When the most entertaining disaster movie of the last decade is Sharknado, you know something's wrong. But when the trailer for San Andreas came out, I hoped that maybe this statement would change. I hoped that maybe Sharknado would be pushed down to second spot. I mean, who doesn't love the Rock? That man is unstoppable, plus he's legally ordained and everything. Unfortunately though, San Andreas fails to live up to the pretty damn awesome, and incredibly spoiler-y, trailers. Looks like Sharknado remains at the top for a while longer.
The film follows the story of Ray (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson). He's a rescue chopper pilot with more than 300 confirmed rescues, although beneath all that, Ray is nothing more than a family man. Not quite over the death of his eldest daughter, Ray decides to spend more time with his other daughter, Blake (Alexandra Daddario), but their time together is cut short after a series of ground shaking earthquakes occur. They're the largest ever recorded earthquakes and the result is whatever a $100 million budget can make. His family split all over the city, Ray takes action, going in search of his wife (Carla Gugino) and daughter.
San Andreas isn't a film to be taken seriously, and it lets you know about this right from the opening scene. We see a teenage girl, who's character literally plays no importance to the overall film. She's driving a car on the side of a cliff. We see her bending down to pick something up or check her phone numerous times, and each time a car drives past her. It's hilarious, whether that was intentional or not, and it sets up a goofy mood. While this is the only scene in the film I would describe as "goofy," especially since the tone changes drastically thirty seconds later, the filmmakers behind San Andreas clearly knew what type of film they were making and they rolled with this the whole way through.
It's a ridiculous, cheesy and over the top movie that, thanks to the Rock, actually manages to be occasionally entertaining. Don't get me wrong, this film can be god-awful at times, bringing in all the worst dialogue imaginable, but when the destruction is on screen, the film can also be a lot of fun. It's cheese at its finest and this cheese is topped off with a bit of muscular charisma. The film is nuts, but it knows its nuts and it embraces that, bringing us a breath taking scene involving a tsunami. The action is fun, even if the special effects are of varying qualities.
Watching all the destruction unfold and seeing hundreds of CGI civilians get crushed by a variety of different objects is entertaining, sure, but everything in-between is absolutely not. Every line of dialogue in this film is completely cringe worthy, giving us such lines as "who are we going to call?" "Everybody!" It's awful, clichéd and a line I would expect in a Michael Bay movie. Nobody talks the way these people do and it always bewilders me how none of the actors ever seem the pick up on it.
As for the characters, they're just as bad. Literally every character in this movie is a character from another movie. We've got the scientist who knew this was going to happen, the big, badass dad, the daughter going off to college, the wife who's dating a douchebag but doesn't realise it, and a random love interest the daughter meets just before the destruction. Sound familiar? That's because it's from every disaster movie ever made. Nothing about this film screams original. Not even the disaster sequences do, and that's saying something.
To sum up, San Andreas can be a lot of fun when there's destruction to be had, but when they take the time to let us know about the characters, the film completely falls apart, providing us with the worst dialogue imaginable and characters we've seen a hundred times over.
2 1/2 Stars
You know that feeling of awe you get when you visit Disney Land (or World) for the first time? That feeling of amaze and wonder? If not, it's a feeling of immense happiness and joy, and a similar feeling a five year old gets at the sight of sugar. When you first lay eyes on Tomorrowland, not the movie but the actual place, a similar feeling occurs. It's here, in the opening twenty or so minutes, where Tomorrowland (this time I'm talking about the movie) shows us what's in stall, all while showing just about as much as the trailers do, and to respect that, I'm going to give away as little about this film as possible.
We follow the story of young teenager, Casey Newton (Britt Robertson). After running into a spot of trouble with the law, Casey ends up spending an afternoon in prison, only to be bailed out by her dad (Tim McGraw). When getting back her stuff, Casey is given a mysterious pin that she doesn't own. The guard not wanting to take it back, Casey picks it up. Upon touching it, she's taken to a weird and magical world, except this world only appears when holding onto the pin and only she can see it. After her visit expires, Casey goes searching for the only person who knows what the hell she's going on about: Frank Walker (George Clooney). Together, they try to travel to Tomorrowland. And that's all you get. That's about as much of the plot as you need to know before seeing this movie.
I wasn't quite as excited for this movie as everyone else was. Don't get me wrong, after that initial teaser trailer I was ecstatic, but then the second trailer came along and I became somewhat less excited. But my faith in Brad Bird as a director kicked in and I pushed all the negativity aside, stopped watching footage and pre booked my tickets because why not? Then the hate train wheeled in and this film took a beating, which didn't take me by that much of a surprise. Still, I was eager. As I sat down in the cinema and watched the magic unfold, I became reminded of why I go to the movies. I remembered what it was I love about cinema, and that's a feeling I didn't think would come out of me after watching this movie.
It's not a perfect movie, and I'll get into why shortly, but it just made me happy. It's a constant delight for its entire two and a bit hour runtime and I can only imagine how much better it would've been to go see this film in IMAX. There's a constant sense of amazement and bewilderment as we're taken on this magical and visually stunning journey. Brad Bird can direct. He's shown us that with his previous films and he's shown us again with Tomorrowland. He knows how to make a damn good looking movie and there's not one film of his that I do not like. He brings the five year old in me out and I'm okay with that.
Narratively speaking, the film is a bit everywhere. It starts out in one place and ends at another, but it's never not entertaining. It's storytelling is a mess and the ending makes absolutely no sense, but because of Brad Bird's excellent direction and the three lead performances, it didn't phase me that much. Every component of this film works, except for the damn script. If the script was anywhere close to being as good as the visuals then Tomorrowland could've been a great movie. Instead, we have a good one, and yes, I would see myself watching it again, flaws and all.
But the performances. Let's talk about those. The three leads, yes three, are all excellent. Britt Robertson is a nobody who just became a somebody. She's likeable, can actually act and brings humanity to her character, despite some lines of dialogue coming across as a bit un-human-y. Then there's George Clooney, and like always, he's brilliant. That man is incapable of giving a bad performance and Tomorrowland is not his falling point. Then finally, there's Raffey Cassidy, who's character I won't be discussing in that much detail. All I'll say is that she is excellent in her role and I hope to see more of her in other films too.
My final comment is on the film's message, and this is again a critique of the film's script. It's not that the message is bad or that I don't agree with it, as a matter of fact I really like the message and I do agree with it. The film just really hammers it in, discussing it every single chance it can. We get it, okay. The world's a terrible place. No need to keep reminding us to change it every few minutes. Unfortunately, they do see the need, and so that's what we're given. Like I said, if it weren't for the script then we could have a damn good movie on our hands. Oh, and on a side note, I like Universal Studios more than I do Disney Land. Sorry everybody.
To sum up, Tomorrowland is a visually stunning movie with great performances and great direction. It manages to create a constant sense of awe and wonder, despite having a rather messy screenplay and a nonsensical ending.
3 1/2 Stars
Believe it or not, I'm still holding out hope for modern comedy. Just like horror and action, the genre of comedy has slowly been slipping for a while now. Not in terms of viewership, but in terms of quality. Unlike the western, I don't think comedies will ever stop (although to be fair, I feel westerns are starting to make a come back). It's not a genre that will likely go away any time in the future. After such disasters as Get Hard, Mortdecai, The Duff and other unfunny 2015 released garbage I deliberately didn't see, I can't say I was too eager to see Spy. I like Jude Law. I like Rose Byrne. I like Jason Statham. I occasionally like Melissa McCarthy. What could go wrong? Oh that's right. Everything can.
Paul Feig, the man who brought us Bridesmaids and The Heat, has come yet again to grace us with his presence, except this time he's made a dud. Spy follows the story of wannabe spy, Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy). Instead of going out into the field and taking down bad guys, Susan is stuck at a desk, helping out top agent, Bradley Fine (Jude Law). After he's compromised and the names of every agent are leaked out to the evil Raina Boyanov (Rose Byrne), who's attempting to sell nuclear weapons, Susan is forced to step out into the field, seeings as how she's the only one who's actually anonymous. It's up to her to save the world, I suppose. Was the world even at stake in this movie? Probably. I'm not 100% sure. It more than likely was. After all, I'd let Rose Byrne rule the world if she really wanted to. Just saying.
Spy is a two hour long string of awkwardly edited improvised lines, although I guess that's most modern comedies, isn't it? The writers are there simply to provide plot points. It's up to the actors to deliver the goods, and I presume they're all running out of jokes because every joke in this film just feels familiar. It's been done before and it's been done in funnier movies. There's a few small chuckles here and there, but other than one joke that was shown in the first trailer, nothing in this movie screams originality.
It may sound like I'm blaming the cast, but I'm not. Well, I am partially, but they try and I'm giving them recognition for that. They just fail. Melissa McCarthy essentially plays herself, which is what she does in just about every movie. She's fine and she's self aware and I'm okay with that. She's just not that entertaining in this movie. Neither is Rose Byrne, to be honest, and that's something I didn't really expect to say when I went in to see this film.
Jason Statham does his best, providing us with some of the most ridiculous spy stories you will ever hear. It's these jokes that probably work the best, but even then, they provide nothing more than a mere chuckle here and there, over half of them missing the mark. There's just no physical comedy to be found at all in this film. It's one liner after one liner after one liner and while a few work, most don't. It feels like stand up comedy more than anything.
Like Feig's previous film, The Heat, Spy can get surprisingly violent at times. I'm okay with the violence. That's not what I'm here to talk about. I'm here to talk about how insanely terrible the effects were and how obviously choreographed the fights scenes appear. The special effects in this movie, which mostly consist of slow motion blood spurts (as this film has A LOT of slow motion), look so painfully fake, the colour of blood occasionally changing colours between shots. There's a scene where a man is pushed from a building. He lands on a spike and an orange-looking blood squirts out. We cut to a side on shot and the blood is red. Even the blood in this movie is inconsistent.
If we're talking about this movie narrative-wise, rather than comedy-wise, not even that works too well. It's predictable and formulaic, following all the exact plot beats you'd expect it to. Spy is scattered with twists as well, so much so that they begin to cloud what's actually happening. The plot becomes one ginormous mess in the third act, yet it somehow manages to be predictable at the same time. I don't know. Ask somebody else. That statement both makes sense and doesn't make sense. Deal with it.
To sum up, Spy is a bit of a lacklustre follow up to The Heat and Bridesmaids, serving as an unfunny, formulaic, predictable mess of a movie that feels more like a two hour stand up show than an actual narrative.
Horror remakes have a bumpy reputation. There are some, such as 2013's Evil Dead, that take the original, treat it with respect and tell the story over, adding enough unique layers to stand on its own. They're rare, but they work. Then there are others, such as 2009's Friday the 13th, that take the original, try to treat it with respect and just add a whole lot more gore and/or sex to make it feel as if it's a newer, darker tale for a new generation. Then there are some that are just plain awful, such as 1998's Psycho, and it's these films that have absolutely no idea what they're doing. Poltergeist fits into all three of these categories, although not so much the first one.
Following an almost identical plot to the original film, Poltergeist tells the story of a family. They're new in town. They move into what appears to be a decent house, but guess what? It's not. Yep, it's a haunted house. Who could've guessed? The spirits present, the poltergeists, are trapped between the realm of the living and the realm of the dead, and to get to the afterlife, they must be guided by a human. They decide to take 6 year old, Madison (Kennedi Clements), bringing her into the spirit world. Now it's up to her family to bring her back and get rid of the ghosts before they keep Madison there forever.
The original Poltergeist movie is a terrifying, spine chilling masterpiece. I was watching it again just yesterday and it's a film that not only scares the living daylights out of me, but also has an engaging family plot too. It draws you into these characters lives and gets you to care about them. With the new Poltergeist, not only did they forget the scares, but they also forgot to make us care about these characters. The dad, played by Sam Rockwell, I liked, but that's more than likely because it's Sam Rockwell playing Sam Rockwell. The rest of the cast fail to appeal.
Even Madison failed to impress. In the original film, the main girl (who's name was Carol Anne) was an adorable, likeable and sweet child who looked up to her family and copied them in day to day situations. In the new film, she's a child who looks up to her family and copies them in day to day situations. She's actually a bit of a brat, demanding things to happen now and insulting the pizza they eat for dinner one night. She's not likeable and hence, when her character is taken away, I didn't really feel emotionally invested. I didn't care for the fact that she's probably going to be emotionally scarred for the rest of her life. It didn't hit home for me.
When updated to suit modern technology, the film becomes overly flashy and in your face. It literally rubs every scare into the screen, trying to get you to jump or scream. Instead of having just a static screen, the filmmakers decided to have hands touching it. Scary at first glimpse, but dumb and gimmicky after a while. Remember that tree scene from the original film? Yeah, well now you can witness it in 3D as it climbs through a house and grabs a kid and nobody really cares about the fact THAT A FREAKING TREE JUST GRABBED SOMEONE! I love the scene in the original film, but my god, it is not done well here.
Director Gil Kenan, who's other two films were Monster House and City of Ember, tries to make this film scary. He tries and I could see what he was going for. His long, smooth and stylised shots don't help to build suspense, which is clearly what he was trying to do, but they do look nice, so that's a plus. The problem is, I don't think Kenan is that familiar with what makes a horror movie suspenseful. He shows everything, which is what the original was so good at not doing. It hid stuff from the audience, not even showing what it looks like in the spirt world. Kenyan does the opposite, showing what's behind every single scare.
Remember that brilliant scene in the original film where the mum manages to speak to her daughter? Remember that feeling of suspense as we hear the daughter talk to somebody else? Somebody we can't see. I remember that feeling. It was a horrible feeling, and that's just what I want from a horror movie like this. In the remake, this scene is there. It's there and it just doesn't work. Perhaps it's because I knew what was to come or perhaps it's because they rush right to the scare. There's no build up.
When the original movie ended, I was still trembling. Not because it pulls a found footage trick on us and ends with the biggest, most nonsensical scare of all, but because I still didn't know what Carroll Anne experienced. I was still unsure of what it was like in the place she was. There's a feeling of dread and sickness that comes with the fear of the unknown. In Poltergeist, this feeling didn't come once. We see her in this realm. We see her walking around and interacting with spirits and it's more comedic than it is frightening.
As for the dialogue, however, that was just straight up comedic. There's no two ways about it. It's corny, clichéd and straight up laughable at times. Just before the iconic "they're here" line is said, young Madison decides to warn us that "they're coming." Why? I don't know, but it completely takes away from the impact of that classic quote. The best scenes in this movie are the ones where nobody talks, and unfortunately that's something that rarely happens. Just go watch the original film three more times. After the third viewing, I'm sure it's still scarier than the remake.
To sum up, Poltergeist tries to hit all the same beats and scares as the first film, but really fails with its unlikeable and unsympathetic characters, a severe lack of suspense, clichéd dialogue and plenty of in your face moments. This film is subtlety at its lowest.
The Mad Max franchise is arguably the most well known Australian film franchise of all time. We first met up with Max in 1979. His wife and daughter were viciously murdered by a gang of bikers, forcing Max to become, well, mad. He had nothing to loose. The story continued in 1981 with Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, a film that took all the right beats from the first film, added a more apocalyptic layer to everything and gave us a beloved and classic action movie. Things couldn't have been better. And for a while, they never were. In 1985 we saw the release of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, an uneven and rather dull entry into the world of the mad. Now, at long last, we're given Mad Max: Fury Road, and what a lovely day it is.
When we meet up with Max (now played by Tom Hardy), he's ran into a spot of trouble. He's been kidnapped, tattooed, tied up and is being used as a supply of blood. The monster behind all this? Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). While he's played by the same guy who played Toecutter in the original film, it's never addressed if they're the same character. Probably not. After all, he is dead. But hey, this is a reboot, and in reboots, anything goes. Anyway, Max escapes, gaining an ally in Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a one-armed badass who aims to kill, and a chase ensures. A chase that lasts practically the entire runtime of this film. And no, that's not at all a bad thing.
George Miller, director of all 4 Mad Max movies, is one crazy bastard. How he came up with such an insane film, I will never know. Miller has came out and stated that the screenplay for Fury Road was written after the storyboards were drawn, claiming he wanted to focus more on the visuals than the dialogue. Upon hearing this, I became slightly hesitant. The trailers were awesome, don't get me wrong, but the way that statement sounded made me take a step back. After watching the film, you can't even tell.
The visuals are there and they're brilliant, but the dialogue works too. Screenplay first or storyboard first. Who cares? If Miller takes this approach with every film from here on out, I will be okay with it. Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the most outrageous thrill rides I have ever been, featuring such madness as a flame throwing guitar, a deadly sandstorm, men jumping from cars with humungous sticks and a gecko with two heads. Oh, and did I mention that that's just in the first thirty minutes? Miller truly has put the mad back in Mad Max.
The action is brutal, constant and filmed gorgeously. Fury Road is the most well shot film in this entire series, and this is a series of well shot films. It captures the insanity of everything, occasionally helping to produce the havoc. It's a brutally relentless epic with set pieces and stunts that were done entirely practical, the sandstorm sequence being the only obvious exception. It's the most action packed Mad Max movie yet and it works so bloody well.
Not only is it the most action packed one yet, it's also the best one yet. While there are a few teeny tiny flaws here and there, most having to do with predictability of the fate of most of the characters, it still manages to hold itself up there against the Road Warrior, waving as it surpasses it. It takes these characters on a journey that furthers their arcs, in particular with Max, who's still not over the death of his family.
His character is moodier and angrier than he's ever been, and this film puts him in just the right situation to unleash all that he's got. At first, it would appear that Tom Hardy is no Mel Gibson. Nobody can be. But as the film went on, his performance continued to grow on me. Ever since the announcement of his casting, I never doubted him. That's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is, Tom Hardy may just be a better Max than Mel Gibson ever was. Aaaaaand here come all the haters. Sorry. Watch the film, come back and tell me otherwise.
However, Max isn't the only lead character this time around. Charlize Theron's Furiosa occasionally takes the helms, playing a much more dominant role than I expected. Her backstory is rarely explored, only hinted at, but if interviews suggest anything, it looks like we'll be seeing a lot more of her in future instalments, and I hope these films happen. I really do. George, if this is just a taste of what's to come, please give me more. The world needs more Mad Max.
To sum up, Mad Max: Fury Road is a Mad Max for a new generation, and I couldn't be more pleased with the final product. It's completely bonkers, filled to the brim with breathtaking action and casts the perfect Max. Now this is a movie worth waiting for.
4 1/2 Stars
I made a very deliberate choice to not see this movie in theatres. I just didn't want to sit through this film with any other living soul. I could've seen it for free, but I chose not to. I didn't want to. I refused to physically get up out of bed, walk to my local theatre and actually watch this film. Instead, I waited it out. I waited for it to come to video on demand, choosing to pay an extra $5 to save myself from watching this in public. I was able to sit down with my lunch, hit play and watch it. And what a waste of $5 it was. Do you know how many other things I could've bought for $5? I could've purchased a pack and a half of MnM's. I could've purchased a very cheap, very old DVD from Big W. I could've given it to a charity. I could've flushed it down the toilet. I could've purchased some scissors so I could come home and chop up everything I own. All of these sound like better options than what I spent it on.
I don't even know what this film is about. Seriously. I've seen it, I've digested it, I've talked to my friends about it and I am still unclear on the plot of this film. We follow the story of Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson). She's a college student, but more importantly to the 'plot,' she's a virgin, because for some reason that adds a bit of tension? I'm not sure. But one day she meets billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). The two don't really speak eye to eye. It's just a whole lot of awkward small talk. Yet for some reason, the writers thought it would be a good idea to put them together in a sexual relationship. Oh, but just you wait. It turns out Mr. Grey here isn't one for relationships. No, no, no. His tastes are more, as the movie puts it, 'singular.' Singular meaning he likes to tie people up, whip them and then sexually abuse them, claiming that it's pleasurable for the both of them when everybody in the audience knows it's most certainly not. And that's just the first thirty minutes.
The first thirty minutes, in my opinion, aren't all that terrible. Well, let me rephrase that. The first thirty minutes is complete horse shit, but it's so horse shitty that it's hilarious. Think The Room, but with more BDSM and more effort. And no, I don't actually know what BDSM stands for, but I'm going to presume the B stands for Bondage and the S stands for Sex? Am I close? No? Yeah? Cool. Thanks.
The writing here is just so painful that it becomes pleasurable. It's almost as if the pain becomes so great that eventually my body became used to it, began to soak it in and I benefited from it. Actually, I don't want to say benefited. Benefited implies that I got something out of this movie when all I really got was a good laugh or two, some boredom and zero erections, but more on that last one later. I didn't go into this film to hate it, believe it or not. I didn't go in to say that it was the worst movie ever. I knew I probably would feel that way, but I wanted to like it, for some strange reason. I just wanted to get that off my chest as it obviously did not occur.
I kid you not, there is a scene in this movie where Anastasia wakes up in Christian's hotel room. She's hungover and can't remember what happened the previous night. He enters the room, explains everything and gives her some food to eat. She starts eating her toast and bestow and behold, Christian suddenly takes off his shirt for no reason at all. He then crawls over to her, takes a bite of her toast and crawls away. It's the funniest, most uncomfortable thing I have seen in a long, long time.
Nobody working on this film ever appears to be pleased with what they've made, and they shouldn't be. I've seen interviews with both the cast and crew and none of them seem to be happy or proud of what they made here. None of them appear to be getting along, none of them have any chemistry and none of them appear happy, and this all shows in the film. The cast are wooden sticks on poles, walking around and moving their mouths (and genitals) up and down. It's embarrassing, not only for their careers, but for humanity.
It probably doesn't help when you don't have any sort of script to go off of, so I suppose I'll give them credit for trying. Seriously though, nothing happens in this movie after the initial set up. She looses her virginity. Cool. They discuss contracts. Cool. They complain. Cool. They put off having sex for a while longer. Cool. They go to have sex, but don't. Cool. They finally break the rules and have sex. Cool. They complain about said sex. Cool. They have some more sex to see if their complaints are justified. Cool. The movie ends. Cool?
It's not even as though it has a decent ending, either. Fifty Shades of Grey is a two hour long first act of a movie that goes nowhere and ends nowhere. I'm convinced that the writers had a page limit when writing this script and when the limit was reached they just had to end it there, no matter how far through the story they'd gotten. The Lord of the Rings and other films like that work as a trilogy because of the massive story they're trying to tell. Fifty Shades of Grey has no story it's telling and therefore shouldn't be a trilogy. It shouldn't even be one movie. Why does this even exist?
I'll tell you why it exists. Horny, depressed, single mums. As I'm sure we're well aware of by now, Fifty Shades of Grey started out as Twilight fan fiction that was written on a blackberry phone. It was a hit (because why not?) and so the names of the characters were changed and it became its own thing. Somebody actually wrote this, edited this, published this, bought the rights to this, adapted this, filmed this, edited this, approved this and released this. For fuck's sake! No. Please... no. No more. I'm so very done.
What I find so strange about this review is that I've hardly touched on the sex scenes, so let's change that. The sex scenes in Fifty Shades of Grey are un-erotic, dull, drably, lacking nudity and not at all what the book was trying to do. The books are erotic novels. I've never read them, but please take notice of the fact that I just said erotic. EROTIC! The film adaptation is tame, slow and more about preparing for sex than it is about sex. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson has said that she tried to make each sex scene have its own rhythm and I'm fine with that. It didn't work, but she tried, and that's more than anyone else involved with this movie did, except maybe Dakota Johnson, but even she's not that amazing.
I was seriously tempted to put the honest trailer for this movie down at the bottom of this review. I won't, but I should. It perfectly sums up just how terrible this film truly is. I didn't expect this to be a masterpiece, but I didn't expect it to be this bad. I compliment it for being unpredictable, but that's merely because there's nothing to predict. I could complement the cinematography, but it's not really too spectacular. It's just better than everything else in the film. Please don't watch this movie. I know I'm too late, but if you haven't already and you were planning on it, even if it's just to see what all the fuss is about, please don't. I'm begging you. Do the safe thing. Protect yourself. Weren't we all told to use protection?
To sum up, if you've ever heard of Fifty Shades of Grey (and I'm going to go out on a limb here and say we all have?) then you're probably already aware of just how terrible it truly is. So here, have my review, laugh a little and then burn this film to the ground.
0 1/2 Stars
Pitch Perfect 2 continues the story of the Bellas, an a-capella group led by Beca (Anna Kendrick). After embarrassing themselves in front of Barack Obama himself, the Bellas are suspended from school. To redeem themselves and to re-gain the right to perform again (as they were suspended after the incident), the team competes in the world championship. But it's here where they meet their match, forcing them to recruit new member, Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), who's mum was a previous Bella member.
To be honest, I don't mind the first Pitch Perfect movie. While I may not be the target demographic, it was a pretty entertaining movie. It's not one I felt like rewatching and it's not one I have ever rewatched, but for what it was, I liked it. It was decent. When it came to Pitch Perfect 2, there was something about the trailers that just made it appear all too familiar, not to mention somewhat unfunny. I was hesitant going in, but also a bit curious. Curious to see if maybe it had the charm of the first film. Pitch Perfect 2 is yet another example of a film I misjudged too early. This seems to be happening an awful lot lately. Maybe I should just get excited for everything. Or maybe not. After all, I did just watch Fifty Shades of Grey today and no way was I excited for that.
But who do we have to blame for this being a surprisingly successful sequel? Rebel Wilson, that's who. She steals essentially every scene she's in, giving us more Fat Amy lines to quote. She's hysterical, her jokes being the most consistent of the entire cast. Not every one hits as well as she wants them to, but when they do, it's most certainly worthwhile. There's even a scene with her on a boat that may just be the funniest, most fulfilling scene in the whole movie.
While she steals the spotlight, she doesn't hog it. Most of the other cast members have their moments too. Anna Kendrick's character gets the most development, even if some of her character development feels forced at times. Her jokes aren't nearly as funny as Wilson's, but there are some that really work and it's these ones that become a standout. The rest of her screen time is, well, not quite as entertaining, to say the least.
Then there's the supporting cast, and all of them are rather forgettable. If you're not Emily, Fat Amy or Beca then you really don't matter that much, the only possible exception being Brittany Snow's character, but even then she's not used that much. There were even some characters in this movie that I didn't realise were a part of the Bellas until the final performance. They're tossed aside, forgotten about and are there simply to give lines to the main characters.
On top of that, the film itself is one ginormous mess. The plot is all over the place, introducing plot lines that are tossed away just a few scenes later. Even the main storyline gets forgotten at one point, the film completely shifting gears. It becomes over complicated and completely convoluted, and this most definitely should not be the case. It's a Pitch Perfect movie. I don't want to left behind with the story. That's not how this series is meant to work.
To sum up, Pitch Perfect 2 is a complete mess plot-wise and it completely disregards the existence of some characters, but it does have more than a few solid laughs up its sleeve, mostly thanks to Rebel Wilson's charisma and style of humour.