PITCH PERFECT 2
2 ½ /5 Stars
As aca-awesome as the first installment? Nah, but it’s not aca-tastrophe, either. After a disastrous performance in front of the president that leads to their disbandment, the Barden Bellas seek redemption at an international acapella competition. This lends “Pitch Perfect 2” some genuinely impressive moments in the form of acapella performances from around the world. There are also some pretty good laughs, including an underground competition featuring the Green Bay Packers. However, the introduction of Hailee Steinfeld’s character, Emily, feels forced and awkward, and out of the movie’s already too numerous side stories, hers is the most annoying. But whatever — there’s girl power, good songs and those two aca-commentators (Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins) are always good for a laugh. “Pitch Perfect 2” will leave you chuckling at least 30 percent of the time, which is more than your calc homework can say.
See this in theaters while you still can — if you’re watching a T-Rex scamper across your laptop screen, you’re doing it wrong. This is a movie made for the big screen. As per “Jurassic” tradition, the effects are larger than life, and if you can’t fully appreciate them you might end up questioning the plot, and oh boy, if that happens, it’s all downhill from there.
As you might have heard in the trailers, “the park is open,” and millions of people flood to it each year. However, a genetically-engineered, highly intelligent terror manages to escape from her enclosure and goes on a ferocious killing spree. Nothing wrong with that — who doesn’t love seeing people getting swallowed whole by dinosaurs? Where “Jurassic World” gets hung up is in the human aspects of the film, most of which are encompassed by dull clichés — a workaholic aunt sheds her cold persona to save her nephews (snooze), a romance blooms between an affable dino wrangler and a rather unlikeable scientist (ugh). These criticisms aside, “Jurassic World” is still worth seeing. There’s something to be said for a movie that is so entertaining you completely forget how dumb it is.
Every inch of this film is amazing. With Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids,” “The Heat”) at the reigns and Melissa McCarthy in tow, you know it’s going to be good. McCarthy stars as Susan Cooper, a CIA analyst who goes undercover to prevent the sale of a deadly weapon to an even deadlier arms dealer. But though Susan is inexperienced, she is definitely not inept, and a lot of the satisfaction of “Spy” derives from watching Susan outsmart the villains (and peers) who continually underestimate her. It’s also completely hilarious.
McCarthy, as usual, is game for anything, and hits jokes out of the park like the comedic all-star she is. However, the funniest part of this film — and prepare yourself for this one — is Jason Statham, who’s mostly known for bland action thrillers. Playing Rick Ford, a viciously quotable field agent, Statham infuses every ridiculous line with so much arrogance and fervor he’s reminiscent of a rather egotistical (but infinitely funnier) James Bond. “Spy” is a must-see for all fans of laughing. See it as soon as you can.