‘Pitch Perfect 2’ Review: a tad off-key, but still enjoyable

I finally got around to seeing Pitch Perfect 2 yesterday. Of course, since it’s a sequel, I went in with the expectations that it wouldn’t live up to the original. And as usual, I was right to assume that. However, it still had its really good and funny moments to make it overall enjoyable.
What I loved:

More Fat Amy

Fat Amy

You would have had to live under a rock since the first Pitch Perfect came out to not know that Rebel Wilson is flat out hilarious as Fat Amy (Patricia). And so when I first heard there was going to be a Pitch Perfect 2, I immediately knew that meant we were going to be getting a LOT more Fat Amy. And they delivered. Amy actually got her own subplot this time around, instead of being the one in the background that pops in and out with a hilarious crack and then fades away again. Although I didn’t find Bumper as ridiculous and funny this time around, the storyline between them made sense, continuing with the first movie, and also was quirky in the way that it wasn’t the handsome jock and the cheerleader getting together. It was weird, annoying Bumper and Fat Amy. My favorite part of the movie, by far, that created the most laughs, was when she paddled across the lake and serenading him with ‘We Belong.’ Not only because it was the girl singing to the guy, but because of the little things, like her having to pause for a breath because she didn’t realize how big the lake was, or stopping because a car was in her way. Classic.

The songs, of course!

Awesome mash ups and a capella versions of some classic and new songs alike. Loved them! And it was so cute that they brought back the cups song for another hurrah. And that “Flashlight” song is hella catchy.

The cameos

Pitch Perfect 2 GBP

You always expect random cameos in a sequel to a super popular movie. Pitch Perfect 2 did not disappoint in that department. But they also didn’t over do them by throwing them in everywhere. We had Snoop Dogg, the most random singer ever, to be in the movie to produce a Classical Christmas album. Pretty funny. And Clay Matthews and the Green Bay Packers singing for a $42,000 Dave & Buster’s gift card? Fantastic. You know his NFL buddies are never going to let him live that down. Or maybe they’re jealous of him, who knows. And then at the end, we learn that Robin Roberts was a Barden Bella?! So random! Loved it.

The “Less is More” Theme

I like that they immediately pointed out in the movie that too much was going on during the a capella performances. Visual effects, props, extreme stunts? That’s not the Pitch Perfect we fell in love with. We fell in love with the raw performances and stripping down songs. And with the opening performance, the “Let’s Talk-apella” commentators pointed out that it was too much. And I think that was a good metaphor for what most sequels are, especially sequels of “Little movies that could,” like Pitch Perfect. After the opening performance’s epic fail, the movie set the “road to redemption” theme. But their next public performance was once again too overdone, driving the point home: “Less is More.” And it was nice that the finale performance was simple and similar to the end of the first movie. I liked that.

The Good:

The Legacy

When Hailee Steinfeld’s character was first introduced, I was a little leery. It didn’t really make sense how easily she was let into the group, and with how big the Bellas became at Barden, it didn’t make any sense how no other freshman girls sought them out to join. Why was she the only newbie? And all of them were graduating. Even the Latina girl, who by the way was really funny. But she wasn’t in the first movie, yet she was graduating with them. Weird. Anyway, now isn’t she going to be the only one left? Is she living in that huge house alone? Is she left by herself to recruit a whole new team? Maybe I’m looking for too much substance in a movie that is supposed to entertain with music, but this part of the movie just seemed to have way too many plot holes.

However, talking about the character of Emily Junk herself, I did end up liking her. Again, that “Flashlight” tune is hella catchy, and I thought it was cute that the Bellas started out as misfits in the first movie and now they have a doe-eyed freshman looking up to them. And her and Benji? Omg so adorable.

The parts that could have been better…:

Lack of Treblemakers

How can you only have them in two scenes??? And you would think that in making a sequel, they would take note that EVERYBODY loves Jesse. So I was NOT a fan of having him only pop up in a handful of scenes just to support Beca. Once again, maybe I’m asking for too much, but I needed way more Skylar Astin in this than what I got. Unacceptable.

Aubrey returns

I get it, she was a main star of the first movie, but to be honest, she was unneeded in this one. We already had a whole movie full of her being a drill sergeant. It actually would have been cute if Anna Camp and Skylar Astin had scenes together (not romantically obviously), but back to my previous point, he was barely in the movie at all.

The Internship subplot

Way too cliche. Seriously beating the “mean boss, interns only get coffee” dead horse even more to death. But at least it addressed the issue of why Beca is the only one thinking about something other than singing when they graduate super soon. And while I’m on that subject, the fact that Chloe failed a class 3 times so she can stay in college just to sing is way too unrealistic, even if it is just a movie. Her parents can’t be that generous. I know my parents wouldn’t even entertain the thought of paying three more years of tuition, plus the rent of that really nice looking house. They barely let me take a summer class. And I feel like the A Capella association or whatever has to have some kind of eligibility restrictions like the NCAA where you can only participate for 4 years.

So overall, pretty decent movie, but couldn’t hold a candle to the original. So just as expected. I give it a 6.5 out of 10.

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