Monday, May 18, 2015

Movie Review: Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

Pitch Perfect 2 is as giddily ridiculous, unapologetically off-color, and full of heart as the first movie. Director Elizabeth Banks (yay!) did a terrific job in her first behind-the-camera outing, and of course she's as hilarious as ever in front of the camera as Effie Trinket, I mean, acapella announcer Gail.

The movie winkingly offers a veritable trope-fest: an incident causes the formerly celebrated Barden Bellas to lose their position and privileges as the top collegiate acapella group. The intimidatingly huge Das Sound Machine, world acapella champion, becomes the Bellas' rival -- to regain their honor, they must defeat DSM at the international competition in "sunny" Copenhagen.

But how will the Bellas win when their leader Beca is busy trying to have a post-college career, romantic complications loom, and the group has lost their harmony? Could the earnest new legacy (Hailee Steinfeld) help them on their journey? Will love find a way?? WILL SISTERHOOD TRIUMPH OVER ALL ODDS???

Like I said, Pitch Perfect 2 is as formulaic as its predecessor, but it has so much heart and love for its core audience of nerds that any missteps are forgiveable. I refer specifically to that over-the-top practice montage that lasted maybe a minute but felt like a thousand years, it was such visual overload. The Treblemakers' performance was also lame. 

Fortunately, this movie piles on the awesomesauce, e.g.:

Keegan-Michael Key as a music producer losing patience with his hipster intern;
The acapella Laser Ninja riff-off;
The Green Bay Packers;
Fat Amy's unnecessarily physical love song to Bumper;
Beca's pathetic inability to talk smack back to Das Sound Machine's giant blonde leader;
Mention of Filipino ladyboys;
Hana Mae Lee;
Girl power!;
And more!

I love this movie like my mom loves cheesecake: I will buy it immediately once available and binge on it, your judgment be damned. 

TL;DR: Loved the first one? Watch the sequel. 

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Summer Book Recommendations