In this sequel to the surprising 2012 A Capella-themed hit comedy, the three time national champion Barden Bellas are banned from competing after a graphically embarrassing performance during the President’s birthday celebration. Despite this, they are still allowed to compete in the world championship that they have already qualified for (which begs the question as to why the initial scandal was necessary in the first place).
This movie has everything. A racist minority character. A cliche supporting male character who literally can’t speak to women. A woman whose only note (apologies for the pun) is being a horny lesbian. Robotic Germans. At least five montages. Heavy Beats by Dre product placement.
Pitch Perfect 2 is a movie troubled by its lack of story. Characters don’t develop. The plot stops and starts in order to give characters more opportunities to sing even though there are no stakes involved. 15 to 20 minutes of the film take place in David Cross’s basement for the sake of a singing competition that has nothing to do with the main narrative and whose only prize is a Dave & Buster’s gift card. Granted, this sequence does give us the best cameos in the film, including veteran comedians like Reggie Watts and Joe Lo Truglio as well as a smattering of Green Bay Packers linemen. All in all, the lack of a narrative is a clear sign that a sequel to the enjoyable Pitch Perfect was not necessary.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some entertaining parts to this film. Rebel Wilson’s scene on a rowboat stands out, as do the performances of Comedy Central favorites Adam DeVine and Keegan Michael Key. Hanna Mae Lee reprises her quiet role of Lily Okanakamura to some mild laughs. And the singing is exactly what you’d expect. It is good, but it is also unrealistically well-mixed, to the point where un-miked hand clapping sounds like pounding snare drum hits.
In short, the sequel doesn’t live up to its predecessor. Most jokes have forced delivery and the story fails to go anywhere. Still, the box office numbers show that a threequel may be in the cards for this franchise. If this comes to pass, I just hope that the screenwriter can breathe new life into the story.
As always, thanks for reading!
Have you seen Pitch Perfect 2? If so, what did you think? Liked it better than I did? Let me know in the comments!
–Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)