Running time: 114 minutes
Director: Elizabeth Banks
After the unexpected success of Pitch Perfect in 2012, co-star and producer Elizabeth Banks takes charge behind the camera to bring this highly anticipated sequel. And now that Pitch Perfect 2 has made in its opening weekend more money at the box office than the first movie did in its entire run, it will be no surprise at all if another sequel is announced soon. So get ready to see all of this again for a third time.
Three years after winning the a capella Finals and becoming legends, the Barden Bellas are humiliated while performing for the President of the United States due to a wardrobe malfunction involving Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) that costs them their title. To clear their names, they will have to win the world’s championship that no American group has ever won. In order to accomplish this task they will have to focus on their goal and have no distractions though graduation is quickly approaching and Beca (Anna Kendrick) starts to wonder what she will do after college.
So yes, it is practically the same as the first movie, recycling a lot of the main plot points: something bad happens and the Bellas need to win a competition to redeem themselves but first they have to find their voice again. Also, there’s a riff-off in the middle, though the music in the film doesn’t make the same impression as in the first one. Basically, Pitch Perfect 2 takes all the elements that worked in the first movie and gives you more of it, when the whole reason it was so beloved in the first place was how refreshing it felt.
This is the case with Rebel Wilson. Fat Amy was definitely the scene-stealer in Pitch Perfect and she became the most iconic character of the film. There is no doubt she is always fun to watch but, let’s be honest, she does the exact same thing every time. She gets the laughs though, which is the point, so now she is practically the star of the movie and therefore gets a more developed romance with Adam Devine.
Anna Kendrick’s Beca, now leader of the Bellas, sees her role considerably diminished from the first one as there are more characters and her romance with Skylar Astin is portrayed next to nothing. But, while Beca may not make the same impression, her storyline, dealing with what to do after college and getting an internship was one of the most interesting parts of the film. Keegan-Michael Key as the producer she works for only helped to elevate those moments. They could have focus with what to do after college a bit more especially when is a subject a lot of people can relate to and you have a character like Chloe (Brittany Murphy), who is so afraid of the real world, she has been in college for seven years.
Taking the place of Anna Kendrick as the new-comer is Hailee Steinfeld as Emily, a singer-songwriter and a legacy whose mother was one of the Bellas when she was in college. The end of the movie suggests a possible sequel with her as the lead character and I’m not very excited about that. Every time she tried to be funny I found her annoying and awkward and the romance she is involved in (because there was a romance in the first one, so there must be a romance here) felt really forced and with nothing to it.
Also back are the sharp-tongued commentators played by Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins and they are even more offensive this time but they went for it, they owned it and somehow it worked (at least most of the times), even though the majority of the jokes were completely sexists and racists.
There is a moment where Fat Amy is trying to cross the road and a truck keeps getting in her way that it is hilarious. It felt organic, realistic and I wished there had been more of that because sometimes it tried to be overly funny and some of the jokes did not land. Especially those involving some of the secondary characters of the group who are all playing some kind of stereotype.
Some people may criticize Age of Ultron for not being as good as the first Avengers. The main problem with Pitch Perfect 2 is that not only it isn’t as good as its predecessor, is that it didn’t even try to do something new with it. I can’t say that it is a bad movie at all, it’s just that it plays it too safe and I would have liked to see it evolve and not just be a moneymaker. Still, it is funny, there’s a lot of energy and it is entertaining. In the end, if you liked the first Pitch Perfect, you’ll enjoy this one.