The first ‘Pitch Perfect’ was a sleeper success, doing surprisingly solid business at the box office and earning equally solid reviews from critics. But it was home video that transformed this little a cappella comedy into a genuine sensation, instantly becoming the favorite film of 12-year-old girls (and their initially reluctant parents) all over the world. So the new ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ trailer arrives with the air of an event film. The sequel is not an underdog, but the Bigger, Flashier, and Louder follow-up that has the confidence to suggest that there is an entire franchise to be found here.
The feature directorial debut of co-star and producer Elizabeth Banks, ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ pulls a ‘Ghostbusters 2’ by immediately pulling the Barden Bellas off their pedestal and dropping them into a new low. After a disastrous performance in front of the President of the United States, Anna Kendrick and her team of sassy singers seek redemption at an international a cappella competition. Life lessons are learned! Songs are sung! Accents are mocked! John Michael Higgins once again gets the best lines!
Unfortunately, the trailer itself isn’t very good. The offbeat charms of the first film were also a hard sell, but this particular preview is crass and obvious, leaning on the laziest jokes imaginable while not showcasing nearly enough singing. Look, no one fell in love with the first film because of “Haha, Rebel Wilson is fat and she’s naked!” jokes. The hip, sarcastic humor and the genuinely incredibly musical performances are what elevated the original into something more than just another ‘Bring It On’ rip-off. None of that is evident here.
Then again, this is just a preview and not even a particularly well edited one from a technical standpoint. Surely the finished film is much better than this. After all, Universal wouldn’t be releasing this thing in the middle of a superhero-packed summer if they didn’t have confidence in it, right?
‘Pitch Perfect 2’ opens in theaters on May 15.