It's senior year for the Bellas, and they kick off the journey on top of the world, performing for the President and other top-notch gigs until reality pitch-slaps them in the face when Fat Patricia has an extremely embarassing wardrobe malfunction which gets the 3-time a capella collegiate champions disqualified from any and all future collegiate events. Or so they think, until Chloe discovers a loophole which still allows them to still participate in the world championships, presenting the opportunity to redeem themselves to the board.
New-comer and daughter of a former Barden Bella, Emily Junk finds herself as the only freshman in a top-notch group of singers that has been rattled and has lost its focus. Together, the group must reform the strength they once had to conquer what no other American group has done before: win the A Capella World Championships.
The sequel to potentially one of the most quotable comedies behind the likes of Princess Bride and Mean Girls indeed brings us back to the characters we fell in love with in the first, but following the same formulaic pattern as the first. While main character Beca Mitchell, played by Anna Kendrick, struggles with the realization that her music lacks originality and consists completely of mash-ups rather than original content, it seems as though director Elizabeth Banks struggled with the same issue. With the audition, riff-off, a capella party, touching final performance, and even a new iconic original song from the first all having been re-hashed in similar manners as the first, one leaves the theater realizing they've seen the same film before.
Littered with guest appearances, including Grammy-winning a capella group Pentatonix, Snoop Dogg, and the singing and performing Green Bay Packers as well as a new gymnastically talented Hispanic Bella with horribly hilarious yet stereotypical racial statements definitely spiced up the content of the film, but with the key points having been done before, it's questionable as to if they did enough. Plot-wise, the most significant change was the introduction of Beca's new studio internship and the ideas of what happens to life after the Bellas.
On a social level, Pitch Perfect manages to make a bold statement in the direction for growth in Civil Rights, with nearly any and all races and body types thoroughly represented in the ensemble, as well as voicing feminist views, as well as statements on sexuality being more open and friendly to those who differ from one's self. The Bellas express nothing but joy and support of now openly lesbian character Cynthia Rose's romantic life, and the movie doesn't shy away from the ideas of experimenting with the same sex and questioning one's sexuality like many other films.
Same-sex relationships aren't the only kind of relationship Pitch Perfect 2 features. Fat Patricia and Bumper's relationship develop to a level similar to Beca and Jesse's in the first, while Jesse's magical roommate Benji develops an awkwardly adorable interest with the new-comer legacy Emily. While the first film certainly put emphasis on the comedic aspect, this second installment definitely works to create more character development and relationships.
Compared to other comedy sequels such as Grown Ups 2 and Men In Black 3, Pitch Perfect 2 actually does quite an amazing job in making a film still worth watching. Because of this, you can add this movie to the list of comedy sequels actually worth your time alongside recent success 22 Jump Street. In summary, Pitch Perfect 2 did not finish the audience off like a cheesecake in the same aca-awesome way as the first, but if you're a fan of the Bellas, it's certainly worth the trip to go see. While my personal favorite Kimmy-Jin was nowhere to be seen, you can still expect beautifully awkward whispered one-liners from Lilly, 'as my father always says' quotes from former leader Aubrey, lesbionestness from Cynthia Rose, and some absolutely beautiful arrangements and mash-ups of today's hit songs.