Where the hell have you been Barry? The Filmnomore Movie Blog finally gets around to watching the Barden Bellas
One of the driving forces behind the Pitch Perfect franchise, Elizabeth Banks, takes on the directorial mantle as the motley crew (minus the drugs habit) that makes up the Barden Bellas A capella group. Anna Kendrick as Beca is the de factor leader who returns for her final year at college determined to land another national title. Things turn a little sour when a performance in front of President Obama doesn’t go to plan as Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) tests her outfit to destruction. The Bellas are forbidden from competing on a collegiate level but as luck would have it there are no rules to prevent them from competing at the World A Capella Championships in Denmark. Well that was lucky, wouldn’t have been much of a film otherwise.
What follows is as predictable as me trying to choose between cheesecake and a salad. The film loosely explores the fears and uncertainties of young ladies on the verge of becoming adults and having to make decisions about their futures. This element of the story is centered around Beca who is interning with a music producer while not telling the rest of the group she isn’t fully focused on the World Championships. How dare she do such a thing? Cue some fake tension that gets tidied up neatly. Let’s face it though you’re watching this film for the music and the laughs not a deep social commentary. I think the film gets it right more times than it gets it wrong. I enjoyed the opening scenes when the performance goes wrong and there is a very funny scene with Fat Amy in a boat in the latter half of the film which had everybody in my screening laughing. There some strong musical numbers to keep you entertained especially those featuring Das Sound Machine who are very slick and powerful.
Pitch Perfect 2 is far from perfect. While Rebel Wilson features in two of the funniest moments in the movie she is largely a complete pain in the bottom. She’s just like her brief role in Night of the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014) but cranked up to 11. Enough already – I don’t need to see you ever again. There is a similar problem with the Chinese and Mexican(?) incidental characters who sole job is to say odd things which led me to wince every time I realised they were going to speak. Did I mention this film was predictable? I’d only seen one trailer and I knew every story beat from start to finish.
What this film lacks in originality it just about makes up for with energy and enthusiasm. It is funny enough although Rebel Wilson (and the other two) try really hard to derail the movie at times. Not sure what they’re going to do with Pitch Perfect 3 but hopefully they’ll take the opportunity to refresh the cast and add a little more sophistication. My rating 3/5.