By Nico Beland
Movie Review: B- (3 stars)
Back in 2012 when Pitch Perfect came out, it was a surprise comedy hit with positive reviews by critics as well as successful box office results. At first when I saw the ads for the film, I didn’t feel that invested or interested in seeing the movie, plus it came out around the time films like Looper, Frankenweenie, and Wreck-It Ralph were coming out, so I didn’t see it in its first run, I went to see it at my local bargain theater and to my surprise, I enjoyed it a lot, the cast, the characters, the comedy, all spot on and I regretted missing out on it in its opening weekend.
Now we have a sequel, Pitch Perfect 2, directed by the producer of the first film, Elizabeth Banks (Spider-Man trilogy, The Hunger Games franchise, The Lego Movie) and everyone’s favorite Pitches are back and ready to sing their way back to the top. For a sequel questionable in its existence, it’s still just as funny and entertaining as its predecessor, much like recent comedy sequels like 22 Jump Street and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, and thankfully it doesn’t rehash the first movie with incredibly dull, unfunny jokes like other comedy sequels I know of, The Hangover Parts II and III, Dumb and Dumber To, Paul Blart 2, which I have not seen but I know it’s awful.
After an incident where Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson-Bridesmaids, Pain & Gain, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb) has a wardrobe malfunction and goes commando at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Barden Bellas are suspended from a cappella performing. In order to regain their status, Beca Mitchell (Anna Kendrick-Scott Pilgrim VS The World, 50/50, Into the Woods), Fat Amy, Chloe Beale (Brittany Snow-Hairspray), Cynthia Rose-Adams (Ester Dean-Ice Age: Continental Drift), Stacie Conrad (Alexis Knapp-Project X, Family Guy), Lily Onakurama (Hana Mae Lee-Workaholics), newcomer, Emily Junk-Hardon (Hailee Steinfeld-True Grit, Ender’s Game), and the rest of the Bellas enter the international a cappella competition against a ruthless German a cappella group, one of which no American has ever won.
Overall, Pitch Perfect 2 is a funny sequel to a hilarious comedy, the writing is witty, the timing and pacing are decent, and Fat Amy delivers the hysterical laughs. And of course the songs and musical numbers are just as entertaining as the comedy, singing a selection of various popular songs as well as a new, original one.
Besides the comedy and songs, the characters are just as likable and humorous as they were back in the first movie. Anna Kendrick as the leader and the brains, which works because she portrays characters like that very well in other films, Rebel Wilson is hilarious as Fat Amy and leads to some very sweet moments when she falls in love with former Treblemaker, Bumper Allen (Adam DeVine-National Lampoon’s 301: The Legend of Awesomest Maximus, Modern Family, Uncle Grandpa), even the hilarious David Cross (Men in Black, Arrested Development, Kung Fu Panda) is in this movie as a Riff-Off Host and his energy and comedic timing shines through.
If you’re a fan of the first Pitch Perfect and want to see some more Pitchin’ hilarious comedy and memorable musical numbers, you’ll find something to enjoy in Pitch Perfect 2, especially if you’re an a cappella performer, this is your movie this year. I still prefer the first film a little more, but as far as comedy sequels go, Pitch Perfect 2 is one of those rare comedy sequels that fights back and “Pitch Slaps” the bad comedy sequels of the modern era.