The Barden University Bellas are finally at the top of their game after scoring three consecutive wins at the Capella US Nationals. Led by fourth year senior Chloe Beale (Brittany Snow) and Beca (Anna Kendrick) who is also in her senior year now, the Bellas have to travel on a victory tour cross country so they put their lives on hold. This includes a stop at the Kennedy Center, where they perform for not just influential a Capella followers, but also Mr. President Barack Obama. However, the Bellas become a national disgrace because of an unlucky wardrobe malfunction and they are banned from competing and auditioning new members at the University.
Their tour comes to stop and is given to Das Sound Machine, a rival German singing team. The Bellas are now faced with an uncertain future and harmonic dissonance after graduation, but they have a single chance of redemption; they have to win a global a Capella championship where Das Sound Machine is a favorite, which means having to set aside their differences. The prequel managed to earn the respect of critics, a Capella fans and comedy lovers under the Broadway go-to director Jason Moore. Pitch Perfect 2 marks the directional debut of Elizabeth Banks and delivers zanier comedy beats and musical numbers under the actor-turned filmmaker’s eye.
While die-hard fans of the original would love the sequel, moviegoers who enjoyed Pitch Perfect may be a little enthusiastic about the second one because the character arcs are paper-thin and the story is turned into cliff-noted drama along with some electrifying musical sets. The screenplay is written by Kay Cannon, providing a serviceable sequel that can bring the main cast back and give them a challenge to overcome. In this round, the Bellas only get minor development and the movie builds up on the ideas of its predecessor and fills the time between a Capella performances with cheap laughs.
Still, there are some charming moments in the adventures of Fat Amy, Chloe and Beca. Some support characters also get some screen time and Anna Kendrick shares the spotlight with a freshman ‘legacy’ Bella, Hailee Steinfeld who plays Emily Junk. It is a unique juxtaposition as three years back, Bella was a reluctant recruit and is now preparing to leave. But, Emily comes off as a seed for the threequel instead of a part of the current cast, as most of them would be graduating.
Some of the biggest laughs of the movie is through Beca’s internship at a record label thanks to the downright hilarious performance by Shawn Carter as another intern and Keegan-Michael Key as her boss. The rest of the cast also does well with Rebel Wilson as Fat Amy, Treblemakers Benji Applebaum (Ben Platt) and Jesse Swanson (Skylar Astin), rivals Das Sound Machine Kommissar (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen) and Pieter Krämer (Flula Borg). Cameos from Snoop Dogg, David Cross and Katey Sagal will sate the movie’s target audience as it is a solid sequel that will appeal to the loyal viewership of the franchise.