Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Imperial Swordsman
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
  Pitch Perfect 2 Raising Their Voice
Year: 2015
Director: Elizabeth Banks
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Skylar Astin, Adam Devine, Katey Sagal, Anna Camp, Ben Platt, Alexis Knapp, Hana Mae Lee, Ester Dean, Chrissie Fit, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Flula Borg, John Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Banks
Genre: Musical, ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: The Barden Bellas are an award-winning university acapella group who for the past three years have stormed to victory in the national championships, and are looking forward, in the time before they finally graduate, to winning once again. They reckon without one drawback, however, when they are performing at the Kennedy Center in front of President Barack Obama and his wife, along with a large amount of invited guests. It’s all going swimmingly as they belt out the tunes in perfect harmony until the entrance of Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) who is lowered from the ceiling from a harness; it should be a showstopper, and in a way it is, but not in the manner they had hoped as she flips upside down and her costume rips, exposing herself to all and sundry…

Pitch Perfect, the first instalment, was something of a sleeper success, slipping out into cinemas three years before this sequel to a cult acclaim which gathered momentum to justify a continuation when it was clear there was a lot of money in this potential franchise. Its selling point was ostensibly the acapella singing which popped up regularly throughout the plot, but decorating that was a selection of witty, self-deprecating jokes, and the fact this was a movie where the women were taking the lead proved attractive to its audience as well, combine those and you had what was genuinely entertaining with bright performances and pleasing to the ear. This sequel, on the other hand, was a different proposition.

Or it was if you listened to the naysayers who would either complain this wasn’t as good as the first one, or that the whole series was dreadful and what the hell was anyone in their right mind doing watching this anyway? It was true Pitch Perfect 2 was never going to hit the heights of what came before, but this was by no means a dead loss, and in many respects was very enjoyable; if the humour was ever so slightly more forced this time, the masses of people in the cast not getting quite enough individual moments, and the grand finale more sentimental than stunning, those were small prices to pay for a good many laugh out loud moments and songs well delivered. When this was released, it beat the supposedly more robust Mad Max: Fury Road to the number one spot in box office charts around the world, which generated even more grudges in some than Charlize Theron taking the wheel in that blockbuster.

So was this an indication that female-led movies were making a comeback? Elizabeth Banks, who took over the director’s reins for this follow-up, and Kay Cannon, again penning the script, had certainly proved with women taking the lead behind the camera as well as in front of it there was assuredly a great number of moviegoers happy to watch the results, no matter that a proportion of the audience who loved the first one were let down by what amounted to a retread of what had gone before. But as Joe Bob Briggs would say, if you’re going to make a sequel, then make it the exact same movie over again if you have any sense and that’s more or less what they did here, only with different jokes (well, in the main) and different songs. Newcomer Hailee Steinfeld was in the Anna Kendrick role this time around.

Which might have left Kendrick a little like someone who had overstayed their welcome at their own party, but Cannon rescued her from that fate by giving her Beca character a subplot about making her way in the music production world, rather than landing her with some more romantic issues (indeed her boyfriend barely appears this time). That kind of tension was necessary dramatically, but more dominated by the question of how the Bellas would redeem themselves by entering the acapella World Championships, though even that was less important than sustaining their friendship now their further education was drawing to a close. This could have led to some down in the dumps scenes of the ladies working out their interpersonal dilemmas, but with fine use of humour and that uplifting sound of melody, it never was too bogged down. Some complained of the off-colour gags, but they were defused by always making the leads the butt of the humour, so the super-efficient German rivals were nothing to take seriously, and if it was familiar, why mess with the formula? Music by Mark Mothersbaugh.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 3244 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M


Last Updated: