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Review – Pitch Perfect 2

Pitch Perfect 2 Poster

Pitch Perfect 2 Poster

Pitch Perfect was a surprise hit in 2012 and it surprised me as well by becoming an unlikely favorite of mine.  If you haven’t seen it yet – perhaps it looks too much like some sort of High School Musical rip off? – don’t let appearances hold you back.  It’s a hilarious and fun film, and I was looking forward to the followup for a while now.

Becca (Anna Kendrick) is back, leading the collegiate a cappella group, the Barden Bellas.  What is supposed to be part of their victory tour as three time champions turns into a PR disaster in front of Obama on his birthday when Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) suffers from a graphic wardrobe malfunction.  Shamed nationally, it looks like the Bellas may be done for good.  A loophole, however, allows them to compete in the world championships for the first American title and redemption.

With the help from a few returning group members, as well as an enthusiastic newcomer (Hailee Steinfeld), Becca needs to lead her singing sisters to a victory that seems almost impossible to achieve.  On top of that, Becca is secretly in a competitive internship where she’s starting to worry more about impressing her neurotic boss (Keegan-Michael Key) than coming up with a way for the Bellas to regain their honor.

Carefully balancing the line between giving us more of what we liked about the first film and just being a rehash, PP2 fits almost seamlessly in with the first, though it drops many pretenses of being a character drama, simply becoming a fun and hilarious musical romp – a caricature of musical competition and life.

The amount of surprise cameos and returning faces is astounding and most are better left for you to find out for yourself than to have them spoiled here.  Returning, however, is the dynamic duo of the misogynistic and feisty commentators John and Gail (John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks in her directorial debut).  One of the best parts of the original, they’re back with a vengeance, spewing inappropriate comments every chance they get in quite the delightful manner.

The songs are a great mix tape of current faves, classic hits, and even *gasp* an original.  While obviously lip synced, it seems like even the unlikely candidates (you’ll know them when you see them) are singing their own parts, and everyone sounds pretty darn good.  The Bellas new rivals, German group Das Sound Machine, are terrific.  Not only are they fun villains, I would seriously love to see the fictional musical group in concert.  The ante has been upped in this film in every way, but doesn’t forget where it comes from – a good metaphor for the story itself, in fact.

It’s not quite the surprising joyride that the first one was, but it hits far more good notes than sour, and has plenty of surprises up its sleeves.

My rating: Four out of five hats


Mrs. Hamster says:

“Fun, but more offensive jokes than the first movie.”


Pitch Perfect 2 beatboxes into 3,400 theaters May 15

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