Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)
Directed By: Elizabeth Banks
Based on the Non-fiction Book By: Mickey Rapkin, entitled Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory
On Wednesday, I saw Pitch Perfect 2 with a couple of my friends. If I have to pick which movie is better, I’d pick the first movie rather than the new one.
After a disastrous performance in front of the president and being suspended from every national a capella competition, the Bellas are on the road to redemption. They decide to compete in the world competition of a capella, and must face against the world champions, the German group, Das Sound Machine (DSM).
The main reason why I liked the first movie rather than the sequel is that the first movie had a stronger storyline. The plot for Pitch Perfect 2 is all over the place. Even though the main issue, the competition between the Bellas and Das Sound Machine, is shown throughout the movie, there are subplots that only touch the surface rather than going in-depth. For instance, Beca receives an opportunity to intern at a music company. We only see a couple of scenes where Beca struggles with her internship and the real world after college, but it would have been better if her issues were explored more in-depth. In one scene, Beca cries because of self-doubt about whether she is good enough to be a music producer. However, this issue is quickly resolved with the help and support of her fellow Bellas. One of the things that I liked about this movie is how they clearly dive into the troubles of post-grad life. Each girl has uncertainties about what to do with the rest of their lives, which is what most real-life graduates do.
In addition, there are various romance subplots in this movie. The main romance in the first movie is between Beca Mitchell and Jesse Swanson. Jesse had a bigger role in the first movie as oppose to the second movie. In the second movie, he becomes a minor static role. His purpose in the sequel is to indicate to the audience that they are still together, and to support Beca’s goals and decisions. I think their relationship should have been explored more. Some suggestions could be that Beca’s new internship not only affected her Bellas’ activities, but also impacted her relationship with Jesse. While in Pitch Perfect 2, two new romances developed between Fat Amy and Bumper as well as Emily Junk and Benji. It was cute that the supporting characters have romantic interests, and it also allowed the audience to see a different, more vulnerable side of the characters besides their comedic personas.
Although the story line is a bit lacking, I think the soundtrack outdid the first movie. The mash-ups of contemporary hits and old-school classics were phenomenal and well-executed. (I started mouthing the words of some of the songs in the theater.)
As for the comedy, there were more vulgar and offensive jokes, but I still found it all hilarious. I was also impressed by the amount of cameos this film had, ranging from the Green Bay Packers to the judges of The Voice.
Pitch Perfect 2 is a hilarious musical comedy, but I wouldn’t watch it in theaters. It felt like a movie you would watch at home when the DVD comes out.