Pitch Perfect 2/4: a movie review from James Berardinelli

December 6, 2012 by James Berardinelli - Reelviews
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Pitch Perfect looks, sounds, and feels like pretty much every other movie that features a singing or dancing competition.

With all the effort invested in the musical numbers, the dramatic elements feel like warmed-over John Hughes. And it’s not even good John Hughes (like The Breakfast Club, which is explicitly acknowledged). We’re talking Career Opportunities-type John Hughes. Pitch Perfect would be a perfectly watchable, pain-free source of entertainment if it was edited down to a highlight reel of various a capella groups covering pop songs, but the connective tissue makes this movie seem like an overlong version of the overexposed TV show Glee.

The tired plot revolves around the rivalry between two a cappella groups at Barden University: the all-male Treblemakers and the all-female Barden Bellas. The Bellas are the perennial also-rans and 2012 looks to be no different until the addition of several new members – loner Beca (Anna Kendrick), oversexed Stacie (Alexis Knapp), flamboyant Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), and scary Lilly (Hana Mae Lee) – shakes things up. But the Treblemakers get better as well by adding incoming freshman Jesse (Skylar Astin). Meanwhile, the leader of the Bellas, Aubrey (Anna Camp), is unimpressed by Beca’s ideas about how to modernize their routines, even though Beca has the support of Aubrey’s best friend, Chloe (Brittany Snow). Meanwhile, Jesse romances Beca, and her initial opposition to a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship melts.

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