Songs of praise
PITCH PERFECT 2 ★★★ Directed by Elizabeth Banks. Starring Anna Kendrick, Jayson Sanchez, Rebel Wilson. PG cert, gen release, 114 min
I suppose we have to draw some comparison with the business of a cappella arrangement. Nobody would confuse Pitch Perfect 2 with a masterpiece of aural harmony. Indeed, Elizabeth Banks’s sequel to an agreeable 2012 hit is a chaotic mess. Collegiate singers the Barden Bellas, following an onstage catastrophe involving unintended genital baring, set themselves the challenge of winning the World A Cappella championship in Copenhagen. Between these bookends various hells break loose. There is a largely unexplained singing showdown in a millionaire’s basement. Beca (Anna Kendrick) takes a job in a recording studio where she meets Snoop Dogg. Hailee Steinfeld turns up as the daughter of a veteran Bella. They travel to a retreat. There are enough underdeveloped plots here for half a dozen throwaway sequels.
For all that, Pitch Perfect 2 turns out to one of the funniest films we’ve seen this year. Banks, making her debut as director, and Kay Cannon, returning as screenwriter, do a super job of exploiting their characters’ key comic traits. Sometimes, this does lead us into slightly dubious, unreconstructed alleyways. How many films could get away with an inscrutable Asian, several humourlessly efficient Germans and a Latin American