The First Pitch Perfect was a film that I wasn’t keen to see. Admittedly the film wasn’t made for people like me, but when I finally ended up seeing it last year, I was very pleasantly surprised. The musical sections (which are possibly the most important parts) were excellent, the humour was almost entirely on point, even Rebel Wilson managed to get a few laughs. Needless to say, second time round I was much more excited.
So let’s get the most important thing out-of-the-way. The music in this film is, for the most part, excellent. There is one non A Cappella song, performed by the aforementioned Rebel Wilson (the accompanying music isn’t even part of the scene, so the characters would have just heard her singing I guess?), which should never have made the film, but all the other musical moments are an improvement over the original. The highlight is mid way through the film, when most of the groups from the first film return for an A Cappella off, as well as evil German newcomers Das Sound Machine, and they take it in turns to sing songs whilst trying to riff off each other. It worked in the first film, and it works here.
Once again, this film is pretty funny. Lilly has some great moments as the quiet Korean girl, and some of my very favourite lines come from John Michael Higgins’ commentator, who is at times brutally offensive, but always in the best way. It’s a shame he’s paired up with Elizabeth Banks, who fails to deliver any laughs, well, not as a performer, but she did also direct this film, so you could argue all of the laughs are thanks to her. There are some great new additions to the cast too. Keegan-Michael Key plays the part of a pretentious music producer very well, Flula Borg and Birgitte Hjort Sørensen are wonderfully over the top as the leaders of Das Sound Machine. New Barden Bella Flo, a Guatemalan immigrant, puts a lot of the problems the characters face into perspective, and Hailee Steinfeld also adds comedy as the awkward songwriter.
Unfortunately not all of the performances are as good as these. Where Rebel Wilson was used sparingly in the first Pitch Perfect, her familiar routine is well overused here. On top of that, Anna Kendrick, usually a favourite of mine, doesn’t quite deliver the way she usually does. This all brings us to Elizabeth Banks, who, as I’ve already mentioned directed this film. This is her first full length feature, and it really shows. This film is almost two hours long, but at times it feels a lot longer. A film can be long, providing it maintains interest and all of the scenes are relevant. There are a lot of moments in this film that not only could have been cut, but should have, and I can’t help feeling that a more experienced director could have made this film a lot tighter.
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