Ok. I’m just going to come out and say it: Pitch Perfect 2 totally “crushed it.” This sassy sisterhood of outcasts shines again, easily outdoing their predecessor, and I enjoyed every minute of it. There were parts that made me laugh and more than one scene hit home for me on the post-grad scale of “What comes next?”
The movie begins four years after the events of the first film with an even greater humiliation than Aubrey’s vomit incident. As the trailer showed, Fat Amy’s spandex outfit splits in the middle of a performance for the President and the First Lady. The “Muffgate” scandal then gets the Bellas officially reprimanded by the governing body of competitive a capella and stripped of their victory tour. For the last three years they’ve been undefeated national champions, but unless they win at the international a cappella “Worlds” competition, the Bellas are now officially done as a team.
A few new faces have joined the Bellas over the years, including Flo (Chrissie Fit), a Central American transfer student who keeps dropping reference to her horrifically impoverished childhood, and legacy member Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) whose mom was a legendary Bella from the 1980s. But aside from Aubrey, who actually managed to graduate on time (unlike Chloe), the rest of the gang is still all there and as tight as ever.
But what about the Trebles, you ask? Well, with three national championships under their belt and a few varsity jackets exchanged, the Treblemakers are now soundly defeated and openly dating Bella girls; the two groups’ legendary rivalry is well and truly buried. Instead, the Bella’s fiercest competition comes from German supergroup Das Sound Machine who replaced them on their victory tour and has dominated Worlds several years running. In a series of official and off the books throw downs (including a next level Riff-Off), the Bellas start to lose their sound in their efforts to outperform the “deutschbags.”
Needless to say, there’s a lot going on in this film. However, unlike its predecessor, Pitch Perfect 2 is definitely more of an ensemble film than a Becca-centric sequel. Some characters are given more attention than others, but overall the focus is on the group as a whole and their struggles as a team in the face of graduation and the Worlds competition. Who will they be when they’re no longer competing as the Bellas? Will they still be friends? Will they still have one another to rely on? These questions from impending college graduates are echoed by the entire Bella cast and anchor the plot of the film.
Musically, the soundtrack of this film was spectacular. I loved the original, but this movie really took it to the next level. Das Sound Machine especially tackled some challenging tunes. I’m looking forward to purchasing some of it when it becomes available.
Overall this sequel promised and delivered. It was witty, well-written, and really upped the ante of the series instead of simply relying on the tried and true of the original cult-favorite. Plus, there was a window left open for a new installment at the very end. After the movie’s proven success, I suspect that the producers will use it in the not too distant future.