Pitch Perfect 2

Movie Information

The Story: After an embarrassing performance nearly dooms their a capella group, the women of the Barden Bellas try to win an international competition to restore their good name. The Lowdown: The sequel to an exhaustingly dull, overlong, predictable and generally unfunny movie somehow one-ups its predecessor in all of those categories.
Score:

Genre: Musical Comedy
Director: Elizabeth Banks
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Skylar Astin
Rated: PG-13

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While the rest of the world was waxing ecstatic over Pitch Perfect (2012), the out-of-nowhere hit based on college a capella groups, I generally hated it. Clocking in at two hours, here was a movie filled with predictable plotting, some egregiously boring music and a whole lot of Rebel Wilson discussing her various bodily functions. I never understood the appeal then, and I definitely don’t understand the appeal of it now with the release of Pitch Perfect 2, a film which takes every bad thing about the original and squeezes and wrenches it into something even worse. It’s longer, the music’s worse, the plotting is somehow even more inevitable — and there’s even more Rebel Wilson. The only amusing aspect about the film is that it somehow made $70 million, beating out the seemingly universally praised (to a dangerously hyperbolic extent) Mad Max: Fury Road and guaranteeing a decade’s worth of sequels that’ll most assuredly tailspin into the world of straight-to-DVD cinema.

 

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This time around, the remaining members of the college a capella group the Barden Bellas have fallen on hard times. After an embarrassing performance has made them a laughing stock and lost them a lucrative nationwide tour to a group of German a capella singers (who are basically ripped off from Mike Meyers’ 20-year-old “Sprockets” sketches), their only choice is to buckle down and win an international a capella competition (while allowing this lazy movie to indulge in some xenophobic stereotyping). But since the ladies of the Barden Bellas — including their leader, Beca (Anna Kendrick) and loudmouthed Amy (Wilson) — are slowly drifting apart as they approach the end of college, things become more complicated. This means a lot of reconnecting and stuff about friendship and whatnot — it’s all a bunch of utilitarian nonsense as a means of filling in the movie’s running time.

 

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Will they win? Will they all still be friends? Of course they will. I’m amazed that anyone would be so shameless as to actually write this drivel, let alone put their name on it. Of course, there’s nothing new under the sun, I suppose, but the film’s real selling point — the music — isn’t much to be excited about, unless you suffer from hearing loss or perhaps narcolepsy. I guess the music, in general, is inoffensive if you really enjoy the sound of beer commercials. But the musical numbers are flat, and the performances themselves are so compressed and autotuned that they’re totally devoid of personality. Not helping things is the cast, like the aforementioned Wilson, who might be a fine person in real life, but who’s allowed Hollywood to turn her into a slovenly, grotesque caricature of overweight people. Or Anna Kendrick’s complete lack of personality, or Hailee Steinfeld, whose career is officially depressing. Pitch Perfect 2 is exactly the kind of sequel people complain about when they talk about how bad sequels are. Rated PG-13 for innuendo and language.

 

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9 thoughts on “Pitch Perfect 2

  1. T.rex

    Rebel Wilson: a good argument for having concentration camps in this country. Send in Melissa McCarthy too. The fact that more people went to see this than Mad Max is sad, very very sad. I’m sure most of the kids that went were staring at their phones more anyhow.

    • Ken Hanke

      It’s PG-13. It has a built-in fanbase of the flavor-of-the-week variety. And though the fanboys would like to believe otherwise, Mad Max has a cult fanbase and the R rating doesn’t help.

      • T.rex

        WtF happened to everyone? People need to calm down! Even PG movies used to have nudity. THE APPLE even had a naked orgy song number (don’t watch it people, it’s a sooooo bad) and it was PG. I have to blame Spielberg and the dreaded MPAA.

        • Ken Hanke

          Well, there’s no way this wouldn’t be an R. But what happened? Your beloved ’80s with its return to “1950s values” is where it starts.

          • T.rex

            Not completely. The main reason we’re all the weiny parents who saw Gremlins and Temple of Doom and then complained. You’d be shocked, as much as I love the eighties, the 70s director era and silent era are my faves—-and anytime Billy Wilder worked.

          • Ken Hanke

            Watch Fedora or Avanti or even Buddy, Buddy and say that last bit.

  2. Edwin Arnaudin

    or Hailee Steinfeld, whose career is officially depressing

    I’ve started to think she’d even botch a Coen brothers reunion.

    • Ken Hanke

      After Romeo and Juliet and Ender’s Moose, it seems beyond doubt.

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