We saw Pitch Perfect 2 and sadly it suffered from sequelitis.
That’s when the sequel to a movie just isn’t as good as the original and probably wouldn’t have been made if it didn’t already have an established fanbase.
It’s still a decent movie and if you enjoyed the first movie you’ll most likely enjoy the second, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who hasn’t seen the first Pitch Perfect.
So what was weaker in this movie than the first? Gosh… Where to start?
The two announcer characters got a lot more racy and offensive. They were already a little bad in the first movie, but it was cringeworthy in the second.
I listened to a few interviews of the production staff as well and apparently most of the announcer scenes were adlibbed. I don’t know if that makes the racy parts better or worse, but they’re there.
The romantic plot between Beca and Jesse is essentially absent in the second movie. Their relationship is stable and off-camera. Their romantic sub-plot is replaced with Fat Amy and Benji’s two love interests. While those sub-plots are interesting they don’t really compare to the entertainment provided by Jesse cracking open Beca’s shell in the first movie.
The other thing that’s absent is Beca’s dad. I really liked his role in the first movie.
It makes some sense to phase out parental figures as the characters get older. And the whole sub-plot of Beca getting over her parents’ divorce is absent in Pitch Perfect 2 means that her dad doesn’t have much to do. I still missed his presence though. He’s somewhat replaced by the mother of a new freshman member of the Bellas, but the new relationship isn’t nearly as interesting as the old.
The villains in the second movie, Das Sound Machine, aren’t nearly as likeable as the Treblemakers.
Now why would you want to like your villains? Well I just wrote about that in a previous post. Go read that one and come back if you need an answer to this question.
Das Sound Machine are portrayed as just evil which makes them a little boring.
The movie also portrays them as hyper competent. While that’s definitely true, their performances are still a little boring. Their first performance is Uprising by Muse, one of my favorite songs. They do a great job, probably as good as they could do, but the song just sounds awful in acapella. I could barely understand the lyrics over the background music imitations.
The musical performances do really suffer compared to the original movie.
There are good reasons for this. The Bellas as a whole suffer some sort of identity crisis that comes out in their performances not being as good, but that also means that the first half of the movie has unsatisfying performances by the Bellas.
The first movie had this as well, but it covered it with humor. Aubrey throwing up pulls you into the hilarity of the movie right away. Aubrey’s tongue lashing after the poor performance at the fraternity party is great character development for her.
How does the Bellas excess use of props enhance the other plots in the movie?
I felt the songs picked for numbers were in general worse than the original as well. I didn’t know as many this time around and that hampered my enjoyment.
And there’s just a few other things that the second movie just missed. Lily’s little whispers aren’t as terrifying as the first movie. Beca’s odd sexual attraction to Das Sound Machine’s leader isn’t explored further by having Jesse find out. The inclusion of the new freshman in the Bellas felt like an excuse to have an original song in the moive so they could sell something with fewer royalties attached. If the international competition is for college groups, why are people out of college allowed to compete?
Just tons of small stuff like that.
Like I said, its not a good movie for people who haven’t seen the original. For those who enjoyed the original, there’s still plenty of stuff like it in the new movie. The songs are still catchy and Fat Amy is still hilarious.