Aca-Good Vibes All Around!


You’re my flashlight, you’re my flashlight…for getting me through the night...

As was the case in the original, it’s so hard to contain the singing after watching Pitch Perfect 2. Anna Kendrick and her assorted band of musical misfits are back in the second installment of 2012’s surprise hit. But did the sequel live up to the ginormous fan expectations or is the original still the best?

At first glance, one could easily conclude that this movie was practically the same as the first one. The basic structure of the movie is almost the exact same: the Bellas are again reeling from a heavily publicized humiliation, again needing to win an aca-contest to regain their lost dignity, the two team heads have some infighting, and new blood is introduced, one who’s unique talent will eventually be the team’s salvation. Hell, even the teenage love side story and the out-of-nowhere, mid movie sing off is reiterated here. Did I miss anything?

Pitch Perfect 2
This year's model.

Honestly, it even felt like they were running out of excuses for the characters to sing. The movements felt perfunctory, as if the movie was going through the mandatory beats that made up its predecessor. 

There wasn’t any stand out character or acting, but neither was there any cringe-worthy performance. The plot was slightly altered to reflect the pressures and fears of graduating, but it wasn’t anything special and could have actually used a bit of streamlining. But all in all, it was steady as steady can be.


But all my criticisms did not at all diminish the essence of what Pitch Perfect TRULY represents – a celebration of sound and music. By the end of the two-hour movie, I was ecstatic! I left the cinema singing the songs and recalling all the wonderful performances.

Yes it was a lot of familiar things, but in terms of production quality it stepped by in a very big way, especially during its second half and towards the end. The musical numbers were mind-blowing and, dare I say, much better than in the first installment. 

The Bellas killed it. Also, Anna Kendrick, I love you.

The mid movie aca-battle mash-up was cleaner and more fluid. And it’s hard not to appreciate the NFL team cameo. Most Filipinos may not all know who the Green Bay Packers are, but suffice to say that it was all sorts of funny, and cool, and awesome to see musclebound jocks belt out their best acapella performance!

I hated the fact that The Treblemakers were demoted to 3rd tier characters ‘cause I really loved those guys, especially Jesse’s (Skylar Astin) super suave voice. But their absence is compensated by the new, infinitely more aggressive acapella group, Das Sound Machine (DSM), this movie’s “big bad”. And DSM was clearly on a different league than the Bellas.

Hopefully in Pitch 3, there's gonna be "TrebleBellas"!

Their very first performance will remove all doubt you might have of the threat they pose. Their vocals and dance routines were freakishly powerful and in perfect sync! I had to pick my jaw up off the floor every time DSM performed and I genuinely started to worry what kind of routine the Bellas could do to top them. I knew the Bellas would win, obviously, but I was concerned that their performance in the finals wouldn’t really measure up to DSM’s and their win would ultimately feel unearned. (Similar to what happened in Glee on a regular basis.)

Can you spell, INTENSITY?!

But I’m so glad I was wrong! The Bellas final performance was easily the franchise’s strongest and most moving one to date! It was a lot of elements that came together perfectly that made it incredibly poignant – the in-story stakes, their distinct entrance, the arrangements, the vocals, the blending, the dancing, the use of an “original” song (not if it was really made specifically for this movie, but it was my first time hearing it), the audience participation, the badassery of the girls, and most importantly, the sincerity of the performance. That was a mouthful, I’m sorry, but really it’s still not enough words to really capture the magic of their last act. Really, that final production made the movie for me.

Pitch Perfect 2
A celebration of sound and music.

The goofy, sometimes offbeat, humor was just icing on the cake. Rebel Wilson, Adam DeVine, Elizabeth Banks, and John Michael Higgins’ sharp delivery and nothing-is-off-limits attitude are to thank for most of the movie’s funniness.

Crass and witty.

Pitch Perfect 2 was an echo of the first movie, but it’ll still have you bouncing to that lively beat that only the Barden Bellas can deliver. It’s a light, feel good movie, wrapped in catchy, LSS-inducing showtunes, and dipped in some of that unique Pitch Perfect charm. Aca-good vibes all around when Pitch Perfect 2 presents a blend of fresh and familiar and ultimately ends on a very high, satisfying note!

Sassy and sweet. The Bellas are still on pitch!


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