This time the world gets pitch slapped.
The Bellas are back! Set 3 years after Pitch Perfect (Jason Moore, 2012), Barden University’s finest have been ruling the a cappella world under the leadership of Beca (Anna Kendrick). This sequel (Elizabeth Banks having taken the director’s chair) opens with The Barden Bellas giving a performance in front of Barack and Michelle Obama (!), where a Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) wardrobe malfunction leads to them being banned from the collegiate a cappella circuit. Their spot on a planned tour is taken by Das Sound Machine (led by Flula Borg and Birgitte Hjort Sorensen), they are prevented from holding auditions, and forced to face a future without a cappella. Can The Bellas survive?
Of course they can! A loophole means that The Barden Bellas can compete in the International A Cappella World Cup (or something…) for a chance to clear their name and earn their place back onto the collegiate circuit. The one downside? No American team has ever won. And with Beca and the rest looking to the future beyond graduation, what happens if they do?
Another rather convenient loophole means that despite not being able to audition any new members, freshman Emily (Hailee Steinfeld, a long way from her True Grit debut) is allowed to join as a “legacy” due to her mother (Katey Segal) having been a Barden Bella in the past. Her story mirrors Beca’s in the original, as she is creative and wants to create her own music, and struggles to fit in with the girls.
And all the girls are back, even down to background Bellas Ashley and Jessica. The Treblemakers also return, albeit too briefly. David Cross turns up as a rich weirdo who engineers the obligatory singing showdown. That leads to the highlight of the film, which also includes The Tone Hangers (Jason Jones and Joe Lo Truglio now being joined by Reggie Watts and John Hodgson), The Treblemakers, Das Sound Machine and the Green Bay Packers – THE Green Day Packers. For me, it is even better than the abandoned swimming pool scene from the first, if not quite having as cool a single moment as the “No Diggity” bit. Bumper (Adam DeVine) has also finished working for John Meyer and is back on campus as Security.
There are some issues with the film, obviously. There’s no real conflict in the sequel, which is a surprise when the friction of Beca joining the Bellas is what drove the first film, and there was at least some semblance of tension. Also, Emily’s song that is performed at the final competition tries to be epic but to be honest just felt a bit silly. But still, there are plenty of enjoyable moments along the way. Banks and John Michael Higgins are great reprising their roles as commentators (I know for a fact that fellow Snooty Usher Dave would be an avid fan of their a cappella podcast), and it is fun to spend another 90 minutes in this world.
If you like the original, you will love Pitch Perfect 2.
Like Pitch Perfect 2? Have a read of All That Jazz: Dave and Welshy’s Guide To The Movie Musical as they go through their favourite musicals.