There’s an almost formulaic way in which Hollywood produces comedy sequels, taking the same characters, putting them in the same situation and making some minor tweaks. However, with all the best jokes already used, comedy sequels reach further and strain harder in order to get a laugh, collapsing in on themselves in the process. The all-singing, all-dancing “Pitch Perfect 2” is a rare exception to this trend.
After a humiliating wardrobe malfunction during a performance in front of the President of the United States, the Barden Bellas are suspended from the aca-circuit. Their only chance of redemption is to win the a capella world championships– a feat that no American group has ever achieved.
Meanwhile, with graduation looming, Beca (Anna Kendrick) begins an internship at a record label, something which she keeps secret from the group. This provides the basis for some of the film’s biggest laughs courtesy of condescending, over-the-top music producer (Keegan-Michael Key).
And there’s certainly no shortage of laughs elsewhere, the bulk of which resides with Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson). Her comic timing, one-liners and chemistry with her booty call Bumper (Adam DeVine) makes for highly enjoyable viewing.
Joining the Barden Bellas for the sequel is new recruit Emily Junk (Hailee Steinfield), an enthusiastic wannabe songwriter who is hoping to find her identity. She helps the a cappela group rediscover their sound, predominantly through her original song “Flashlight” (co-written by Sam Smith and Sia), which plays a large part in the spine-tingling climax.
As for the rest of the music, Elizabeth Banks (making her directorial debut) ensures the Pitch Perfect 2 soundtrack is brimming with uproarious covers and medleys that span a range of decades and genres. The fun and energy interjected into the tracks will ensure that even casual cinemagoers are hard-pressed not to tap their feet and mouth the words.