Review: Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

Pitch Perfect 2



Elizabeth Banks


Kay Cannon


1h 55min


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 Sorensen, Flula Borg, Kelley Jackle, Shelley Regner, Mohn Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Banks, Katey Sagal, Snoop Dogg, David Cross, Keegan-Michael Key, Shawn Carter Peterson

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Three years after the surprise success of the first film, the unoriginally titled Pitch Perfect 2 hoped to reignite the furor that built its predecessor into the unqualified success that it was. Stars Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson return alongside most of their original co-stars with a new collegiate candidate in Hailee Steinfeld.

After their killer success at the end of the first film, the Barden Bellas have found great acclaim winning a total of three national titles, but all of that comes crashing down due to a wardrobe malfunction in front of the President of the United States. Stripped of their national tour slots by the formidable German team, Das Sound Machine, the Bellas use the occasion of the World A Capella Championships to reclaim their fame and fortunes.

Their group, on the verge of graduation, has begun to splinter and the young women must rebuild their team into their own superb force in order to claim the international title and come to terms with the possibilities of their futures outside of their collegiate lives. In the capable hands of talented women Kendrick, Wilson, Snow, and Steinfeld, the film builds slowly to an epic a capella finale.

With an even more eclectic batch of songs this time around, the rocking a capella soundtrack is a treasure trove of older and newer hits, each seamlessly incorporated into a film that’s as much about showmanship as it is about musical style. Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins ones again provide hilarious commentary with their tone deaf caricatures of singing show panelists. Banks is pulling double-duty this time around as she steps behind the camera in her directorial debut.

Unlike her Pitch Perfect predecessor Jason Moore, Banks’ style brings palpable energy to a film that could have felt like a miserable retread of its predecessor. Kay Cannon’s engaging screenplay helps foster a premise that’s both thrilling and emotionally charged. It’s the kind of film that ably supports its predecessor’s legacy while standing on its own against a tide of carbon copy sequels and reboots.

Pitch Perfect 2 is a fun, exciting, and wonderful second chapter for the Barden Bellas who continue to grow in compelling ways. With strong women in leadership positions, the film itself delivers solid and complex characterizations that numerous films in the comedy genre in specific and the film industry at large struggle to understand. Like the Bellas themselves, Pitch Perfect 2 is a charming and endearing feature.

Review Written

June 23, 2020

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