Saturday, May 16, 2015

Pitch Perfect 2
Releases May 15th, 2015
1 hr 55 mins
Rated PG-13


Director: Elizabeth Banks
Writer: Kay Cannon

Anna Kendrick as Beca Mitchell
Rebel Wilson as Patricia "Fat Amy"
Brittany Snow as Chloe Beale
Ester Dean as Cynthia-Rose Adams
Alexis Knapp as Stacie Conrad
Hana Mae Lee as Lilly Onakurama
Kelley Jakle as Jessica
Shelley Regner as Ashley
Hailee Steinfeld as Emily Junk-Hardon
Chrissie Fit as Florencia "Flo" Fuentes
Skylar Astin as Jesse Swanson
Adam DeVine as Bumper Allen
Ben Platt as Benjamin "Benji" Applebaum
Anna Camp as Aubrey Posen
Flula Borg as Pieter Krämer
Birgitte Hjort Sørensen as Kommissar
Katey Sagal as Katherine Junk
Keegan-Michael Key as Beca's boss
Elizabeth Banks as Gail Abernathy-McKadden-Feinberg
John Michael Higgins as John Smith
David Cross as the Riff-Off Host

Review by Stephen M.

The Bellas are back once again in Pitch Perfect 2 with more raunchiness, and aca-awesome singing.  But in comparison to the first film, it just fails to capture the "magic" or perhaps it's just because the original set the bar so high.  The sequel is not without its faults but has enough of what you love in the original to be singing praises for it.

The movie starts off with most of the girls we remember now as seniors including Beca (Anna Kendricks) and Patricia "Fat Amy" (Rebel Wilson).  When the latter has a freakish accident exposing more than Barack Obama or anyone would want to see, the Bellas are banned from U.S. competitions.  Thank goodness for timely loopholes and international competitions.  Also new is Emily Junk-Hardon, daughter of a former Bella, Katherine (Katey Sagal).  Having most of the original cast back in one form or another is smart.  Adding fresh blood to the girls was also a good idea.  The plot has an interesting premise, but just poor execution at times.  We have a more balanced screen time for the rest of the girls this time with even a joke for the 8th and 9th singer of the Bellas which was probably my favorite.

However, repetitive jokes, forced acting (yes, I am looking at you Anna) and musical numbers with less "magic" makes this one inferior.  The friendly rivalry between the Bellas and Treblemakers made for great laughs and fun in the first film which is lost between the girls and their German rivals Das Sound Machine.  Newcomer Emily was uninteresting as a character as was her "original" hit Flashlight.  The normally funny MadTV alum Keegan-Michael Key falls flat as Beca's boss.

Overall, I would still recommend the film as long as you go in with lowered expectations.  As well if you have not seen the first one before, I would recommend that you watch it first.  As a lot of stuff are not explained as far as relationships and quirky personalities as the first one does.  Given the type of jokes, this movie is not recommended for children, even if it contains cheery music throughout.  Even if that music comes in the form of current NFL players, which was an excellent cameo.


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