Monday, May 18, 2015

Review: Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

                                      A Near-'Perfect' Sequel
        So, after having seen this film and observed the box office numbers so far, now I can see this why this amazing film was at such a neck-in-neck race with Mad Max. Even if I miss watching the first one, I still found this sequel to be a blast.

      Pitch Perfect 2 continues the story of the Barden University Bellas led by Beca (Anna Kendrick). After they are suspended from competing in the national competition after an incident that occurred during a performance for the President, they are forced to rebuild their reputation by entering an international competition which proves to be difficult as no American team has ever won.

     One thing that I really liked, much like the first one, was the chemostry between the main actresses. Not only do they work so well off of each other, but this time around, it isn't just Beca who is the focal point as we see the point of view of some of the other Bellas like Chloe, played by Brittany Snow, who is struggling to let go of the Bellas and move onto the real world. There is also the newest initiate, Emily, played by Hailee Steinfeld, who is excitedly anxious to join the group, yet still tries to fit in. We also get a glimpse into Fat Amy's narrative and the sexual tension between her and Bumper. All of the actors, both from the first and the new editions, all bring in their A-game and I especially loved how the original actors looked like they were still having fun in their respective parts.

     Since this is about a group of character, director Elizabeth Banks makes sure the film isn't a showcase for the main actor or actors. Speaking of which, Banks directs the film with such flare with such techniques as slo-mo sequences and a big solo number towards the end. Even though, like with the first, the sequel is pretty grounded in reality, Banks still gives it a bit of spice to make it more distinctive.

    I also loved how even though there are some plot devices used in the original, they are given a new spin and told differently. For example, both films deal with finding an original and creative voice. This is something Beca struggles to do as she tries to share her musical mash-ups with her record producer boss, who tells her to create original material. That, to me, exhibits some possible facts about the music industry so we get to see a different angle other than the world of a capella. Plus, as the Bellas try to rebuild their status, they try to measure up to a German a capella group that stole their world tour they got pulled out of after their suspension by replicating their routine.

    It is interesting because, and this isn't exactly a down, but I thought the climax was enlightening yet shortly after I saw it, I felt it still had a minor copout. Despite that, I did enjoy the ending and it didn't ruin the experience of watching the film as a whole.

   Overall, Pitch Perfect 2 is a worthy follow-up to its predecessor with wonderful and enriching performances from the cast and well-crafted direction from first-time director Elizabeth Banks. Simply, it is aca-awesome!

    Would I Recommend It?:
    Absolutely. Even if you hate musical films, I would give this one a watch. You might be surprised. Although I would suggest seeing the first one beforehand in case you get lost.

Grade: A-