“Pitch Perfect 2” is a letdown after the original set the bar so high with its comedy, unique plot, and a cappella perfection. The only way to follow up an iconic film is by reinventing its concept in a familiar way, but this attempt felt uninspired. As the film opens with Fat Amy swinging from the ceiling while singing Wrecking Ball, it becomes clear that the writers didn’t know how to continue the story of the Bellas. I understand that this sets up the main theme of the Bella’s needing to find their sound, but instead it feels like the entire franchise has lost its direction. Also, this unnecessarily crude scene makes me uncomfortable recommending this film to anyone, especially teenagers. That being said, the treatment of a cappella in the film is breathtaking. From the moment that Das Sound Machine begin singing Uprising by Muse, I knew that the music of this film would surpass the music of the original. I could listen to them all day. The mash-ups are clever as they blend the classics with modern pop music, and Flashlight is destined to become a bigger hit than the cup song. The music definitely makes the film worth watching once you’ve accepted that the plot isn’t going anywhere. I appreciated the cameo by Pentatonix but I think that they were underutilized and deserved more screentime. They are leading the a cappella revolution in the real world and it would’ve been nice to see them at least get their own song or be worked into the plot a little more. So much of this film is based on cheap laughs instead of clever comedy. Sometimes, it feels like they’re telling the same joke over and over again while the wit of the first film is missing. Anna Kendrick continues to get better with every role that she takes and it was nice to see the majority of the cast return. There was way too much focus on Fat Amy’s love story but it’s a pretty clear case of “Give the people what they want.” I like the addition of Chrissie Fit’s character, though I feel like she took away from the potential to make Hana Mae Lee as funny as in the original. I can nitpick “Pitch Perfect 2” all day but there is really just one thing that you need to know: the music is so good that its worth enduring this disheveled plot to hear these awesome a cappella covers.
[Pictured: The music is even better than ever, even if the plot falls apart]