Pitch Perfect 2, film review: Some spirited slapstick but this sequel ends in feeble fashion

(12A) Elizabeth Banks, 120 mins. Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Adam DeVine, Brittany Snow, Hailee Steinfeld
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The Independent Culture

This comedy sequel, directed by Elizabeth Banks of Hunger Games fame, is fitfully very funny. It begins promisingly but ends in utterly feeble fashion. Right at the outset, the all-female a cappella group the Barden Bellas disgrace themselves in front of President Obama and his family. (Thanks to a mid-air wardrobe malfunction, Rebel Wilson's Fat Amy ends up flashing a very intimate part of her anatomy to the President.)

At first, there seems no way back from the humiliation of vagina-gate but then the group members learn that they are still eligible to compete in the a cappella world championships in Copenhagen. If they are to stand any chance of winning and thereby redeeming themselves, they will have to overcome the awesome vocal might of their German rivals, Das Sound Machine.

Pitch Perfect 2 is a very fragmented affair, more a selection of comic sketches than a coherent movie in its own right. There is some spirited slapstick along the way, most of it courtesy of Fat Amy making a fool of herself at a cappella boot camp, and the film sometimes takes us by surprise – for example, there is a cameo by the rapper Snoop Dogg, performing Christmas songs. The sweetness of the singing is belied by the crudity of much of the humour. It doesn't help, either, that what should be the show-stopping finale is shot in such a bland and unimaginative way.

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