The phrase, “First is the worst, second is the best” doesn’t always hold true when it comes to movie sequels. I think about the Harry Potter series and how I always liked the “voyage to Hogwarts” aspect of the early movies, as well as the sorting hat tradition.
As the series went on, those two things weren’t really a big deal anymore. I understand why. However, you never forget the reason why you first fell in love with something. And when those reasons are no longer visible, what do you have?
Sorry, this is getting deep.
What I’m getting at is the first Pitch Perfect movie felt like gaining a new best friend and Pitch Perfect 2 felt like watching that friend get famous and, as a result, forget about you.
It’s three years later and the Barden Bellas – an all-girls a cappella group – are three-time champions, but Patricia (Fat Amy) rips her pants during a performance, exposing herself to the crowd. In the audience is Barack Obama, with his wife Michelle.
This accident is made out to be the worst thing in the history of things. Therefore, the Bellas are suspended from competing. But wait, they can still compete at the World Championships in Denmark, representing the United States. If they win, they’ll be reinstated.
As you’d expect, they win the World Championship and defeat their rival, Germany.
I’ll get into that, and many more plot points, as we go. Stay tuned.
A Hop, Skip, and a Time Jump?
Teen drama shows will start with their characters as freshmen in high school, just to extend the runway of the show. They’re terrified of the “college years”, so four years of high school equating to four seasons of television, is good enough for them.
In this case, we had a movie starting on the first day of college. Alright, they still gave themselves a four-year runway for four movies. NOPE. They went and did a three-year time jump, so the characters are ready to graduate at the end of this movie.
ARE YOU SERIOUS?
I understand it was released three years after the first one and if they were trying to stay on a graduation timeline – so it synced with a real life calendar – then they had to do it. I think. The math is weird.
There was a “Welcome Class of 2018” banner in this movie, so does that mean it was 2014 in the movie? And does that mean it was 2010 when the first one came out in 2012?
Je suis lost.
Stay In Your Own World
The whole montage of real-life television personalities reacting to Amy ripping her pants in front of the President, is not something I cared for. This is probably just a me thing.
I don’t like movies blending their world with the real world. Even the Robin Roberts cameo with the Barden Bella alumni was a bit much.
It just felt like the movie was saying, “We’re popular now. Check out all of our cool celebrity friends!” Any shot at a wholesome film is instantly lost. Give me Kimmy Jin over the celebrity cameos.
Iceland vs. Mighty Ducks
As I mentioned earlier, the Barden Bellas are representing the United States at the A Cappella World Championships. Their main rival is a group from Germany called, Das Sound Machine.
They are good. They are expected to win. They wear black. They are intimidating. There are many of them.
They are basically Team Iceland from D2: The Mighty Ducks.
All of the similarities are there. It’s a blatant rip-off. I guess they didn’t expect the viewers of that movie to watch this movie, but I caught them red-handed, six years later.
I’ll preface this section by saying: I don’t know anything.
However, it was odd to me that after the popularity of the first movie, they came back for a sequel and within the first ten minutes, took away everything people like about the first film.
Oh, you like this group of actors singing a cappella mashups? Too bad! They’re suspended! Enjoy the other storylines we are putting in to kill time, until they finally perform at the end!
I think the “scandal” and “suspension” of the Barden Bellas was done because if it wasn’t, they’d basically be re-telling the first film. We don’t need to see them go to different events, trying to qualify for the Finals.
So, in a way, I get it.
At the same time, you pull the rug out from under your audience by immediately telling them that there aren’t going to be as many a cappella performances as they were expecting.
Again, I don’t know anything. Maybe this was the way to go. From a behind-the-scenes perspective, they only have so much time to film, and memorize choreography, and sing.
Legacy & Benji
A new girl joins the Barden Bellas, even though they aren’t allowed to accept new recruits. But because she went to them, it’s fine. Her name is Emily, which I had to look up on Wikipedia because they called her “Legacy” most of the time.
Her mom used to be a Barden Bella. Hence, she’s continuing a legacy. Hence, Legacy.
Anyway, her and awkward Benji become a couple, I think. It felt like they were recreating how Beca and Jesse became a couple in the first movie, but without any conflict because Benji can’t put enough coherent words together in a row for there to ever be a conflict.
Speaking of Beca and Jesse, there was very little interaction between them in this movie. This doesn’t look good for their future. I can see it now.
I’m expecting them to be “on a break” due to “different career paths” and agreeing to “see other people” in the next movie.
Beca received an internship at a recording studio and only told Jesse about it. Amy eventually found out, too.
Soooo are the Barden Bellas not a close-knit group of friends? After all these years together? You mean to tell me that Beca didn’t feel comfortable telling them she had an internship?
This came to a “boiling point” when Beca claimed the other girls weren’t thinking about their futures. And then she got stuck in a bear trap and apologized for being harsh.
In an alternate universe, maybe Beca tells the other Bellas right away about her internship and they’re excited for her. But wait! As we get closer to the World Championships, the Bellas realize that the internship is distracting Beca from putting together the best performance possible.
“You only care about your future and not OUR present. Harrumph!” – Someone
The Bellas walk out on her at practice. There’s a full-fledged mutiny. Amy kicks a bucket. Someone says, “What’s the point of going to Denmark if we’re just going to embarrass ourselves?
It’s over. The Bellas are done.
And then Beca wins them back by singing outside their house, or something cheesy.
That was my audition to write the fourth film, if anyone cares.
The whole internship thing felt like a movie within a movie. Don’t you dare say “inception”.
Beca’s boss isn’t really impressed by anything she does, so Beca decides to produce one of Legacy’s original songs. That wins him over.
Sure, fine. I like my version a bit better.
Green Bay Packers
Some players from the Green Bay Packers were in the movie as an a cappella group participating in a competition in some guy’s basement.
I recognized two of them.
It was incredibly random.
The Obamas Did Nothing?
As I said before, the movie started out with a performance in front of the Obamas. As a result of Amy ripping her pants during that performance, the team was suspended for the season.
It was deemed to be a huge scandal that everyone knew about.
Well, did anyone tell the Obamas? Did Barack or Michelle see it on Twitter?
Surely, if they had, they would’ve said something like, “No no, don’t suspend these hard-working students from their passion. It was an accident. It’s not a big deal.”
Any Way You Want It
At the A Cappella World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, it was obviously all about Germany vs. United States. But to show that other countries were there, they showed a montage of all of them singing THE SAME SONG.
Every other country sang, “Any Way You Want It” by Journey. Did they plan that? Were they in, dare I say, CAHOOTS?
From a movie-making perspective, it was the easiest way to showcase every country in a montage. However, you may realize that I don’t really analyze movies in that way.
I want the fiction on the screen to be real.
When it was time for the German team to perform, I was almost expecting them to sing “Any Way You Want It” because maybe it was a requirement? I don’t know the rules; you never know.
They didn’t sing it and neither did Team USA.
What a journey.
I don’t like poking holes in movies. A lot of people work really hard and do the best they can to provide entertainment for millions of people around the world. I don’t want to be critical.
That being said, this is a blog where I like to overanalyze small details with the accompaniment of a witty tone because exposing the lack of logic in a fictional story is fun to me, I guess.
Just know, I’m not taking this too seriously and you shouldn’t either.
At the end of the day, I preferred the first movie. That’s all.
I don’t know where they go with the third film, since they already time-jumped their way through college, but I guess that’s for me to find out (don’t spoil it for me).
Thanks for reading!
Have you seen Pitch Perfect 2? What did you think of it?