The first Pitch Perfect really surprised me. I didn’t expect much but it blew me away with some astounding music, really funny actresses, and a compelling story. I think it’s because my expectations were so low, that it was easy to surpass them. So now that we’re expecting a lot, can Pitch Perfect 2 manage to still impress us?
Most of the original cast returns here, most notably Beca (Anna Kendrick), “Fat” Amy (Rebel Wilson), and Chloe (Brittany Snow). They’ve been national champions for three years now but an accident during a live performance leads to them being kicked out of their conference competition, but since they’re national champions, they’re still entitled to competing in the world championship in Copenhagen, so they begin prepping to take out the world’s best.
Standing in their way is the impeccable Das Sound Machine from Germany. To help combat this team, the Bellas pick up a new girl (Hailee Steinfeld) who is a “legacy,” meaning her mom (Katy Sagal) was a Bella as well. The Treblemakers are still around but it is their former member Bumper (Adam DeVine) who gets the most screentime here as he vies for “Fat” Amy’s affection in a surprising romantic subplot.
There’s two things I wanted from this movie. I wanted good music and I wanted to laugh.
The music may even be better than the first outing. There’s for sure more of it. They have more fun with the mashups firstly, mixing some really interesting stuff together. While the Treblemakers only have a few songs, the German group Das Sound Machine picks up the slack and their performance at the world championships gave me goosebumps. The Bellas also deliver some incredible performances but this new dynamic with the DSM just gave this movie a jolt of new energy it needed.
And did I laugh? Yes. Absolutely. Again, maybe even moreso than the first. And it didn’t go to the same jokes it already made but found new ways to get us to laugh. One highlight was when the actual Green Bay Packers compete in a riff-off against the heavyweights. Just some really funny moments here.
As a bonus though, there was actually a romance story here that hit me a little harder than the romance in the first Pitch Perfect. It comes out of nowhere but it was great and really hit home at the end.
What didn’t work?
This movie was so jam-packed with laughs that it was only a matter of time until some of those jokes failed to hit. Unfortunately newcomer Hailee Steinfeld delivered most of these cringeworthy moments, though the movie seemed to recognize this and usually had another character respond. Still. It seems like they’re prepping her to take over the franchise but I don’t know if this movie put her in that solid of a place for that to happen.
And while I loved the music, the big climax didn’t have the same payoff that the finals of the first movie had (both the “Don’t You (Forget About Me”) and “Magic” moments). This final performance lacked that punch.
For me, Pitch Perfect 2 nailed it. Catchy music that I found myself actually singing along to and nonstop laughs. It’s hard to capture all the right pieces from the first film but this movie actually makes some improvements that made this feel like a whole different experience. I wasn’t disappointed at all and I don’t think you will be either.