Monday, June 1, 2015

Pitch Perfect Review

Pitch Perfect 2 poster.jpg

Sequels can be tricky. Period. For every Godfather Part 2 there is a Hangover 3. Some (most) aren't needed but studios figure audiences loved it the first time then they'll love it even more the second time. Now some sequels not only match the original but are actually better. Obviously, Godfather Part 2, Aliens, and Terminator 2, and The Empire Strikes Back are the sequels most look to as examples of how to do it right. On the other hand, most sequels make the mistake of trying to hard to recreate the same plot and events of the first film, for instance, people loved the TV show Sex and the City and a lot of fans were excited when they reunited for a film a few years later. It was a huge hit at the box office. They decided to make a sequel and it featured the characters doing similar things from the last film as well as the show. The movie was not as fresh as the original and didn't reach the success of the first one. That brings me to Pitch Perfect 2, I absolutely loved the original, it was creative, fun and perfectly cast. So, I had high hopes for the sequel and honestly I wasn't disappointed.

**Mild Spoilers**

The film takes place three years after the original and the Barden Bellas have won three a capella national championships (yes, apparently this is a thing). The movie starts out with the ladies performing for President Obama (prop to the editing department) and the high energy performance seems like it's about to go off without a hitch. Until fan favorite from the original, Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), descends from the ceiling singing the Miley Cyrus ballad "Wrecking Ball". Things then proceed to get a little rough for the Bellas when Fat Amy suffers the mother of all wardrobe malfunctions. The story makes national headlines and is talked about on news outlets from CNN to The View. Unfortunately for the all female college a capella group, they are placed on probation and have to cancel their tour and no recruiting new members. Seeing that all the current members are seniors, without new members the Bellas will no longer exist. When the committee members (played by Elizabeth Banks (also director of the film!) and John Michael Higgins) mention the World A Capella Championship, Beca (Anna Kendrick),co-leader of the Bellas, gives the suggestion that if they when the World Championship then they should be re-instated. The committee members agree but laugh at the idea since no American team as ever won "the Worlds". The film focuses on the team preparing for Worlds while battling current champions (German group "Das Sound Machine) who have won the championship for the last few years. The Bellas decide to make this competition their sole focus, unknown to them Beca has taken an internship with a music label to pursue her dream to become a music producer. Can the Bellas win the World's Championship and get re-instated especially with the mounting pressure of life after college with graduation looming?

I did like the film, if you liked the first one, chances are you will enjoy this one as well. It does start a little slow in my opinion, it almost felt like they took little parts of the first one that were so funny and made the same joke. But longer and not as funny the second time around. I think the scene that really picked up the film was the "Riff-Off" at the millionaire's house. That was one of my favorite scenes of the original, if you haven't seen it, it's basically a singing showdown with themes for each round. If you have seen the trailer, you know some of the Green Bay Packers are in this particular scene (yes, Clay Matthews sings "Bootylicious") and this seemed to be a big hit among the audience. The  Bellas also are able to accept a new member based on legacy status, Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) who is similar to Beca in the original. I got the feeling if they do make a third film none of the original characters will be in it and this movie was transitioning the series over to Emily. Her character was ok but I'm not sure I would watch a whole film with this character as the main lead. Hailee Steinfeld is an excellent actress (check out 2011's True Grit) but the character she plays is quirky and awkward seems better suited in small doses. One complaint from fans was there wasn't a lot of interactions between Beca and Jesse (Skylar Astin) which was such a big part of the first film. I think people were invested in the storyline and were disappointed at their lack of screen time together. However, I'm not sure they could have done too much more without having the cliché storyline of them breaking up or one of them becoming interested in someone new, etc. So I was actually happy with they way they handled that portion of the movie. Some people though there was too much Fat Amy and while she doesn't have all the one liners like the first (mermaid dancing, horizontal running, don't put me down for cardio) I think Rebel Wilson is very funny and enjoyed her on screen relationship with the wonderful Adam DeVine aka Bumper.

Overall, definitely check this one out in theaters! It's perfect for a girls night and guys will find it funny as well so a good date pick. I LOVE the album and have had it on repeat the last few days so the songs will definitely get you singing or at least humming along. Watch the trailer and if you want to get even more excited for the film before you see it (if you haven't already) look at Anna Kendrick performing her own riff-off on The Late Late Show with James Corden

Pitch Perfect 2

Directed by: Elizabeth Banks

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Skylar Astin, Adam DeVine and Elizabeth Banks

Have you seen the film? Thoughts? What is your favorite sequel of ALL time? Post below!


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