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Pitch Perfect: Bumper In Berlin Review – A Spinoff Series That’s Way Off Key

Bumper In Berlin Review - FandomWir

Pitch Perfect is back (sort of), with Pitch Perfect: Bumper In Berlin. And if you thought Adam DeVine’s Bumper Allen was the best part of the a cappella infused musical comedy franchise, then maybe you’ll actually enjoy Peacock’s spinoff series focused on the bumbling musician. The rest of us, unfortunately, are in for a grating and (mostly) unpleasant viewing experience.

The Barton Bellas are Pitch Perfect. They’re the heart, soul and voice of the franchise. Shifting the focus from the Bellas to the minor character of Bumper, whom acted as a vocal rival in the first Pitch Perfect and the love interest to ‘Fat Amy’ (Rebel Wilson) in Pitch Perfect 2, is a bold choice that will have most fans screeching “Aca-Scuce me?!”

From Left To Right: Pieter Krämer (Flula Borg), Heidi (Sarah Hyland) and Bumper Allen (Adam DeVine ) in Peacock’s ‘Pitch Perfect: Bumper In Berlin.’

Also Read: I Love You, You Hate Me Review: A Fascinating Exploration Into Barney’s Dark History 

Pitch Perfect: Bumper In Berlin finds Bumper Allen still pursing his dream of being a professional musician; however, that dream isn’t quite going as planned. So, when a video featuring Bumper’s musical talents goes viral in Germany, Bumper moves to Berlin to chase his fifteen minutes of fame. Acting as his manager is Pieter Krämer (Flula Borg). Pieter was the leader of Das Sound Machine, a German a cappella troupe that threatened to defeat the Bellas in the franchise’s second installment.

Among the biggest hurdles faced by Pitch Perfect: Bumper In Berlin is Adam Devine’s inability to carry the franchise on his own. DeVine is a fine comedian, but his acting is often one note, stuck in the cyclical rut of playing the same character in every role he’s cast. That character often works, as it did in his breakout series Workaholics; but it fails to fill the gap left by Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow and Rebel Wilson’s absence. Couple that with DeVine’s limited vocal abilities (one rendition of Aqua’s pop hit “Barbie Girl” was especially strenuous to endure), and you have a recipe for a disappointing spin-off, running on the fumes of its predecessor’s successes.

The cast of Peacock’s ‘Pitch Perfect: Bumper In Berlin.’

A shining spot in this mostly tarnished production is Sarah Hyland (The Wedding Year). As Heidi she brings a vibrance and exuberance that the series largely lacks. While she can’t replace the Bellas, she delivers on the charm and vocal talents needed in a Pitch Perfect property. Surprisingly enough, she may be the only cast member with a voice worthy of the Pitch Perfect title.

Pitch Perfect: Bumper In Berlin unfortunately continues the franchise’s downward spiral in quality, devolving from a genuinely hilarious story about finding yourself, into a slapstick spewing attempt at cheap laughs. Some of those laughs do land, and I found myself moderately amused in a “turn off your brain and let it play in the background” sort of way. However; I was hoping for Pitch Perfect, and this pitch was way off.

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Written by Joshua Ryan

Joshua Ryan is the Creative Coordinator and Head Film Critic for FandomWire. He's a member of the Critics Choice Association and spokesperson for the Critics Association of Central Florida. Joshua is also one of the hosts of the FandomWire review based Podcast, Cinema Stubs.

Twitter: @MrMovieGuy86 Instagram: @MrMovieGuy86