Pitch Perfect 2
Director: Elizabeth Banks
Writer: Kay Cannon
Sequel to: Pitch Perfect
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Rebel Wilson, Skylar Astin, Ben Platt, Adam DeVine, Alexis Knapp, Ester Dean, Hana Mae Lee, Chrissie Fit, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Flula Borg, Anna Camp, Elizabeth Banks, John Michael Higgins, John Hodgman, Snoop Dogg, David Cross, Keegan-Michael Key
Seen on: 31.5.2015
The Barden Bellas have been quite successful for the past few years, when a new catastrophe hits: their by now huge show falls completely apart, right when they are performing for the President. Banned from college competitions afterwards, their only chance of making up for the massive blunder is by winning the World Championship of Acappella. But that won’t be easy: the championship takes place in Europe, where everybody hates the USA, Beca (Anna Kendrick) got an internship at a music studio which takes up a lot of her time and the formerly strong friendship between the women is crumbling.
Pitch Perfect 2 was completely disappointing. I really enjoyed the first film (even with a couple of hesitations) and I even re-watched it before seeing this one, but unfortunately PP2 enhanced all the worst parts of PP and didn’t improve anything else.
The first thing that irritated me was that they found it necessary in introducing several new characters into the group – some of which are already established Bellas at the beginning of the film. We barely got to know most of the original Bellas, now we got even more of them. And instead of working with that group, they even found it necessary to add a completely new member to the group in Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) and then spend an inordinate amount of time on her and make her the plot point. Why not give Cynthia Rose (Ester Dean) or Flo (Chrissie Fit) mad original song writing skills? Why not make it a plot twist that Lilly (Hana Mae Lee) is only so silent when she has to sing other people’s materials, but when she sings her own songs, suddenly everything is superloud? The lampshade hanging regarding Jessica (Kelley Jakle) and Ashley (Shelley Regner) and how nobody can tell them apart really doesn’t work because we still can’t tell them apart by the end of the film.
It also doesn’t help that we get one more white girl the story focuses on instead of more attention to the women of color in the film. The first film alredy wasn’t really good with ethnic representation and racism, but in PP2 the racism is dialed up to 11. Everything Flo says is absolutely racist, for example. And there are quite a few more jokes like that thrown around the entire film.
I’m not one for “offensive” humor, I don’t think “completely politically incorrect” is a badge of honor. PP managed to balance the offensiveness and the good stuff, PP2 jumped the shark. Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), a great if questionable supporting character, gets promoted to protagonist, and the sexist commentator John (John Michael Higgins) gets even more misogynistic. Granted, that last part is supposed to be subversive but co-commentator Gail (Elizabeth Banks) is just never outspoken enough in her objections. [Especially considering that they’re on a radio show and in-universe nobody would realize that she’s objecting at all.]
The best thing I can say about the film that Anna Camp is still in it (since she wasn’t in the Bellas anymore, I feared for a while that she wasn’t in it at all, which would have been a tragedy). The second best thing was that I brought alcohol to the cinema, which I hadn’t planned but C. asked me to and it was one of the best decisions of my life.