From low budget, Glee-esque beginnings to worldwide acclaim, Pitch Perfect continues to dominate the musical landscape. After box office success, soundtrack acclaim and the burgeoning of pop culture phenomenon, the girls are back with the highly anticipated sequel, Pitch Perfect 2. In this next chapter, the Barden Bellas are back with glorious reign after consecutive victories. After an unfortunate mishap with a certain influential leader, the Bella are ousted from the university, thus spurring them to a entertaining journey to musical redemption.
After starring in and producing the first film, Elizabeth Banks is back but with another subtitle to add to the credits – director. Who better to direct the film than the woman who was behind the entire creation of the Pitch Perfect phenomenon. In her first theatrical directing job, Banks does an excellent task at generating solid and comedic performances from her mostly all-girls cast. However, the entire film’s storyline and editing seemed clunky and disorganised with awkward cutting of scenes. Although the film is obviously enjoyable, this sequel seemed to have lost its unaffected, un-Hollywood vibe caused by the grand and commercial elements added.
Also returning to the acapella den is lead writer Kay Cannon. With the massive success from the first film – young adults are still quoting the movie – living up to the high standards of the former film would not be an easy task. However, Cannon gives its spectacular justice with hilarious moments, quotable lines and comedic story lines. The ever growing phenomena that is pop culture is certainly evident as PP2 is filled with relevant, satirical zingers that is certain to produce heavy laughter from the audience.
As lead star, Kendrick once again showcases an electrifying performance as the uber-cool Beca Mitchell. Three years have passed and Beca is ready to graduate, albeit with an uncertain future in the music industry. A stint at interning for a recording company, Beca struggles to divide her priorities between her future career and the Barden Bellas. It’s an interesting character development to see on-screen and even much more exciting to see where she goes in future films. She’s cool, fierce and mega talented, Kendrick demonstrates her dramatic and musical chops to the highest of standards. A triple threat, Kenrick’s career is one that is vastly growing and steadily rising. Fellow Bella, Rebel Wilson shines in her reprisal of Fat Amy; an obvious scene-stealer and hysterical performer, she escalates the comic appeal to the top. With graduation looming and the anxious presence of the future, newcomer Hailee Steinfeld does well to create a fresh and exciting perspective as a new Bella. Well-known for her dramatic roles in the True Grit, Begin Again, Steinfeld shows that she’s more than capable of taking on a comedic character, as well as showcasing her surprisingly solid musical abilities.
Living up the first film’s accolades, PP2 creates outstanding musical performances with solid choreography and engaging song choices. From Taylor Swift to A Tribe Called Quest, the sequel uses a wide variety of genres and artist that make for an engaging and enjoyable watch. With real acapella groups such as the Pentatonix and Filharmonics and the introduction of a rival German group, Pitch Perfect 2 steps it up a notch with exciting performances. Of course, the highlight of the musical productions of the film would be the finale song by the Bellas as well as the realisation of the fact that the Pitch Perfect films’ most memorable songs are about common household objects.
Like its predecessor, Pitch Perfect again excels at creating an entertaining, funny and enjoyable production. Taking a page from the Marvel playbook, Pitch Perfect 2 executes something new – a mid credits scene. So be sure to keep watching until the end for the surprising, hilarious clip!