Pitch Perfect 2
If Germany couldn’t defeat the U.S. on the battlefield, what makes them think they could win a singing competition?
Though Pitch Perfect 2 was not nearly as good as the first film, it really doesn’t matter. There was a reason why 70% of the audience on its opening day weekend was female, so I really risk discrediting what is left of my artistic reputation by focusing on my disappointment.
Quite frankly, I feel that the reason that Pitch Perfect 2 made more money on its opening day weekend than the original film made during its entire run is the simple fact that women of all ages identify with it. Nearly all of the men in this film are functional idiots, and this allows the female audience to mock what many are forced to endure in real life.
And I’m not just talking about real life, but the cinema. Take a look at alleged comedies like Magic Mike (2012), Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015), Hot Tub Time Machine (2011) and Ted (2012), and it is not hard to see that they largely concentrate on men. Women have secondary roles at best, and many end up being treated as little more than eye candy.
Just let me stick my neck out and say that the problem with Pitch Perfect 2 is that it involves a series of disconnected events after the college group known as the Bellas is disqualified from national competition. The disqualification, known as “Muffgate”, follows after Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) splits her pants from front to back while performing at the Kennedy Center in front of our President and First Lady.
The Bellas are then seen participating in goofy adventures as they prepare for an international competition in Copenhagen. In the process, you have to endure foolish small scenes involving Snoop Dog and a group of Green Bay Packers, causing the film to gradually dissolve under its own weight.
However, despite those weaknesses, Anna Kendrick and her group of rejected college singers remain admirable as they refuse to quit. They are funny, the singing is frequently fantastic, and you have to cheer for them as they face disgrace. Additionally, first time Director Elizabeth Banks didn’t forget what provided much of the charm of the first film, and this included her wildly funny, sarcastic comments as she and John Michael Higgins again play dysfunctional broadcasters who cover a capella competitions.
From my standpoint, the real shortcoming of the film dealt with its failure to focus more attention on the German singers who formed the Bellas stiffest competition. Their singing provided the centerpiece of the film, and the performances of Birgitte Hjort Sørensen and Flula Borg left you admiring them even though they were treated as the villains.
And by the way, the Germans should have known they were destined to lose the singing competition. After all, look what happened to them when they tried to compete with French ex-patriots singing the Marsailles in Casablanca (1942).