‘Pitch Perfect 2’ out of sync

By Joe Matthews, Contributing Writer

It’s been three years since the Barton Bellas took the stage last in “Pitch Perfect” and, sadly, the time wasn’t spent making the acapella group any better.

Starring Anna Kendrick as Becca Mitchell and Rebel Wilson as Fat Amy, “Pitch Perfect 2” was not of the same caliber as its predecessor. Though funny at times, the movie seemed to lack character development, get lost in jokes that try too hard and fall flat with its song choices.

After three national titles, the girls are privileged to sing in the Kennedy Center for U. S.  President Barack Obama’s birthday. There is a slight wardrobe malfunction and the “down under” of Australian Fat Amy, gets exposed to the audience. Consequently, the girls are banned from performing on the national level, thus prompting them to go to the World Championships seeing that they have an automatic bid from winning the past three National Championships.

Once entered in the world competition, the Bellas come face to face with their new rivals, a German group called Das Sound Machine or DSM. They soon realize the competition is stiff and that they need to work together harmoniously and “find their sound” if they want to win the title.

Adding a new member, Emily Junk, the Bella’s learn to work as a team before the championships and the showdown against DSM ensues.

The movie as a whole was not terrible but, when compared to the first one, it really didn’t meet expectations.  The humor was forced and uncomfortable at times. It felt like they got lucky with the jokes in the first movie and did not know how to duplicate it for round two.  Everything good from the original was missing, even though it tried to mimic it.

“Pitch Perfect 2” focused mostly on Wilson, but what made her a star in the last one was her supporting role. She just does not fit as a main character. With too many gags centered on Fat Amy, Rebel Wilson loses her comedic touch and comes off rather annoying and rude.

With Wilson taking the lead in this one, Anna Kendrick’s acting showed little enthusiasm and was, at times, downright boring. Differing from her original character, Kendrick’s role was much more serious and uptight. Throughout the movie, she seemed like she would rather be elsewhere, which I can’t blame her for. She is  30 years old still getting roles as a college student, and her lack of interest is expressed in character’s dullness.

The supporting cast goes along for the Rebel Wilson ride and provides a few laughs here and there, but fart jokes do get old at some point.

Mixing in racial, sexual and gender discriminatory jokes, the commentators, played by Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins, were funny in the beginning, but like the others, they seemed to be trying too hard. Toward the end of the movie, the jokes came across cheeky and offensive.

The best part of the movie was the ending, not just because it was over but because the girls were able to muster out one really good performance. The original song “Flashlight” is performed, and though it does not come close to the phenomenon that was “Cups” from the first movie, it is still a good song.

Not meeting the standards set by its predecessor, “Pitch Perfect 2” falls flat overall. It is not as funny, charming or as in depth and it really isn’t worth spending $10 to see. Thankfully, nothing has been mentioned about a third Pitch Perfect, but a Fat Amy spinoff would come as no surprise.