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Pitch Perfect 2 - DVD Review

Pitch Perfect 2

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

IF THE first film in this surprise a capella franchise was almost pitch perfect in striking a hugely enjoyable balance between comedy and drama, then this follow-up hits one too many false notes.

Over-reliant on crude and even mean humour this also comes up short in terms of story and character, thereby feeling like the unnecessary sequel that it unwittingly becomes.

Picking up with another humiliation for The Barden Bellas, this time involving a wardrobe malfunction involving Rebel Wilson’s Fat Amy in front of the US President, the film then proceeds to follow the all-female group as they seek to restore their reputation by winning the world championships in Copenhagen.

En route, Anna Kendrick’s Beca must juggle the responsibility of leading the Bellas with branching out into her own career as a music producer, while Brittany Snow’s Chloe struggles to cope with the realisation that all good Bella things must come to an end.

And then there’s a newcomer, played by Hailee Steinfeld, whose own pursuit of originality (particularly in terms of song choice) echoes Beca’s journey from the original.

To be fair, there is some fun to be had in catching up with a set of characters who shone so brightly in the original, especially given Kendrick’s continued appeal as a leading lady, but even then Kay Cannon’s script always threatens to push things a little too far.

Beca, for instance, is far less interesting this time around, Wilson is a lot more annoying and even director/co-star Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins acerbic commentators struggle to hit as many comedy highs, with the latter just plain misogynistic (and unnecessarily so).

The song and dance routines this time around also lack the brilliance and uplift of those in the original, while new rivals Das Sound Machine (a German a capella troupe) offer little in the way of complexity (something that, again, the original did by virtue of eventually having Beca’s boyfriend pitted against them in the final).

Indeed, given the surprise success of the original movie, and the quickly assembled, even flimsy nature of the material in this sequel, it’s safe to assume that this was a rushed venture designed to cash-in on the popularity of the first film. Sadly, it feels like it one too many times.

A third film is already in the works, spurred on by the box office success of the follow-up, but one really does have to wonder where things can possibly go next. Pitch Perfect 2 already feels like an ill-advised stretch.

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 1hr 54mins
UK Blu-ray & DVD Release: September 21, 2014