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Pitch Perfect 2 - Cinemaholic Movie Reviews
one person's obsessive addiction to film
Pitch Perfect 2
Directing: B
Acting: B+
Writing: B-
Cinematography: B
Editing: B
Music: B

Here's the long and short of it: If you're a fan of Pitch Perfect (2012), you'll enjoy Pitch Perfect 2. Blah blah blah, you really don't even need to read the rest of this review, but I'm going to write it anyway.

This movie offers more of the same, which, depending on your attitude going in, is either proof of it being a waste of time or proof of its worthiness. And let's get real: Pitch Perfect was uber-contrived and unoriginal but featured infectious music and charming performers. In spite of some attempts at innovations like a Christmas song duet between Anna Kendrick (really), the music this time isn't quite as good -- but it's close.

The story beats of Pitch Perfect 2 match those of its predecessor almost completely, just with supposedly higher stakes. The film opens with the college female acapella group Barden Bellas embarrassing themselves, then spending the movie overcoming interpersonal conflicts as they work to redeem themselves in the public eye. Sound familiar? Elizabeth Banks, who played one of the announcers in the first film and reprises the role, actually directed this film, with a relatively assured hand. Some of the cameos are a little odd. Keep your eye out for a few of the Green Bay Packers.

We get a few new characters. Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) is a "legacy" Bella because her mother (Katey Sagal) was one in her own college days, but her audition is unusually informal because the Barden Bellas are banned from performing after the aforementioned embarrassment -- unless, if you can believe it (of course not but this is a movie), they manage to win the acapella world championships. Out of left field, a one-joke supporting character is added who constantly talks about her third world struggles in Latin America as compared to the first-world problems of these young college women singers.

So yeah, it's super hokey. But clinging to its tried and true formula is what makes Pitch Perfect 2 work. The plot, such as it is, is incidental. People uninterested in the first movie that created an alternate universe in which acapella singers are actually rock stars already know it's best avoided. But established fans will find comfort in spending another couple of hours hanging out with these talented and funny singer friends.

Even better, hokey or not, the world could do with more movies like Pitch Perfect, which, at its core, is for the girls -- in all the best ways. In what other movie is a woman named Fat Amy by far the most confident character on screen? (Rebel Wilson continues to still nearly every scene she's in.) Or all the male parts are secondary? Pitch Perfect is the rare movie largely aimed at younger audiences which flips typical Hollywood gender representation on its head. If more of the same is that, then, yes -- lots more, please!

True, these movies are hardly perfect. Someone should have a talk with the costume designer, who dressed rival German acapella group Das Sound Machine in outfits that look like leather chaps converted into split kilts. Try not to pay to much attention to thouse outfits, because you'll wonder how any of them hung out on set with any self respect. On the other hand, at least this time someone actually calls out Beca (Kenrick) and her obsession with mashups, which she presented three years ago as though they were revolionary. Now she has Emily with whom to collaborate on something original, whew!

What it all comes down to is Pitch Perfect 2 is cinematic comfort food. We've been here before, we liked it, we'll have another helping. Pass the corn.

The girl gang is back for more of the same -- which was just what we wanted -- in PITCH PERFECT 2.</a>

Overall: B
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