better than the last one, but her attempts went way too far. The jokes in Pitch Perfect are funny but tasteful, while the jokes in Pitch Perfect 2 are mainly vulgar and racist. In addition to the bad jokes, Pitch Perfect 2 is fraught with plot holes. I have a lot of questions. How will the Bellas continue, seeing that every single one of them is graduating besides their one new member? Is Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), a freshman, supposed to rebuild the entire group on her own? What were the Bellas doing for the past three years, if not auditioning new members to round out their sound and choreography?

Pitch Perfect 2 also spends a lot less time on the music. This would be fine if we were getting a deeper look into other characters’ lives, but most of this film is spent on parties, pillow fights, and pointless camp fun that serves no purpose in propelling the story.

With all that said, Pitch Perfect 2 is still an enjoyable film, as it does give Pitch Perfect fans what they expect. The slapstick comedy bits are over the top and unrealistic as intended, Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) remains the most hilarious and animated character, and we still have no idea what Lilly (Hana Mae Lee) says at any point in the film.

The most redeeming quality of Pitch Perfect 2 is its many surprise celebrity cameos that fans are sure to enjoy.

This film is a lot of fun for a night out with friends, and I wouldn’t consider seeing it in theaters a waste of money because it will give you the laughs you’re looking for. Just don’t be planning to buy and re-watch this as part of your Pitch Perfect collection, because this sequel is ultimately forgettable. | Samantha LaBat

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