Pitch Perfect 2
Reviewed by Mitch Burns
Directed by: Elizabeth Banks
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Adam DeVine, Skylar Astin, Anna Camp, Benn Platt, Ester Dean, Hana Mae Lee, Birgitte Hjort-Sørensen, David Cross, Elizabeth Banks, John Michael Higgens, and Katey Sagal.
Sometimes reliability is a comfort we can all use, and when you sit down to watch the Barden Bella’s newest outing in Pitch Perfect 2, you can rely on them to entertain you for 115 minutes. Other constants you can rely on? Priceless humor, good music and uplifting moments.
In that sense, Pitch Perfect 2 delivers. We’re back with the Barden Bella’s 4 years after the events of the first Pitch Perfect film. The whole gang is still singing and dancing, Beca (Anna Kendrick), Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), Chloe (Brittany Snow), and the rest of the gang. After a performance involving Fat Amy hanging in the air at Barack Obama’s Birthday event goes terribly wrong, the Bella’s are disqualified and banned from performing as an A Capella group.
The group makes one request, if they can win the world A Capella tournament, they would be reinstated. The deal is made, and now the whole group, joined by newcomer Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), must fight to regain their former glory.
It sounds fairly traditional, and let’s face it, it is! You won’t find anything new in Pitch Perfect 2 (Sorry for that rhyme), but you won’t leave disappointed, in fact, you might want to re-watch it immediately. Is it better than the first? Nope, but just as entertaining! Do they sing “Cups” Again? Yes, but it’s earned! The jokes are fresh and funny (if not shockingly racist at times). The music, well it’s fresh and (excuse the old man lingo) it’s a toe tapping good time, if not altogether sing-along worthy!
The story, well it’s sweet, emotional, sappy, uplifting, and … well… nothing extraordinary, but thanks to the characters, and the actors portraying them, you’re wholly engrossed and excited to see the outcome, even if it’s obvious.
I have to say, I’m impressed by the acting. The actors give it their all, they bring to their roles what we want from them and sometimes more! Rebel Wilson, who many have stated as being a bit much as of late, is toned down slightly but still brings the humor. In the few sight gags given to “Fat Amy”, they are actually quite funny, it just works.
Anna Kendrick, who is terrific, and wonderful, and amazing, (and I wonder if she wants my number…) plays the straight woman, the central character to the whole story, but is given chances to shine musically and comically. I specifically enjoyed the confidence given to Kendrick’s character in this film, it allowed her to play a very honest and real woman. Brittany Snow, who is very underrated as an actor, may very well be one of the best at playing an uptight woman who doesn’t really go over the top… ever. I have to be honest, I was actually impressed by Snow’s acting, that’s right, impressed by someone’s acting in Pitch Perfect 2! Hailee Steinfeld, well she’s adorable and is going to have a wonderful career in Hollywood. Some fun, small supporting roles such as Birgitte Hjort-Sørensen, who plays a German opponent is absolutely beautiful, and I’d like to see her in more. Hana Mae Lee provides some more funny humor like that in the first film, as well as Ester Dean.
I’m going to take a quick jump back to the racism for a moment; a few of the racist jokes from the A Cappella show commentators, John (John Michael Higgens) and Gail (Elizabeth Banks), are actually shockingly funny and have the impact they are meant to have, for example “No one cares about the Koreans” is actually a funny, throwaway line. The racism I’m speaking of is surrounding one of the new Barden Bella’s, Florencia “Flo” Fuentes (Chrissie Fit), a Guatemalan senior who spouts “jokes”, which are really just a foreign person’s stereotypes which hold no humor whatsoever. I was blown away by these moments making it into a popular culture film, and worry about the impact they may have on some.
The film may have some risqué jokes, some riddled with sexist undertones, but Pitch Perfect actually exceeds in having a positive image for women. Here we have 10 women working together, on film, and it succeeds in avoiding stereotypes and portraying positive friendships between these women. Avoiding the typical backstabbing, cattiness, and other false traits we’ve come to expect from women in film. Here we have real, unique, interesting, and funny women, and it earns an extra grade point in my book, just for that.
Thanks for Reading!
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