The Barden University Bellas have returned for another try at great acappella harmony in ‘Pitch Perfect 2,’ the follow-up to summer 2012’s smash hit. The Bellas have won three titles in a row, but run into quite a bit of trouble and are given one last chance to compete in the World Championships. It all goes bad when Fat Amy’s (Rebel Wilson) outfit splits during a live television performance in Washington, D.C. in front of President and Mrs. Obama, revealing she’s gone “commando”. This in turn causes an embarrassing media scandal for the Bellas.
Following the scandal, the Bellas are barred from holding auditions, but they can recruit ‘legacy’ members, such as freshman Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), whose mother (Katey Sagal) was also a Bella. Under the leadership of Beca (Anna Kendrick) and Chloe (Brittany Snow), the Bellas plan to get redemption at the acapella world competition in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Bellas have a few run-ins with the current world reigning champions, the condescending Das Sound Machine led by Kommissar (Brigitte Hjort Sorensen) and Pieter (Flula Borg).
Throughout the film there are several sing-offs, including one sponsored in the mansion of a music enthusiast (David Cross). The most memorable sing-off would be the finale which happens to be an original song called “Flashlight,” written by Sia and Sam Smith. The Bellas are bold to perform an original, especially with it being so common to perform covers. This original does lead to a happy ending for the Bellas. Although the film derives a lot of its humor from sexual and racial stereotypes, it’s nice to see the film touch on the challenges associated with college graduates trying to figure out their lives and find employment post college. It’s also nice to see the Bellas work together to “find their sound”. The plot takes a back seat to the production and music in the film. When comparing it to its predecessor, both the performances and plot still could’ve been more exciting. It would’ve been nice to see more performance also. Anna Kendrick, Ester Dean, and Rebel Wilson still bring the funny. Thanks to some toe-tapping numbers and choreography, some parts of the film still end up being both infectious and engaging. Pitch Perfect 2 is in theaters now!