Wednesday, July 29, 2015

PITCH PERFECT 2 (2015)



Directed By: Elizabeth Banks 
Written By: Kay Cannon 
Based On Characters Created By: Mickey Rapkin 
Cinematography By: Jim Denault 
Editor: Craig Alpert 


Cast: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Hailee Steinfeld, Anna Camp, John Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Banks, Skylar Astin, Flula Borg, Birgitte Hjort Sorensen, David Cross, Ben Platt, Adam DeVine, Alexis Knapp, Katey Segal, Keegan-Michael Key, Ester Dean, Hana Mae Lee, Jason Jones, John Hodgman, Joe Lo Truglio, Snoop Dogg, Reggie Watts, Brea Grant

I am not embarrassed to say that I truly am a fan of the first film and films like it. They are perfectly fine entertainment. That I find myself watching over and over again with no problems. Though i am sure it certainly helps that these films tend to be broadcast more also.

I will admit i was looking forward to this. As the first film took me by surprise. It was something I was mildly interested in seeing in theaters and was happy when that film won me over due to quirky charm and just being plain out fun like LEGALLY BLONDE and BRING IT ON. Though I can admit I didn't have to pay to see those films. So it is a different kind of joy when you see something you pay for and your gamble pays off, unfortunately like those films. The sequel doesn't contain the same magic, but comes off better than those films sequels. Even if it is more of the same only with less a falter,

That might be the problem with this film is that it feels rushed and forced. The first film moved with it's own rhythms and had a predictable story that built itself up and introduced you to characters. Here the strangeness is there just to be there and the characters try to grow, but still seem the same and while introducing new characters it also gives short shrift to returning side characters. That whole they have their moments. It is a lot less and those were the character that helped push the first one to be so unique and funny.

The off color humor is here again that sometimes works, but also seems mean spirited to a degree. As it is at times some of the worst stereotypes or at least characters spewing the most off color humor and is supposed to but looked at as either idiotic or cute. And adding a minority character whose input and proclamations all seem to indicate her illegal status and the heartbreaking ways she endured to come to the U.S. And her probable fate once she graduates. Which while trying to be funny and sometimes achieves it, also adds a negativity and subtle sadness that the filmmakers don't seem ready for. I am sure they thought it more cynical and dark comedy. Which doesn't really fit this film. So it comes off more as or ledges sarcasm.

Rebel Wilson is here and she is funny though her storyline is weak and seems only here to have a reason for Adam DeVine (who is funny usually) to return and while he can be funny. There was really no need for him to return. Pretty much giving the fans what they want whether ot makes sense onscreen for the story or not.

Ben Platt (Benji) took time off of his run in The Book of Mormon on Broadway to film this movie. There he was playing the musical's lead character Elder Cunningham eight times a week.

Kristen Wiig was originally offered the role of Gail in the first movie, who was later replaced by Elizabeth Banks. Elizabeth Banks is now directing the sequel.

The camp they go to is the same camp from Meatballs.

Of course the best scene is still the sing off scene between different acapella teams this time in the basement of a multimillionaire.

While scenes like that are fun, they also come out of nowhere and offer no real expiration for being there except to give the Bella's a reason to run into their rivals.

The film is still predictable and has energy and fun, yet it doesn't feel the same. It feels more marketed and designed rather then random. It tries to pour on too much quirkiness and also as with all sequels tries to make everything. Bigger instead if a simple college competition it is a international global one. That strangely is headed by the same people who comment or podcast their competitions. For something so big to be in the hands of two unlikeable and idiotic characters.

Truthfully if you are a fan of the first film, you will probably enjoy this film and see it as a continuation that is not as strong, but like an encore allows you to spend some more time with the characters, almost extra footage.

The film has a lackluster storyline and seems like it is killing time, most of the time. While waiting to get to the main showdown and competitions. It also seems to have lost some of it's edge which in the first film seemed flirtatious and naughty. This film seems more innocent by comparison. I guess to more center around it's teenage audience but also a younger one.

The film keeps it's Goofiness and the actors are all here more confident and solid in their roles. Especially Brittany snow and Ester Dean.

Anna Kendrick seems to be trying to do more comedy here in her role. As does the rest of the cast only here she seems more loose. This is the directorial debut of actress Elizabeth banks who also produced and co-starred in this film as well as the first film. She is a recognizable character actress and here she does an adequate job. Especially taking over the franchise and taking on such a big project as her debut, but as a producer on the first film. She had her hands in already shaping this franchises universe. Here she seems more glossy and overblown rather then small and subtle, but it isn't to an annoying degree


Grade: C

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