When the first Pitch Perfect film came out in theaters, I had heard about it and knew primarily what it was about, but I wasn’t overly interested in it. I didn’t bother seeing it until after it had come out on DVD and, much to my surprise, rather enjoyed it. It was unique in a sense that take it took a topic I had no interest in and made me, along with a decent amount of the general public, think it was actually rather cool. I get the sense that half of the a cappella groups at various universities don’t particularly like Pitch Perfect because people will always bring it up to them, but still they have to thank the movie in part for the spike in interest in their musical activity. The original was unique, quirky, and had strong musical performances with a larger amount of comedic moments than I would have anticipated.
Because Pitch Perfect was such a big success, it was only time until a second one was made (and rumors are a 3rd is to be put into production not long from now). The tough challenge that faces every sequel is it has to be similar in a way to the original so that you can draw in the audience that made the original so successful, but not too similar to the point where it’s essentially seeing the first movie again. That was the problem Taken 2 had; it was like watching the first one but without the famous Liam Neeson monologue. How to Train Your Dragon 2 was good because it was everything I loved about the original but added more depth the characters and presented new plotline aspects with the introduction of Hiccup’s mother. Pitch Perfect 2, on the other hand, falls under the same column as Taken 2. I was watching the movie and thinking to myself: so….is anything about this movie going to be different from the first one. The plot line is essentially the exact same formula that the first movie had. We don’t learn anything new about the characters that we didn’t already know from watching the first installment and much of it feels too forced, especially the comedy. It was significantly less funny than the first movie, and at times, I thought it was even quite racists and sexist in its attempts to be amusing. There were moments when the male a cappella commentator would drop a line that was just inappropriate and lacking in comedy altogether.
The way I see it, if you aren’t a pre-teen girl, there’s only three reasons to see this movie. The first, being the best part of the movie, is the rather sketchily organized “sing off” in the rich man’s house where the Green Bay Packers make an appearance. Clay Matthews was fantastic in that scene. The second reason is that the singing performances, the real cornerstone of the film, are still well done and very entertaining to watch. The last reason would be to have another hour and forty minutes of screen time with Anna Kendrick. I would a three-hour version of Pitch Perfect as long as it had her in it. So, all in all, there are a couple of moments that make it somewhat worthwhile, but in the end, it’s just everything you’d expect a Pitch Perfect sequel to be.
Pitch Perfect 2: 1.5/4 stars