Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)
Starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Skylar Astin, Adam DeVine, Elizabeth Banks, John Michael Higgins, and Katey Sagal
Directed by Elizabeth Banks
It's that concert for the president that sets the ball rolling as Fat Amy inadvertently exposes her nether regions to the public when her pants rip while hanging from a Cirque du Soleil-ish device. Amy's commando ways bring shame to the Bellas and the a cappella community and higher-ups John and Gail (the rather hilarious John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks) ban the girl group from participating in any events or competing anywhere except for the World Finals in Copenhagen. With the Bellas in chaos, they must regroup and regain their illustrious status once again.
Unfortunately, the film feels like a complete retread of the original with the same jokes, set-ups, and types of songs being made a cappella. Like the original, there are a few laugh-out-loud moments here and there, but the directorial debut of Elizabeth Banks just doesn't ring true in any single moment of its screen time. Perhaps on the plus side, the best aspect of the film is a rather subdued performance by Hailee Steinfeld as a freshman at Barden College who joins the Bellas -- Steinfeld will presumably carry the torch for subsequent sequels seeing as how this film concludes with the majority of the Bellas facing graduation. Steinfeld is pleasant enough and perhaps the most grounded character, but my hopes aren't high that future films will maintain this realistic approach for character's wide-eyed innocence.
Pitch Perfect 2 is watchable, but not much works. Anna Kendrick looks like she doesn't want to be there, Brittany Snow's Chloe is too ditzy to be believable, and Rebel Wilson doesn't improve her acting skills at all from her first attempt at Fat Amy. Wilson, in particular, is just an embarrassment and while I imagine some tweens may find her shtick funny, I find it nearly unwatchable.
The RyMickey Rating: D+