Three years on from Pitch Perfect, Beca (Anne Kendrick) is now in her final year of college and is the leader of the Barden Bellas, who are 3-time national a cappella champions. Pitch Perfect 2 follows the Bellas after they are disgraced at celebrations for the President's birthday (easily one of the funniest scenes in the film) and as they try to win back their reputation and their right to compete nationally by competing in the World Championship.
Pitch Perfect (1) is incredibly popular, probably more so than anyone expected when it first came out. I believe this popularity stems from its quirky, off-the-wall character. It is funny and sweet and something a bit different. Although Pitch Perfect 2 is also funny and sweet, it seems to me more mainstream and less original than its predecessor. For that reason, for me at least, it isn't as good or as memorable as Pitch Perfect. The romance between newcomer, Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), and Benji (Ben Platt) seems unnecessary and clichéd and, to be honest, I don’t think Steinfeld really adds anything to this film.
On top of this, there are a number of moments in the new film where the writer is clearly trying to replicate some of the better scenes in the first. At times I felt like the film was relying too much on the popularity of its predecessor. The basement a capella-off is clearly a throwback to the swimming pool scene in Pitch Perfect. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy David Cross's appearance and the Bellas' spar off against Das Sound Machine and the Green Bay Packers! I just feel like this film wasn't giving us much new.
That said, Pitch Perfect 2 does bring back all of the brilliant characters who made Pitch Perfect so great and it has maintained much of the charm of the first film. Anna Kendrick is one of my favourite people ever and is undeniably wonderful in both films. However, it's really Rebel Wilson who steals the show in these films, brining comedic-brilliance to every scene she is in. I will never get sick of Bumper and Fat Amy's sort-of romance. One piece of constructive criticism on the cast: I do wish they'd made more use of the Treblemakers!
Pitch Perfect 2 also has some great tunes and theatrics. Beca produces some more of her awesome mash ups for the Bellas to perform and the Bellas' new a capella-nemeses, Das Sound Machine, are a great addition to the cast and incredibly entertaining to watch. Who knew you could do an a capella rendition of a Muse song?!
Pitch Perfect 2, when considered on its own, is a fun film which I really enjoyed. It's just a shame I don't feel a great need to watch it again, as I did with the first one.