Joel’s review of Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) and our big date night

With the new Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) coming out in theaters, we planned our next date night in advance. Kids would sleep over at my parents’ house, and we’d go out for a dinner and a movie.

After work and dropping off the kids to my parents, we got ready and hustled over to Millstone NJ for dinner at Russo’s (formerly Luchento’s.) It was the same decor, same set up, and some of the same menu items. From what I read, it got bought out by a new owner. It’s hard to keep up, but restaurant turnover is huge. Ah well. Dinner was excellent, so I would certainly recommend the place. I couldn’t eat more than 1/3 of my plate of rigatoni and sausage so I packed the rest to go.


Dinner at the new Russo’s

We drove over to the Freehold Raceway Mall to take care of Namita’s returns / exchanges at the Ann Taylor Loft store. Imagine our surprise to find the store closing and mostly bare. With the news of the Lane Bryant parent company buying them out, I’m not surprised.

If we had more time, we would have taken care of more exchanges at Dick’s Sporting Goods near by, but we were running out of time. Even with reserved seats, we didn’t want to be rushed. So we called an end to shopping, and drove over to the theater. With just enough time to grab some overpriced beverages, hit the restrooms, and find our seats, we settled in to watch Pitch Perfect 2 (2015).


Waiting for the film to start, all comfy in our reclining seats

Now, onto the movie itself.

So yeah, I’m sorry, I wasn’t impressed at all. I know, I know. The return of the entire cast from the first film. Writer Kay Cannon (Pitch Perfect, 30 Rock.) Elizabeth Banks’ diectorial debut. The movie didn’t do it for me. What did work for me was the return of the cast, and most of the musical numbers were good.

Unfortunately I had a lot of problems with the plot and the writing. The overall plot was fairly run of the mill — the Bardon Belles must compete on a larger stage in some International competition. Oddly enough, it seemed oddly reminiscent of Karate Kid Part 3. Three years have passed, they have to find themselves before going up against some dominant competitor. Instead of ‘Mike Barnes’, they have to compete against “Das Sound Machine” — a skilled German a capella group.

No, there was no Robin Lively cast as a romantic interest.

The writing was a large obstacle for me. Cheesy, somewhat corny jokes, a trite plot about them finding themselves and their sound. Blah. At one point in the film, the Belles inexplicably receive a mysterious invite to an underground a cappella showdown against other a cappella groups, more or less echoing a key scene from the 1st film. What’s weird is that this takes place in the home of an eccentric millionaire (?) played by comedian David Cross. And the teams include Das Sound Machine. And members of the Green Bay Packers.

Actress Hallie Stansfield is introduced as a new freshman who “has always wanted to be a Barden Belle”, which really makes no sense, except you have a sneaking suspicion that she’s been introduced to support a future Pitch Perfect 3. Blah again.

I don’t know if this film is a rental or a wait-for-it-on-cable-tv type film, but it’s nothing really special.

Regardless of the disappointing movie, I had a good time with excellent company.

Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

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