Pitch Perfect 2 (Elizabeth Banks, 2015)

The sequel to the smash hit musical comedy Pitch Perfect, covering Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson et al. as they struggle to break down boundaries and show the world that a capella singing is actually really cool… Wait, what? In their world, a capella is already cool? They just aren’t cool enough to do it because they’re outcasts. Okay…

I have a slight vested interest in this film, on at least one level. I myself am in an a capella group and also take part in local theatrical productions so performing on stage has always been in my life. From memory, though, I don’t ever recall a capella singing being this popular. When there’s a tournament in Pitch Perfect World, the whole town drops everything to show their support for their favourite group. For me, I’m usually pulling in favours just so my closest family members turn up. Maybe I just don’t have the right acca-skills.

Pitch Perfect 2 has plenty of big laughs but you may have already seen them all in the trailer.

Well, this is a chick flick and it doesn’t have to have a watertight storyline. However, despite throwing away any grasp on reality to accept the film for what it is doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a great film. It’s basically a rehash of the first film – pretty much the same cast going through very similar personal struggles but pulling it together because their dedication to their friends supercedes anything else in life. It’s sweet, and I buy into the basic principal.

Unfortunately, outside the handful of really hilarious moments – most of which you’ve already seen in the trailer – the jokes consistently fall flat. Chrissie Fit’s Guatemalan character is just plainly not funny and every line she delivered felt like it was about forty years out of date. Likewise, Cynthia-Rose (portrayed by Ester Dean) is a really throwaway lesbian character that doesn’t really add anything to the storyline other than some cheap gags based on rudimentary stereotyping.

It was nice to see Hailee Steinfeld – who I know only from her Oscar-nominated performance in the Coen Brothers’ remake of True Grit – in a comedic role but, like the more established Kendrick, she almost seems a little above the content. I’m not sure whether the plan is to keep her in line to do Pitch Perfect 3. I guess time will tell.

So what can I say? It passed the time and I enjoyed parts of it. I wanted to see Mad Max but the majority of the seven other people I was with preferred this. I won’t rush to see it again, but I doubt my indifference towards it will change the fact that its target audience (basically the millions of people who loved the first film) will buy tickets and love it.

Pitch Perfect 2 is out now at cinemas worldwide.

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