I had the pleasure of watching Pitch Perfect 2 last week, the sequel to the awesome smash hit original film from 2012. While this sequel succeeds on many fronts, it stumbles in others making it good movie but not a great one.
We pick up with the Barden Bellas during their senior year. With graduation on the horizon and winning streak behind them (and an unfortunate embarrassment that endangers the Bellas forever), they head to a worldwide a cappella competition to save the group for the future and try to be the first American group to win the global title.
The newest major addition to the cast is Hailee Steinfeld as a new student, Emily, to Barden and a legacy Bella. She melds in well with the established ladies of the group, and provides a future for the franchise if they so choose (they probably will). All the favorite cast members from the original pop up in one way or another. Beca (Anna Kendrick) is the lead of the Bellas now and still gets a majority of the screen time alongside Rebel Wilson's Fat Amy. Another new addition to the Bellas that is one of the low points of the film is Flo (Chrissie Fit) who is a Guatemalan student. Her one-liner jokes fell completely flat for me and even bordered on racist stereotypes. The bits were stupid, low hanging fruit that felt a bit below the rest of the film. I appreciate their attempt to add more diversity to the cast but she added nothing to the story and the rest of the movie would have been better without her unfortunately.
The music is on point, as always. We have all new songs from the Bellas, the Treblemakers, the new foe of the film: Das Sound Machine, as well as others which show up during a fun new a cappella battle and the worldwide competition. While I'm honestly not as huge into the music aspect of it all, it's definitely of a high caliber again in this sequel.
I really appreciated the story beats they hit toward the end of the film especially. With all of the core cast graduating and moving on to their new lives, Steinfeld's Emily finding herself at college, and understanding the value and beauty of a sisterhood like the Barden Bellas, it was an awesome way to capitalize on the deeper meaning that can made from an already simply fun movie. These films have been original, fun, fresh, and great female led movies for a generation of young women that I'm proud exist.
I definitely recommend seeing Pitch Perfect 2 if you can. If not, it will be definitely worth a rental to check out down the line. It's a good time at the movies and it's very worthwhile to support movies like this versus something like Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. That's just my opinion.
Check out my other summer movie review for Avengers: Age of Ultron!