Musical sequel Pitch Perfect 2 disappoints audiences



"Pitch Perfect 2" reunites the Barden Bellas (Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow) and picks up a new addition (Hailee Steinfeld). (Photo courtesy Universal Pictures/TNS)

Jessica Sieling, Managing Editor

As an avid fan of anything musical re- lated, you could say that I was really excited when Pitch Perfect was released in theatres back in 2012. I loved the movie, the charac- ters, the a cappella singing and of course the alternative goddess that is Anna Kendrick.

When the second movie was an- nounced, I had high hopes. I knew that there was no way it could beat the first movie, but I thought that I would at least love it almost as much. And although the singing was wonderful, the cameos hilarious and the characters loveable as always, Pitch Perfect 2 definitely had some issues that left me disappointed in the movie as a whole.

The sequel premiered May 15, and like the crazy person that I am, I went to the midnight premiere to see it. The movie, directed by Elizabeth Banks and writ- ten by Kay Cannon, picks up three years after the first film ends. The Barden Bel- las, the all-girls a cappella group from the first movie, are on their USA tour after winning the National A Cappella Cham- pionships for the third year in a row.

The leads from the first film, including Beca (Anna Kendrick), Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) and Chloe (Brittany Snow) are all seniors in college. Other returning Bella members include Cynthia-Rose (Ester Dean), Stacie (Alexis Knapp), Lilly (Hana Mae Lee), Jessica (Kelley Jakle) and Ashley (Shelley Regner), along with a new addition to the group, Flo, played by Chrissie Fit.

The movie starts off funny and light with the Bella’s embarrassing perfor- mance at the historical Lincoln Center, causing the team to be suspended from competing and continuing their tour. After that, however, the movie veered off into three separate storylines: (1) With the Bellas fighting to win their title back in the World Championships against the skilled German team, Das Sound Machine, (2) Where Barden Bella leader Beca strug- gles to prove herself as an intern at a re- cording studio without betraying her fellow teammates and (3) Where the Bellas lose their “sound” and need to find themselves again in order to strengthen their squad.

The film also brought back some of the first film favorites, in- cluding Skylar Astin playing Beca’s talented boyfriend Jesse, the magical and sweet Benji (Ben Platt) and the hilarious duo commentators, John and Gail (John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks). The sequel only introduced one new main character, Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) as a Legacy Bella, joining the Bellas as a new recruit. The movie also included some gags from the first film, with the Fat Amy and Bumper’s (Adam DeVine) confusing love/ hate relationship that develops in the sequel. The cameos in the film were great, with rap artist Snoop Dogg singing a delicate version of the Christmas carol Winter Won- derland and comedian Keegan-Michael

Keyplay Beca ’ s smart but hard-to-please boss at the record- ing studio. Other cameos including the riff-off host played by David Cross, real life a cappella group Pentatonix and a singing version of the Green Bay Packers including linebacker Clay Matthews.

Overall, the movie was funny and entertaining. But most of the time I felt like I was watching several different movies that were trying to blend together to be one. There was just so much happening, so many char- acters and so many plot points that the mov- ie was hard to follow. Half the time, I for- got what the main storyline was even about because there was so much packed into it.

But even with all of the stuff the mov- ie offered, I also felt like I missed out on major character developments. One of my favorite parts about the first movie was the Beca/Jesse relationship. But the movie had so many things happen- ing, there was not much time to expand those characters or even give them much screen time. As a huge Skylar Astin fan, I was disappointed that his character was not in the movie as much as the first one. The songs performed in the se- quel were also less exciting. One of my favorite parts of the first film was the riff-off scene where the teams show off their talent, and although the second movie has a riff-off, the songs were less catchy and it was less entertaining. The ending performance also lacked some of the power that the first movie had, and even with Beyoncé’s Run the World (Girls) in the mix, I was left feeling dis- appointed with the movie’s last song. The slower, acoustic version of the popular song Cups, made fa- mous from the first movie, did howev- er live up to my expectations, and was one of my favorite parts of the movie. All in all, the movie was a typi- cal sequel. It had funny parts, and it had its letdowns. I think that the movie could have been written better, but over- all it gave a nice message about team- work and friendship, and it reminded the world how cool a cappella music is.