We thought that was a little over-the-top, but we can get on board with tuning into the 2012 singing comedy whenever it pops up on basic cable. Admit it or not, it’s a likable, entertaining movie.
It was disappointing, then, when we kept checking our watch — er, rather our iPhone home screen, we are millennials after all — throughout “Pitch Perfect 2,” the follow-up to the 2012 singing comedy about dueling a cappella groups.
We can’t blame the producers for using the same formula that made the original movie a sleeper hit. We would also like to have millions of dollars lining our pockets. (The film’s budget was $29 million and made $285.2 million at the box office.)
But the movie suffers from classic sequel syndrome. All of the jokes are recycled from the first one: Look, a larger woman than you usually see in movies doing something crazy! Oddball guy courts really attractive woman! Humor with lesbian undertones!
Portland’s own adorable Anna Kendrick couldn’t save this sorry sequel.
Maybe we’re being a little harsh. There are some differences. This time, the Barden Bellas are banned from collegiate competition because of an unfortunate flashing incident involving Fat Amy, played by Rebel Wilson, whose shtick is getting old — and President Obama.
The Bellas are, however, eligible to attend an international competition, where their biggest threat is Das Sound Machine, a German group featuring two attractive lead singers and big-budget effects.
Enter a college freshman played by who-knew-she-had-pipes Hailee Steinfeld, who is a Bella legacy and just wants to join the sisterhood. This is a cute plot point that has sinister undertones, because as with all movies and TV shows about high school or college, the original cast members eventually have to graduate. What are the producers to do after that happens? Introduce a new crop so that “Pitch Perfect 3” will keep the dough rolling in.
“Pitch Perfect 2” isn’t all bad — it’s just disappointing that it isn’t as good as the first one.
The music is just as entertaining if not better than in the original movie. Katey Sagal (“Married with Children”) makes an appearance, as does Keegan-Michael Key (“Key & Peele”). He brings in some laughs as a tightly wound music producer who is tasked with making a Snoop Dogg Christmas album.
You can guess what a cappella group wins the international competition. As much as we are always and forever Team USA, there is no way that the Bellas, however cute they may be, would beat out Das Sound Machine in real life, unless some Russian judges were involved.