Monday 25 May 2015

Review: Pitch Perfect 2

World of Blackout Film Review

Pitch Perfect 2 Poster

Pitch Perfect 2
Cert: 12A / 115 mins / Dir. Elizabeth Banks / Trailer
WoB Rating: 4/7

So yeah, it's taken me a week just to decide if I wanted to see this. The thing is, I love harmonies, but I hate twee. I love a cappella, but I hate ad-libbed scenes where it looks like the camera's been left running between takes and an editor has decided that the verbal scribbling in the margins of the film is pretty much as good as the script anyway, so it may as well make the cut. This film was like walking on a razor blade for me; even when you're not falling off, it's still painful.

The music in Pitch Perfect 2 is fantastic in both arrangement and execution*1. Seriously. The rest of the film is under-written, over-directed, over-produced and over-acted, like a heavily diluted version of American Pie filtered through Britain's Got Talent*2, and with a metric fuck-ton of casual xenophobia and misogyny presented to the audience draped in the thinnest layer of irony known to man*3.

But I think we all know it wasn't made with me in mind.
Knock yourselves out.

Is this film worth paying £10+ to see?
If you're in the target demographic (trailers for The Longest Ride and Magic Mike XXL beforehand), probably yeah.

Well, I don't like the cinema. Buy it, rent it, or wait for it to be on telly?
The musical numbers work brilliantly on the big screen.
Only you can decide how important that is to you

Does this film represent the best work of the leading performer(s)?
Anna Kendrick plays Anna Kendrick again, and Rebel Wilson it two steps away from becoming Melissa McCarthy. And she'll probably be out of breath after those two steps because having performers fat-shame themselves is still hilarious, apparently.

Wow, I'm still grumpy about that. Sorry, the film also showed the trailer for Spy where McCarthy falls over and it's funny because she's fat. Twice

Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
Rehash a surprise hit from two years ago with minimal writing effort? You betcha.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
No, not really.

Oh, and is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
There isn't.

…but what's the Star Wars connection?
Pitch Perfect 2 stars Hailee Steinfeld, who appeared in 2013's Ender's Game alongside Harrison 'Solo' Ford.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

*1 The wardrobe department even managed to give the singing-cast microphones in some of the scenes where they otherwise wouldn't be heard if the songs were actually taking place in real-space, this time around. Yes, that shit bothers me.

*2 Or America's Got Talent, or whatever the equivalent is in your neighbourhood. Don't pretend it's any less dreadful where you are, yeah?

*3 Because to paraphrase Tracy King's Mad Max article at the NS recently, if it really was about female empowerment, would the film need to show The Hot Young Women hosing each other down after rolling around in a mud-pool?

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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