Pitch Perfect 2 – Movie Review by Emily Elphinstone
Director: Elizabeth Banks
Writers: Kay Cannon, Mickey Rapkin (characters)
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld
Returning to the heady world of collegiate C-Capella singing, Pitch Perfect 2 finds all-female group the Barden Bellas facing national disgrace (again), after a wardrobe malfunction leaves ‘Fat Amy’ (Rebel Wilson) flashing President Barack Obama and the rest of a shocked audience. Stripped of their title, and national tour (which is handed over to leather-clad nemeses: German group ‘Das Sound Machine’), they vow to win the World Championship in order to regain their reputation.
Anna Kendrick is absolutely brilliant as Beca, the brains behind the operation. Now in her final year, she is secretly splitting her time between the Bellas and an internship in a recording studio; with Keegan-Michael Key perfectly cast as her straight talking boss.
The secrecy does little to add to the plot, but it’s refreshing to watch a film where the main concern of the female leads is what they’ll do after college, rather than who they’re dating; though the charming Treblemakers, including Beca’s boyfriend Jesse (Skylar Astin) are still very much present.
There are many elements from the original film that are utilised once again. Set pieces like underground sing offs, and pithy one-liners from inappropriate commentators Gail (Banks) and John (John Michael Higgens) return, but are turned up a notch; with even brighter costumes, and more unlikely cameos. There is an immense amount of stereotyping, with the terrifyingly efficient Das Sound Machine (led by Birgitte Hjort Sørensen) singing in strong German accents, and South American student Flo’s (Chrissie Fit) uncomfortable references to her impoverished upbringing; but somehow these are drawn attention to in a way that remains humorous throughout.
The film may take place in an alternate universe, where A-Capella competitions look like a sunnier friendlier Glastonbury Festival, and girls really do have pillow fights to let off steam; but don’t let that fool you: The tone is more Mean Girls than Glee. With a screenplay written once again by Kay Cannon, and directed by cast member Elizabeth Banks (in her directorial debut), Pitch Perfect 2 may well be even better than the original.