"Pitch Perfect 2" (2015 release; 115 min.) opens with our beloved a cappella band the Bellas giving a performance at the Kennedy Center in the presence of President Obama, when Fat Amy encounters a 'costume malfunction' of epic proportions. As a result of this 'muffgate' incident, the Bellas are suspended but they manage to negotiate a loophole: win the a cappella world championships in Denmark, and they regain full standing. At this point we are 10 min. into the movie. Will the ladies be able to pull it off? To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: first, this sequel is the full length feature directing debut of actress-producer Elizabeth Banks (she also reprises her role as Gail, the TV commentator), and Banks does a very capable job as director. The movie is paced perfectly, and even better, remains faithful to the spirit of the first Pitch Perfect. Let's face it, if you loved the first movie, all you want to see is the return of the original gang (mostly Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson, I suppose), and find excuses for them to sing and interact. This time around, the big rival for the girls is a German band called Das Sound Machine, and I have to admit, DSM sounds and performs impressively. We are also introduced to a new member of the Bellas, Emily (played by Hailee Steinfeld, the young girl in True Grit is now a young woman). Beware: there are plenty of fairly (c)rude jokes and lines in the movie (such as: Emily's last name is Junk-Hardon, no, really) so that even thought this movie is rated PG-13, frankly I wouldn't recommend taking young kids to this. Some of the better lines come from the TC commentators (played by Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins), but my favorite comes from Anna Kendrick's Beca character, when she hisses back to her DSM rivals "aca-wedersehen, b*tches!", ha! The music is aplenty in this, even more so than in the first Pitch Perfect, and that's just fine by me (they even find a way of brining "Cups" back again). Bottom line: despite the high expectations, Banks & Co. have managed to deliver exactly what the people wanted from this sequel, not a small feat. Not surprisingly, there is already talk of a Pitch perfect 3, with Rebel Wilson already signed on. For my money, if they can't find a way of keeping Anna Kendrick around, my interest in another sequel will nosedive.
I saw the first Pitch Perfect knowing next to nothing about the movie, taking a flyer when it showed on its opening weekend. That screening was not all that well attended but I vividly remember how immensely I enjoyed that movie. Flash forward 3 years: I was really looking forward to seeing PP2. The early evening screening where I saw this at today (Sunday) was PACKED, and then some. The crowd absolutely ate it up, laughing at all the right times, and giving an applause when the house lights turned on. Many of them left as the movie's end titles started to run. A shame for them as they missed a very funny bonus extra which I won't spoil here. Just stick around when the end titles start running! Meanwhile, "Pitch Perfect 2" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!