Set three years after its 2012 surprise-hit predecessor, Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and the other Barden University Bellas return for another try at a cappella harmony. But disaster strikes when Fat Amy’s (Wilson) spandex outfit splits during a ‘live’ television performance at Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center in front of President and Mrs. Obama, revealing she’s gone ‘commando,’ resulting in an embarrassing media scandal. Read on…
As part of the suspension and punishment handed down by podcast pundits Gail (Elizabeth Banks) and John (John Michael Higgins), the Bellas are barred from holding auditions, but they can recruit ‘legacy’ members, like eager freshman Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), whose mother (Katey Sagal) was a Bella.
So under the leadership of Beca (Kendrick) and Chloe (Brittany Snow), the Bellas seek redemption at the world competition in Copenhagen, Denmark, where they’re awed by the reigning champions, the arrogant Teutonic titans – Das Sound Machine – led by the icy Valkyrie, Kommissar (Brigitte Hjort Sorensen) and Pieter (Flula Borg), duly dubbed “Deutschebags” by scene-stealing Fat Amy.
Along the way, there are several sing-offs, including one sponsored in the mansion of a caftan-clad music enthusiast (David Cross) who rides around on a scooter. But, fittingly, the most memorable is the finale: an original song called “Flashlight,” written by Sia and Sam Smith.
Loosely based on Mickey Rapkin’s non-fiction book “Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory,” it’s scripted by Kay Cannon and directed by co-star/producer Elizabeth Banks, resulting in zany, fast-paced fun, chock-full-of-stereotypical, often snarky, mean-spirited jests. In addition to celebrity cameos, there are too many subplots
Albeit superficially, it even touches on the angst felt by college graduates who must eventually cope with the demands of the job market. And, nearing 30, Anna Kendrick is too old to play a college student.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Pitch Perfect 2” is a silly, sassy 6, going for slicker, sharper sequel sisterhood.