Like most Aca-enthusiasts, I was pretty stoked to see Pitch Perfect 2. The original comedic film is about a college freshman who begrudgingly finds herself in an unbelievably geeky a Capella group. Not only does she manage to embrace her new group of bizarre friends, but she single handedly develops a whole new sound that lead the Barden Bellas to win the a Capella Finals.
I prepared myself to be blown away by the new, upbeat set list and choreographed musical performances that were sure to appear in Pitch Perfect 2. Still reciting Fat Amy one-liners and failing to mimic Anna Kendrick’s badass attitude, I started the movie with high expectations. And I wasn’t the only one. The highly anticipated movie made over 70 million at the box office opening weekend, which certainly tops the 5 million made by the first film.
Unfortunately, the second edition to the franchise fell under the spectrum of failed sequels- and it fell hard. After only a week, gross sales dropped to 30 million: an alarming cut in half from the first week. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 3 out of 5 rating while US Magazine stated, “Anna Kendrick’s Sequel Doesn’t Recapture the Spark.”
The movie opens with what appears to be a familiar stellar performance by the Bellas, with Becca (Kendrick) in the lead. Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) is then suddenly centered high like a chandelier on a satin sheet singing “Wrecking Ball.” The contraption loses grip and Fat Amy's pants split, revealing a little too much to President Barack Obama who makes an unsuitable appearance. Causing embarrassment to the Bellas, Barden University, and the a Capella name, the Bellas apologies don’t save them from losing their eligibility to compete a Capella at the collegiate level. Instead, they set out to win World’s against the overly-stated attractive Germans with their new “legacy” while Bella suffers from her own battle with the music industry where she has landed a coveted internship.
New director, Elizabeth Banks, sets a premise of “girl power” which was already established in the first film. The urgency to reminisce over the popular scenes from Pitch Perfect is overdone. The preview suggested a hilarious scene where Fat Amy slides down a stairwell with her lack of grace and exclaims, "Crushed it." A popular line from the original film. It wasn't until the end of the film, after I was already bored from the eye rolling climax, that this scene takes place. It's oddly placed and seemingly adds nothing to the film.
Unorthodox cameos, such as those of the Green Bay Packers, offers no purpose. They appear in a mini competition similar to the riff-off from the original; this scene itself only establishes a foreshadowing that the Bellas have got their hands full in competition with German's Das Sound Machine team. Each character lacks concrete attributes. Becca, the once hilarious, independent badass that we all grew to love from Pitch Perfect is now a cautious, reliant intern who tries to assert random comedic lines when trying to insult the lead Das performer by telling the blonde German how attractive she finds her.
What's more, at the World Championship, various countries appear in short performances where they are costumed in prejudice attire that is supposed to represent their country. Yet, the Bellas and Das Sound Macahine appear on stage in unpatriotic costume. Pitch Perfect 2 is also braided with dull montages. The are so many in fact, that I could leave without missing a single key moment. The most excruciating was the multiple musical scenes used to pass time while the girls are on a retreat, instructed by the one and only, Aubrey (because they couldn't leave out any characters from the first movie). Pitch Perfect 2 was just laden with one too many of these to keep it interesting.
Let’s just say, I don’t see a Pitch Perfect 3 in our future.