ByJames Porter, writer at
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James Porter

After royally humiliating themselves in front of the President of the United States in a live performance, the Barden Bellas have one last chance to reclaim their former glory by entering an international A Capella competition that no American group has ever won.

The original Pitch Perfect was undeniably one of the biggest surprises of 2012, it was funny, fairly original and had heart. So how the sequel shape up?

For the most part, Pitch Perfect 2 is a mess. It fails to recapture the character, innocence and charm of its predecessor, but it certainly has its moments.

Elizabeth Banks who had a small role in the first film and is back in the same role again performed double duty this time as she also directed the film. Unfortunately, Banks is where the problems stem from with this comedy sequel. From simple things like framing a shot correctly to more difficult tasks like giving characters their own moments, Banks doesn't really succeed on any front. And of course some of this can be blamed on the script.

The dialogue is mostly funny, but the story never really allows for the small character moments that made the first film so likable. It felt like the filmmakers were trying too hard with the comedy, which for the majority works, but because of this the actual characters felt sidelined.

The cast is really good here; Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Elizabeth Banks, John Michael Higgins and newcomers Hailee Steinfeld and Keegan Michael Key do a really good job. John Michael Higgins and Keegan Michael Key get some of the funniest moments here.

The most irritating character by far here is Rebel Wilson as Fat Amy, who can't seem to do anything other than making fun of her own weight. This character really dragged the film down. I can safely say Rebel Wilson didn't "crush it" this time. She worked last time because her role was unexpected, but now we know what we're getting when Rebel Wilson gets cast in a film, there isn't much else she can do to surprise us unless she really steps up her game.

The film starts off strong, it was nice to see these characters again but as soon as the plot gets going, it felt like we were getting the exact same thing as last time, only not as entertaining. But I can fortunately say that the movie salvaged what it had left by its finale and the ending was thankfully pretty good, with the Bella's giving the performance of a lifetime.

This is a funny movie and there's enough humor to entertain you until the end, but what made the original so likable was the characters. Some of them admittedly were stereotypes and still are, but they worked for the majority, this time around it feels as though each of them got even more shallow as characters. Characters in this movie will only say things you'd expect them to say because they're all such obvious stereotypes. There's the leader, the fat one, the black-sassy one who also happens to be a lesbian, the freak, the Mexican, the clumsy new girl, the slut and then the ones that get no lines at all. These were all just hollow caricatures, outlines of characters with no real meat to them.

What a lot of you are going to be seeing this movie for is the music, and I can gladly say that the music is great. There are some great voices in this cast, some so very clearly dubbed over but other than those the music scenes were quite good. Anna Kendrick is as fantastic as always, both in her acting and singing.

Pitch Perfect 2 is entertaining and is almost guaranteed to please its target audience, but as a sequel this is one that could and should have been better.


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