Saturday, 16 May 2015

REVIEW - PITCH PERFECT 2 (ELIZABETH BANKS)


There's little more to say about Pitch Perfect 2. It's mostly been said before, either in relation to this film's predecessor, Pitch Perfect (natch), or in relation to any number of direct inspirations. The crass, glassy, autotuned a capella performances, the standard aesthetic scheme, the lazy stereotyping etc. And the acceptance that the only thing worth staying for is the comedy, as in so many other lame excuses for popular cinema... and the acceptance that the comedy probably makes the whole experience worthwhile. Give in to Pitch Perfect 2 - don't be a humbug. It's a fun, funny, watchable comedy that's directly about embracing femininity in whatever form it may take and about encouraging female participation - themes that it only gently dictates to its audience. More blatantly, the film is about bad, faddish 'live' renditions of songs that deserve better than this (and songs that don't), in performances that are mercifully forgettable, and about delivering softly barbed comedy. Elizabeth Banks displays a knack for comic timing in her direction that she's previously displayed in her acting, though in fact this turn may represent her finest hour in that regard too. All that said, she can't redeem a number of cringey scenes where the film develops serious sequelitis and deems that Anna Kendrick's lead ought to seek employment as an intern at a music production company - these sequences drag, and don't even fulfill any urgent narrative requirement. On the whole, this is an objectively solid second installment in a franchise that never should have happened, but that shouldn't prove especially unwelcome should it continue to happen.