Pitch Perfect (2015) Review: Could’ve been Aca-Better
By Okema Gunn
Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) is a musical comedy released by Universal Pictures. The original film, Pitch Perfect was loosely based on Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate Acapella Glory by Mickey Rapkin. The sequel begins where the Barden Bellas (an all-female a capella group) perform at a national competition at the Kennedy Center, Washington D.C, in front of an audience, the President, and the Obama family. The girls gyrate and sing to Ke$ha’s “Timber”, while Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) comes out singin’ and swingin’ on “Wreckingball”. Fat Amy tears her costume in the crotch, while suspended in mid-air, and exposes her vagina to the world and the first family. This scandal embarrasses Barden University, the Bellas, and the federation. This debacle becomes known as “Muffgate”, which goes viral through all media outlets. The Bellas are banned from singing on the national competition level. They somehow are able to finagle their way to an agreement of re-instatement, which could bring recognition and finally redemption through “The international Competition”. However, no American team has ever won a “World Title”.
The ending is predictable, but demonstrates a positive, bonding experience for the characters in the finale with Beyonce’s song “Run the World (Girls)”. This film focuses on Beca Mitchell (Anna Kendrick) finding her way in the world, transitioning into producing music for the first time; Fat Amy and her new relationship; and new-comer, Hailee Steinfeld (Emily Junk, Bella legacy), who develops as an aspiring songwriter.
I think sometimes writers think more is better. More is just more. There was an attempt for the characters to “find their sound” by bonding at a retreat. I wanted to be more involved in the characters’ lives. I don’t know how this could’ve been achieved, but “PP2” was lacking in this area.
The first film, Pitch Perfect, made slight comedic references to being overweight, immigration, and lesbianism. In the sequel, these issues were exaggerated to the nth degree. Again, anytime there is a sequel, there is bound to be an overabundance of clichés. Satire can be a tricky device to embellish upon.
This was definitely a “chick flick” and I believe audiences were expecting more of a dose of Pitch Perfect. What came out of this, was more stereotypical language. I think the writer, Kay Cannon, was trying to go for more girl power fantastic again. It’s difficult to do anything good twice. However, I did find the film entertaining with its 90’s Battle Royale and special appearance by Green Bay Packers. Still, it was lacking in development. This was Elisabeth Bank’s first time directing. She is an actress, producer, the director for Pitch Perfect 2. Pitch Perfect 2 opened to a $70.3 million dollar weekend beating out Mad Max (opening week) and Age of Ultron (third week). My rating for this film is 2 ½ stars out of 5.
**Just a reminder, popular does not always mean great. It just means a lot of people spent a ton of cash to see this film.