It’s the sequel we’ve been waiting for…. Or at least that’s what I was hoping.
Back in 2012 those of us who flocked to the theater for the original were all left with a hunger for another story line as credits began to roll. The love for the film was broadcast in the strangest of fashions: Taking over social media with the“Cups” song. Our hunger was sated when the sequel was announced and three years later we flocked once again to the theaters.
Pitch Perfect 2 begins its story with the graphic onstage mishap involving Rebel Wilson’s “Fat Amy.” Our Bellas now disgraced and barred from competing in nationals or finishing their tour, find a loop-hole that convinces Gale (Elizabeth Banks) and John (John Higgins) to allow them to enter the upcoming world competition in Copenhagen. The catch? The Bellas must win for them to be reinstated; and “no USA team has ever won Worlds.”
As if there wasn’t enough pressure already, the Bellas meet one of their competitors, [ironically at a Volkswagen unveiling] Das Sound Machine—a troupe of towering Germans who sing “like angels” and dress as if they are ready to go to the club.
Now that the Bellas know what they are up against, the continuation of the plot [in theory] is about: training the new Bella and getting ready for Worlds. Yet the plot [in reality] is stagnant. With Beca sneaking off to an internship at a recording studio (which, wait-actually holds the key for the rising action/climax), Fat Amy and Bumpers rocky relationship, the new Bella Emily, the Bellas training, tons of guest cameos (from Snoop Dog to the Green Bay Packers), to an attempt to pull devices from PP1—It felt more like I was watching Glee than watching the continuation of a story which made me feel alive with emotion back in 2012.
The comedic devices in PP2 were all over the place as well. Jokes took cartwheels across the screen-not always sticking the landing; and the racial jokes were a stretch too far to “be funny.” The songs were enough to get by, however they didn’t seem to have the same appeal to me as PP1 for some reason. There wasn’t a steady story line and so the climax and the falling action were in the same place emotionally for me.
Sequels are so frequent because there is already a guarantee for a target audience. Yet the assumption of having the same outcome on a sequel as its original did–is usually what leads it to fall short.
I haven’t seen any Pitch Perfect fans taking social media by storm this time around. Why? Because it was a unmemorable and emotionally unmoving experience, which tried to hard to be like its counter (especially with the Riff off). We wanted a sequel, but this isn’t what we had hoped for.
Which begs the question: When can we leave something good enough alone?
Did you see Pitch Perfect 2? What were you thoughts?