PITCH PERFECT 2 (USA/12A/115mins)
Directed by Elizabeth Banks. Starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, John Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Banks, Birgitte Hjort Sorensen, Flula Borg, Alexis Knapp, Anna Camp, Ben Platt.
THE PLOT: After a wardrobe malfunction for Fat Amy (Wilson) during a performance for President Obama reveals a little too much down under of the self-elected leader of The Barden Bellas, the ensuing Muffgate scandal propels the all-girl a capella group being suspended by the governing body’s leading lights, Gail (Banks) and John (Michael Higgins). Worse, their position on the world stage is going to be taken by the European champions, Das Sound Machine, a highly efficient and sharply choreographed outfit that may very well have been created by Kraftwerk in a lab. And so, it’s off to world championships in Copenhagen, to do battle with what Amy likes to call “a bunch of Deutschbags”. THE VERDICT: The first outing having proved a surprise if not exactly blockbusting hit, it’s a welcome surprise to find that the second Pitch Perfect offering is even better than the 2012 original. That this also marks the directorial debut of the always-watchable Elizabeth Banks is also a welcome surprise – this woman knows funny, and now she can teach other people how to be funny too.
Indeed, there’s much to like-verging-on-love about PITCH PERFECT 2 – the Christopher Guest-esque shenanigans boasting a cast who are all present and very correct in their roles, a plot that gives them a lot of room to be funny, and gags that come smart and fast. In fact, everything here is in pretty much perfect harmony. Hurrah! RATING: 4/5
Review by Paul Byrne