Bigger, bolder and better, ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ puts a whole lot more ahhhhhhhhhhh in acapella, says Rory Carrick.
College show choir, The Barden Bella’s have risen to new heights, literally, from the very start of the sequel to the 2012 breakout massive hit, Pitch Perfect. While performing Miley Cyrus’ ‘Wrecking Ball’ for the President, Fat Amy suffers a wardrobe malfunction, giving the audience a view from down under, and the disgraced Bellas are promptly and disqualified from all national show choir competitions. Their one shot at regaining their former glory is to win the World Championships in Denmark, a feat never before achieved by an American group.
Elizabeth Banks returns as her character Gail, but also as director of this entertaining sequel, and favorites Becca (Anna Kendrick), Chloe (Brittany Snow) and Aubrey (Anna Camp) are all on board once more. There are a few new faces, including Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), whose mother was a Barden Belle. Emily writes her own songs and forms a friendship with Becca, who is trying to pursue a producing career outside of the Bella’s. Emily also catches the eye of Benji, who along with Jesse fronts boy-choir, The Treblemakers.
Disillusioned by their disqualification and uncertain about the future, the Bella’s struggle to work together as a group. While trying to find their ‘Bella’s sound’ again they go on a bonding trip at a training camp run by former Bella, Aubrey. Here they rediscover what is at the heart of The Bellas: friendship and a sense of belonging. We also get to learn a little more about the characters as they struggle with the reality of graduating and a life after Barden.
The Bella’s rivals at the World Championships are the highly polished German collective Das Sound Machine (DSM), the current European Champions. If The Bella’s are the Rocky of acapella, then DSM are the Ivan Drago. The songs are better, the arrangements bigger, and we even see a return of the ‘cup song’ (when I’m gone). The choreography is sharper and more elaborate.
Gail (Banks) and John (Michael John Higgins) as the inappropriate commentators are absolute scene stealers. They punctuate the movie with an incredible array of politically incorrect jokes from start to finish. These two should have their own show.
I re-watched the first Pitch Perfect in advance of seeing the second one, and while that was successful in its own right, its sequel is fresher, faster-paced and much more fun. It’s a definite crowd pleaser for all ages.
Pitch Perfect opens nationwide today, May 15. Check out the trailer below.
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