Following the huge success of Pitch Perfect back in 2012, a sequel was almost immediately announced. The first was a runaway success and a welcome breath of fresh air; fierce in its comedy and featuring a back catalogue of undeniably catchy musical numbers.
Could the trick be repeated a second time round though?
After three consecutive years of winning the National A Capella Championships, the Barden Bellas are the pride and joy of Barden University. However, when a wardrobe malfunction during a performance in front of the President occurs, the Bellas are shamed and banned from any further national competitions.
Finding a loophole in the system that could potentially get them reinstated, the Bellas enter the World A Capella Championships in Copenhagen, a competition that no American team has ever won. Standing in their way; the well-oiled and efficient German team known as Das Sound Machine.
More often than not, particularly with comedies, sequels tend to tread over familiar ground that we have seen before. Pitch Perfect 2 isn’t as refreshing as its predecessor, nor is it as good but it still is enjoyable enough.
The novelty factor of the first is lost a little in this sequel but then what else can be done with a film about an a cappella singing group? The musical numbers are jammed right in and certainly keep the fast tempo of the film intact. The addition of the stereotypically efficient German team, Das Sound Machine, is a touch of genius, with their performances being both ridiculously good and hilarious at the same time.
My main problem with the film was some of the humour that they included was just downright unnecessary. Some of the jokes failed to get a single laugh, causing some of the scenes to run too long and become awkward. Then there is the character of Flo, a Guatemalan member of the Bellas who does nothing but spout out racial stereotypes about her home nation. She literally does nothing else throughout and adds nothing to the film as a whole. I just didn’t get it.
The performances are pretty solid all round, with Anna Kendrick getting through on autopilot as Beca and Rebel Wilson providing the majority of the laughs as Fat Amy. My personal favourites, as with the first film, have to be Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins as the pair of outspoken a cappella competition commentators. This is where the film scored many of its laughs from me.
Just a quick mention to Elizabeth Banks for doing a fine job on her directorial debut. Having starred in many comedies before, Banks gets the tone that Pitch Perfect 2 is going for and it really does transfer from behind the camera on to the screen.