Film Review: ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ Starring Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow
It’s hard to capture the spirit of the original in a sequel, and admittedly, Pitch Perfect 2 makes a full-fledged attempt. Much of the original cast is back, including Hana Mae Lee, Ester Dean, Skylar Astin, Adam DeVine, and John Michael Higgins as John Smith, the misogynistic, xenophobic broadcaster who calls the competitions alongside Banks’s character, Gail. And to the film’s credit, they effectively spread camera time around, giving each character some opportunity to make an impact. Lee in particular makes the most of her opportunities as the meek yet rather unsettling Lilly.
The musical compositions, the real star of the films, are spot on this time around as well. It’s fascinating to see how creative the human voice can be in emulating sound effects, musical instruments, and percussion. I have to admit I was pretty impressed by the efforts they had in singing some of the 90’s hip-hop I grew up listening to. Equally impressive to me was Keegan-Michael Key, who is phenomenal as Beca’s boss at her internship. He’s witty, hilarious, and instrumental in Beca’s development as she works towards her ultimate goal to becoming a producer.
Having said that…I can’t help but be disappointed. The resolution to the dilemma both Beca and the group face become painfully obvious about 30 minutes into the film, to the point that when they reach the dramatic conclusion, I was ready for it to be done with. It’s not that I’m expecting plot twists and turns from a musical comedy, but I didn’t like the fact that the writers made it painfully obvious how everything would play out. Equally disappointing was the ending itself, which was way too abrupt. This was the biggest letdown for my movie-going companion, Jennifer, who felt that the film failed to provide a satisfactory resolution for many of the cast members.
Perhaps it’s these two in combination, but I just didn’t feel like the film was as fun as the first one. It almost felt like they tried too hard to make it like the original, and as a result, the audience is stuck with an enjoyable but less-than-satisfactory conclusion.
All in all, though, this film isn’t setting out to win an Oscar for best film. Its main purpose is to entertain and show how brilliant well-executed a capella can be, and to this extent, it succeeds. The film is fast-paced and at time absolutely hilarious. It’s a solid summer entertainment film, and if you liked the first film, you can’t go wrong with Pitch Perfect 2.
Pitch Perfect 2 gets a C+.