Friday, May 15, 2015

Pitch Perfect 2 - 1 1/2 stars

I’m not in the target demographic for either of the Pitch Perfect films, but I still enjoyed the first one.  It poked fun at the concept of college a cappella groups without making fun of them.  Beca (Anna Kendrick) was a good lead character, and it was a typical underdog movie.  We got to know Beca and the rest of The Barden Bellas and we rooted for them.  And there was a lot of funny stuff in that movie.

But the sequel isn’t half the movie the original was.  I didn’t laugh much and I didn’t care about what happened to the characters.  At the start of the movie, the Bellas are performing at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts for President Obama.  Fat Amy has an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction, and the Bellas are kicked out of the national a cappella league or something like that.  Even though they won the competition at the end of the previous movie, this infraction prevents them from going on the rest of their victory tour. 

But they still get to go to the international competition for some reason.  If they win that, they’ll be back in the good graces of the a cappella judges and their suspension will be over.  But of course no American team has ever won the international competition, so the odds are against them.  It doesn’t make sense that the color commentators (John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks) are the ones who get to decide on their suspension, but whatever.

Beca has taken an internship at a recording studio but she’s keeping it a secret from the rest of the Bellas.  She’s still dating Skylar but he only pops up in a couple scenes.  Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) is seeing Bumper but keeping it a secret from everyone.  And Benji has a crush on the new Bella, Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), but the movie doesn’t do much with their relationship.

That’s probably the biggest problem with the movie.  There are some good ideas but they’re not fully developed.  Just when the Benji and Emily relationship is starting to get interesting, the movie doesn’t know where to go with it.  By the time they’re comfortable enough with each other to have a conversation at a party, it’s just shown in a montage. 

This movie just bored me.  Fat Amy didn’t make me laugh, and neither did the color commentators.  The music was ok but I don’t think the soundtrack will sell anywhere near as much as the first one did.  This is one of those sequels that we didn’t need.  The only reason it was made is because the first movie was an unexpected hit.  Hopefully this one doesn’t do as well and we won’t have to sit through a third one.

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