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Pitch Perfect 2


Stars: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Alexis Knapp, Katey Sagal, Skylar Astin, Anna Camp, Elizabeth Banks, John Michael Higgins

Director: Elizabeth Banks

The first Pitch Perfect was enjoyable enough, but this consistently thrilling follow-up knocks it out of the park. The nationally famous Barden Bellas are giving an a cappella concert that includes 'an overweight girl dangling from the ceiling' (that'll be Fat Amy, again played by a now second-billed Wilson).

When Amy's harness ruptures and her lack of underwear is, like, totally revealed, the Bellas become 'a national disgrace' and are suspended from their college (OK, that's unlikely).

Their only chance of redemption is to win the world a cappella championships in the face of competition from a ferociously regimented German team. And the lead singer (Kendrick) has her mind on other things - becoming a record producer with newcomer Emily (Steinfeld) as her first client.

A cappella is, of course, supposed to be singing without accompaniment, although the throbbing backscores do in fact add to the impact of a series of dazzling routines. The film starts brilliantly, re-introducing us to non-PC commentators Higgins and Banks, who share some sparkling doubles entendres and contend that the a cappella girls were probably those who were 'too ugly to be cheerleaders'.

The wisecracks do thin out a bit as the film wears on, but Banks' dynamic direction finds fun everywhere, and the final duel at the championships is a real corker that will have you out of your seats. Better than you could ever imagine, the film is little short of sensational.

David Quinlan

USA 2015. UK Distributor: Universal. Technicolor.
113 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 10 May 2015