WRITTEN BY: Kay Cannon
DIRECTED BY: Elizabeth Banks
STARRING: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Hailee Steinfeld
RATING: 3.5 stars
After an embarrassing performance in which Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) flashes the American president, the Barden Bellas enter an international singing competition that no United States group has ever won to regain their status. Their biggest rivals look set to be the terrifying German team. Meanwhile, Beca (Anna Kendrick) is also secretly planning her career after graduation as a music producer.
The original film was such a surprise hit but the sequel was never going to have the same level of originality and fun. Nonetheless, Pitch Perfect 2 is still full of laughs, mostly thanks to Wilson who has a slew of outrageous jokes, as well as Hana Mae Lee who again has some great whispering lines. Some of the humour is a little racist and sexist, but it is spread around so evenly that it never really threatens to be too offensive. The sequel is also packed with great song choices and its story, which is centred around friendship, is full of heart. The film is a little too long but it is still very enjoyable.
Kendrick is one of the most down-to-earth and relatable actresses working today and it is hard not to adore her character. Wilson is this time given the primary love story and there is one very memorable boat scene for Fat Amy that will leave you in stitches. Birgitte Hjort Sørensen and Flula Borg also make good quirky German villains. Hailee Steinfeld is a sweet addition to the cast as a legacy member of the Barden Bellas, but she has some annoying moments too. Her sub-plot is supposed to add a fresh of breath air to the story but it does not really work.
First-time feature film director Elizabeth Banks, who also returns as hilarious co-commentator Gail, seems to focus a lot on close-ups which is a bit jarring during the performance routines, but otherwise does a very good job. I look forward to seeing what she does next as a director.
Pitch Perfect 2 is not drastically different to the first instalment, but it does not really need to be either. As the saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.