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Pitch Perfect 2

Sadly, Pitch Perfect 2 is entirely off key. Pretty much everything that can be wrong with a sequel—bigger goals, broader gags, extreme artificiality—is wrong with this comedy. The Barden Bellas won Nationals in the first movie; now the three-time champs set their sights on the Worlds, but only after their charter is threatened by Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) flashing her down unders at Obama. Most of the familiar faces—Beca (Anna Kendrick), weird, quiet Lilly (Hana Mae Lee), et al—are seniors, while Chloe (Brittany Snow) is repeating her senior year for a third time. 

The stakes never feel high enough. Beca keeps unnecessary secrets about her internship, which at least allows Keegan-Michael Key to run at 30 percent funny. Why even keep up the charade with Beca’s boyfriend, Jesse (Skylar Astin)? His rare appearances are utterly superfluous, as two other romances—Fat Amy-Bumper (Adam Devine) and new girl Emily (Hailee Stanfield)-Jesse (Ben Platt)—blossom. The bits with Chrissie Fit as a Guatemalan transfer student quickly jump from edgy to odious. 

If one near-pleasant critique can be leveled at Pitch Perfect 2, the musical numbers are expectedly melodious, yet too infrequent. This flick would have worked better as a comic opera.