Rebel Wilson’s Fat Amy does a Miley Cyrus Wrecking Ball, President Obama and the world get more than they bargained for as her spandex splits open while she is up atop, and Pitch Perfect 2 never gets better than this opening scene.
Actor Elizabeth Banks’s directorial debut hopes to cruise on the surprise success of Pitch Perfect, but a completely random script, held together by a few scenes of actual delight, lets down her effort. If the singing is few and far between, drama is virtually non-existent with any such scenarios either wished or laughed away.
The Banden University a capella group The Bellas is now a three-time collegiate champion, but then the disaster at the Obama birthday celebration happens. Moral opprobrium of the kind dished out by prime-time TV happens, and they are stripped of their national victory tour as well as other college rights. Their only chance of redemption is winning the world a capella championship.
A capella is a form of singing generally unaccompanied by musical instruments, though every time any a capella group breaks into a song in Pitch Perfect 2, there is no dearth of them. Anyhow, it’s not that The Bellas seem particularly concerned about the fate that has befallen them, though they keep talking about it as a catastrophe.
So what follows is a series of parties, or party-like events. One such event could have been the highlight of the film, involving a competition among four groups given a song and a theme to carry. That includes the prime competitor of The Bellas, an efficient German troupe. However, reflective of all that is wrong with this film, that is done away with in a hurry, to land the girls in a camp that is meant only to evoke some more laughs at the expense of bodily discomfort.
Even new girl Emily (Steinfeld) has the smoothest entry in history into college and the coolest group in it.
Another interesting sub-plot involves Becca (Kendrick) landing a job as an intern in a recording studio that deals with among others Snoop Dogg. However, but for a couple of interesting scenes, even that doesn’t amount to much.
While the film is an all-female effort, with men barely there in the sidelines, it makes a big deal of its own minorities and then proceeds to make little use of them. The Asian, the Latin American, the lesbian are all clichés, while Fat Amy’s weight and Becca’s height are a joke told once too often.
When they are in the flow though, the film has its moments. And right there at the top again is Wilson, who doesn’t just rock the White House but also a boat over which she rows across a lake serenading her love.
Star cast: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow
Director: Elizabeth Banks