Three out of five kernels
“Pitch Perfect 2” may be a little short of perfect as a movie, but it is nearly flawless in terms of its incredible musical arrangements.
The Barden Bellas are back. For most of the a capella group it’s their senior year, and one final attempt to be remembered forever as world champions. Standing in their way is the German team, Das Sound Machine, because even in an a capella comedy movie the villains have to be German.
Can this small group of misfits go up against the flashy showmanship of German engineering?
If the world championships are the beat that drives the film, the characters are what gives the song life. Beca (Anna Kendrick) is the solid voice of reason, Chloe (Brittany Snow) puts her soul into competitions, Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) provides the comic relief and a slew of other supporting characters, including Lilly (Hana Mae Lee) and Flo (Chrissie Fit), round out the cast of absolute weirdos.
These kooky characters also provide the comedic moments that give the film an extra punch. By giving off-the-wall comments, having misunderstandings and showcasing odd behaviors that don’t even make sense to other characters, these ladies produce the laughs the film needs.
But the element that outperforms all the others is the music. It’s not just creative a capella performances of modern songs, but songs from every generation mashed up in new, creative arrangements. You’ll listen to the music and think, “Wait, I know this song,” but not fully recognize it until the chorus. It’s hard to stay still in your seat.
And it’s not just the music, but also the choreography that goes with it that creates a spectacle. It’s like watching “America’s Got Talent” on a bigger screen.
However, there are times when the camera gets in the way. Instead of having wider shots where the audience can see the dancing, flipping and human pyramids, it gets close up into the faces of the actors. By limiting the shot it restrains the audience’s view of what’s happening. We don’t get to see all the cool stuff on stage, only glimpses, and it’s frustrating.
While there are times when it can get a little off-key, “Pitch Perfect 2” is mostly a harmonious story with a crazy cast of characters. If anything else, it’s a fun film that will leave you with a song in your head and make for a toe-tapping good time.