Songs of praise

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM REVIEWS -

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

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