Wickedly funny college comedy Pitch Perfect took us all by surprise in 2012 with its unexpectedly charming a cappella mash-up of Glee and Bridesmaids, but although this sequel strives to deliver more of the same it doesn’t hit all the right notes.
Pitch Perfect 2‘s story follows the same arc as before, opening with an embarrassing incident that leaves all-female singing group the Barden Bellas in disgrace (projectile vomiting in the first film; Rebel Wilson’s brash Fat Amy accidentally exposing herself during a performance in front of President Obama this time).
Which means the Bellas are back in the role of plucky underdogs as they seek to defeat their über-efficient German rivals Das Sound Machine – led by a glacial Teutonic beauty played by Borgen’s Birgitte Hjort Sørensen – to win the World Championships in Copenhagen.
The lazy national stereotyping is the film’s weakest aspect, though it must be said the plot is woefully slack and some of the cruder slapstick episodes misfire, too. New director Elizabeth Banks, who also plays one of the contest commentators, ensures the musical numbers are still full of pep, but I can’t say I’m desperate for an encore.
Certificate 12A. Runtime 115 mins. Director Elizabeth Banks.
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