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Film Review: Pitch Perfect 2


Pitch Perfect 2 Plot Summary:

In the a cappella-rific sequel, the Barden Bellas enter an international a cappella competition to try and save their reputation and once again find their sound.

The Pitches are back, but unfortunately the notes they are hitting this time around are falling a little flat.

While the film still has that nostalgic feel, bringing in musical numbers that will make you sing and dance along, it just appears to be lacking in something that made the first film so great in the first place.


The acting is superb, once again, the performances are out of this world incredible, thanks in part to the amazing directorial skills of Miss Elizabeth Banks, and the writing is as witty and smart as you would expect a Pitch Perfect film to have. Unfortunately, the film lacks in narrative tone and character development making some of the scenes miss its ever important high notes.

However, when the film did hit its high notes, Jennifer Hudson would be nodding her head in approval.

The acting and directing during this film really kept everything exciting, fresh, and new. Thanks to the performances of the underdogs of the film, in particular that of Ester Dean who plays butch Cynthia, Hana Mae Lee’s silent, but deadly Lilly, and newcomers Birgitte Sorensen and Flula Borg as the leaders of the new competition in town called Das Sound Machine. The film really soared in scenes featuring these talented characters.

The characters really play well with each other, leading to quick and witty reactions from everyone, and the antagonists of the film, “Das Sound Machine”, were a pitch perfect addition all on their own.  I was also really happy to see the writers didn’t rely too much on the character of Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) seeming as the writers of the film knew she was the breakout of the first, but did deliberately give her some good one liners.

But the real star of the film was director Elizabeth Banks aka Gale.

You could really tell when watching the movie she had a passion and love for this film, and directing it was just her own personal bread and butter. This movie is her baby, and while certain scenes may lack in the writing department, her direction and the performances she evokes from the cast make up for anything else that may lack on its own. It was a pleasant surprise to see her talent here, and the performances during this film were far superior than its predecessor mostly thanks to her and the direction she wanted the film to go in.

So kudos to you, Miss Banks.

However with all these high notes, we were bound to get an alto in the mix, and some low notes that couldn’t be missed.


The writing in the film, while witty and true to heart of the tone of the first film, just seemed too rushed in parts where time was of the essence. In the first film, narrative was key to the plot, and Beca (Anna Kendrick) was the obvious storyteller, however in this film I wasn’t sure who the key character was in the film. While some may view this as a good thing, being as it is a group film about a bunch of singing girls, it made the film seem off in parts where it should have been on. They didn’t use Kendrick as much as they did in the first or use her the same way she was used in the first, as the conquering hero, which was very unfortunate and some of the new characters they added were underused or used too much in a bad way.

For example, the addition of Hailee Steinfeld as newbie Emily was a huge swing and miss. They wrote her character too painfully awkward and rushed her development as if  the audience were already supposed to know her and love her. It just didn’t seem real or true to the nature of the first film, or do any justice to Steinfeld, herself a strong actress and Oscar nominee. The way her character was written in this film was almost too painful to watch.

And in regards to the underused players of the film, it was delightful to see Katey Sagal and, an extremely hilarious, David Cross in the film, but it was a waste for them to only be in the film for a little bit when they could have offered so much more.

Hopefully next time, Pitch Perfect crew?

All in all, the film hit its notes and stayed on key for most of the film, just needed a little more tweaking and a little more character development. The film is by no means bad, it was very enjoyable and I must admit to singing to myself during most of the scenes was a common reoccurrence, however it left me feeling a bit empty and longing for more. Hopefully next time, as it was already announced that Pitch Perfect 3 is in the works, that they go back to the tone and character development of the first, which here’s to hoping Kendrick stays on, and the film makes you groove and move like you did during the first.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Laura Dengrove is the one of youngest members of the Pop-Break staff and is a critic for television/movies of all types on Pop-Break. She’s in her first year at college where she will be studying to obtain her bachelors degree at Rutgers University for Journalism/Public Relations. She was the editor for the Arts and Entertainment section of her school newspaper, runs her own blog (Pop Culture Darling), and interns for Design New Jersey. She also has an in-depth knowledge about all things True Blood and an avid Eric and Sookie shipper =============================================================================================================

Laura Dengrove
Laura Dengrove
Hello! My name is Laura Dengrove. I am currently a Junior at Rutgers University, double majoring in Journalism/Media Studies and Cinema Studies. I am a film critic and interviewer by choice, professional Linda Belcher impersonator by birth.

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