Film review: Pitch Perfect 2 - a cappella phenomenon returns

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 May, 2015, 2:16pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 July, 2015, 11:39am

Few people realised that they would pine for an American college comedy about competitive singing before Pitch Perfect came along in 2012. But they couldn't get enough of Beca (Anna Kendrick) and her all-girl a cappella group's shenanigans.

Having just scored the third-largest US opening box office for a female-directed movie (behind Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey), this feature directorial debut from actress-producer Elizabeth Banks is an uproarious musical that has all but guaranteed further outings for the Barden Bellas, who start Pitch Perfect 2 as three-time national champions.

But after Fat Amy's (Rebel Wilson) wardrobe malfunction in front of an audience that includes the Obamas, the disgraced group are kicked out of domestic contests. Underdogs once more, the Bellas' only hope for redemption is, ironically, on the far grander stage of an international championship staged in Copenhagen.

Before that, the girls must juggle the addition of a freshman (Hailee Steinfeld), the scepticism of a familiar pair of podcasters (Banks and John Michael Higgins), threats from a rival German troupe (led by Danish actress Birgitte Hjort Sorensen) and the hazards at a team-building retreat organised by their former leader, Aubrey (Anna Camp).

As the formulaic story sails on alongside Beca's efforts to kick-start her music production career, Pitch Perfect 2 offers just what its audience wants: catchy musical numbers, celebrity cameos and sometimes very un-PC jokes.

Pitch Perfect 2 opens on May 28