Look, if you liked Pitch Perfect chances are you are going to like Pitch Perfect 2, but for newcomers lets have a look at this on it’s on merits. The movie takes place in this bizarre parallel universe where acapella music took the place of rock and roll in the mid-2000s and no one is required to take any classes in college. We follow the fall and re-rise of the “Bellas” a prestigious all-female acapella group whom, after three successive college championship, embarrass themselves at the president’s birthday celebration. They are then banned from competing at a college level but not from competing at the world level because loopholes, and now must win the worlds to allow the continuation of their singing sisterhood/cult.
The best of Pitch Perfect is centered on scenes that feel like they have been directly lifted from TV shows; the crazy music producer (Keegan-Michael Key), the commentator-shtick from “Best in Show” (Elizabeth Banks, John Michael Higgins), the large inappropriate friend (Rebel Wilson), the crazy Asian (Hannah Mae Lee), the butch lesbian chick (Ester Dean) and the robotic German. The stereotypes are played for parody, but I don’t think it has the wit or charm to stay the right side of offensive throughout the film.
The comedy in the film swings between youtube-able (the Keegan-Michael Key scenes) and not funny at all (every other scene). In many ways, this film reads like an all-female “Police Academy” movie.
Like the “Police Academy”s it has several plot lines in an attempt to flesh out its huge cast, however, this leads to no one being fleshed out and every plot line feels underdeveloped. The newest addition to the group, Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), suffers from this most. She is the Hufflepuff of this movie. When the giggling teenage girls are deciding which of the Bellas everyone in their group is, Emily is handed to the one with no distinguishable personality traits. All of the characters are pretty unlikable, with the strong inclusion of Anna Kendrick who is incredibly dull while pushing hard for kooky.
This is Elizabeth Banks directorial debut (She plays one of the obnoxious commentators and producer the original Pitch Perfect), awhile a sequel is not a good place to start a creative stamp, even from a technical aspect this is a sloppy job. The shots are boring, the transitions are distracting and the pacing of scenes is atrocious. The large set-piece performances lack any weight and the cinematography is dull and checked out (Jim Denault). Ok, so what do I expect from a teen comedy sequel? I don’t expect much but when you give me crap I’m going to call you on it. The worst offence here is the rhythmic cutting of scenes. The rhythm is too fast and it can be dizzying to watch. I won’t blame the editor here (Craig Alpert) as I think it was an attempt to save the pace of dull scenes.
Pitch Perfect 2 is a poorly done assignment, you could have done it well, but you had already checked out of this semester. Youtube the scenes with Keegan-Michael Key in them as they are quite funny and worth a watch, the rest of this is not worth watching.