After an embarrassing performance, the Barden Bellas enter an international competition to regain their status and right to perform.
Anna Kendrick - Beca
Rebel Wilson - Fat Amy
Hailee Steinfeld - Emily
Brittany Snow - Chloe
When Pitch Perfect was put into production, no-one could see it doing well. A film about an all-girl a cappella group at college, it wasn't exactly a formula for widespread success, despite the popular television show Glee placing a cappella firmly back into popular culture again. However, the film turned out to be the surprise hit of 2012 with its charming personality, hilarious characters and catchy a cappella versions of hit songs both old and new. A sequel was quickly announced, and so in May this year Pitch Perfect 2 returned the Barden Bellas to our big screens. This time Elizabeth Banks takes the director's chair and does a wonderful job. There are of course flaws, but these do not take away from the huge enjoyment you will gain from watching the hilarious antics of the Bellas that will keep you grinning like a fool throughout, and it is certainly not just one for the girls.
The task of making a satisfying sequel is one of the most difficult jobs in cinema. Achieving the right balance between new material and what the audience loved from the first film is hard, but Banks has managed the task with flair ensuring that the chirpy and offbeat personality of the first film remains, but introduces new factors that leaves the sequel feeling fresh and original. All of the major characters from the first film make a return, and there is more focus placed on audience's favourites, like Rebel Wilson's hilarious Fat Amy who is even given a duet with her love interest Bumper in the sequel. The young Hailee Steinfeld is welcomed in as the new addition to the Bellas as Emily, an enthusiastic new student that is likeable and easy to engage with. Her interest in songwriting spawns a new plot point for the film that works wonderfully and contributes importantly to a fantastic climax that will make you want to rise from your seat and applaud in glee.
Some of the new elements unfortunately do not work as well. We are introduced to Das Sound Machine, the German rival a cappella group whom the Bellas have to face in the world championships. Cue poor performances from Flula Borg and Birgitte Hjort Sorensen and uncomfortable stereotypical jokes that leave a bad feeling in the mouth. However, their musical performances blow you away, adding a techno edge to a cappella that is clearly inspired by popular German band Kraftwerk. The music of the film is incredibly varied featuring everything from Muse's guitar-based Uprising to Taylor Swift's pop classic We Are Never Getting Back Together, and original numbers are even introduced. There really is something for everyone, and the mash-ups and choreography are consistently on top form and bound to get you singing and dancing along with their catchy and upbeat tones.
Even if you find musicals as entertaining as hitting your head against a brick wall, there is so much to enjoy from Pitch Perfect 2 that really is the ultimate feel-good film. The characters are engaging and likeable, and the dynamics between them provide many hilarious moments that will leave your ribs aching. Although it dances along with a gleeful tone, there are many moments fuelled with emotion that adds a raw edge to the film and another level for audiences to connect with. Just as energetic, funny and upbeat as the first, Miss Banks take a deserving bow because girl you 'crushed it'.