PITCH PERFECT 2

Going to see a sequel of a movie you love is a dicey proposition. Especially a comedy. Will the jokes still feel fresh? Will they move the characters in an appealing direction? Are all the funny bits in the trailer? All of this filled my head as I sat down to see PITCH PERFECT 2. I can breathe a sigh of relief. I was easily as entertained by the sequel as I was by the original. It’s now three years later and the Barden University Bellas have won the national collegiate acapella championships three times. Because they are so good, they are invited to perform for the President’s birthday at the Kennedy Center. It all goes sideways when Fat Amy’s (Rebel Wilson) pants rip and she has gone commando, exposing herself to the world. The Bellas are suspended, basically destined to just go away and fold. The only way they can survive is by winning the world title, something an American group has never done. And, so we’re off on another adventure featuring Becca (Anna Kendrick), Fat Amy, Chloe, and the rest of the Bellas. But, it’s the same adventure, or damn close. The jokes are new, but cut from the same cloth as the first movie. The comedy goes for the outrageous laugh. And that’s where the movie finds its strength. When it tried to get all touchy-feely, or deal with real emotions, it lost me. The Bellas are bickering, not sure how to defeat a German powerhouse group. They go on a retreat to find their voice, but that whole sequence was simply weird and eye-rolling. It seemed like it was just an excuse to get Aubrey (Anna Camp) into the movie. Credit to Elizabeth Banks for getting it back on track with more singing and more hysterical comedy. The dynamic between Rebel Wilson and Adam Devine is fantastic. Keegan Michael Key steals every scene as a record producer mentoring Anna Kendrick. And John Michael Higgins and Banks are glowing as the acapella commentators. The thing that makes PITCH PERFECT 2 great is knowing what its strengths are and playing to those. The music is good, the comedy is better. Oh god, will they make a PITCH PERFECT 3. I hope not, lets leave well enough alone. — Alan Yudman

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