Director: Elizabeth Banks
Writers: Kay Cannon, Mickey Rapkin (based on the book by)
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld
Plot: After a humiliating commando performance at The Kennedy Center, the Barden Bellas enter an international competition that no American group has ever won in order to regain their status and right to perform.
Running Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 66% Audience 64%
Why I watched it: I was pleasantly surprised by the first one, I really enjoyed it. My two daughters loved it and really wanted to see the sequel, I do think for all three of us the singing and the music were strong selling points.
Thoughts: I really don’t think these films are musicals even though yes there’s singing in it. It’s more of a competition movie. Don’t really know if we needed a sequel, have to say they’re milking this by turning it into a franchise.
What I like: The high point in this film like the first one is the singing, good voices nice picks of songs and the feel and tone is upbeat and fun. The film gets by on good will, this is not a mean spirited movie, it’s a lark.
The characters and the actors are the selling point here, the plot is secondary. Now you can tell they’re going off the first film as we get more Rebel Wilson in this one, she’s a strong presence and she is very funny. Anna Kendrick is once again the glue for the film, she doesn’t get that much to do and her arc isn’t very big but she can sing and once again she’s likeable and that’s huge for the film.
The set pieces, the songs, are very good the last two are done very well and there the reasons the films work, big songs and also the thing is produced well. I liked that the “bad guys” here get a lot of time to show how good they are, it raises the stakes, they’re a very good group and sound great.
What I didn’t like: The plot is paper thin, I won’t give it a pass but the film knows what it is, just wished more thought went into the whole thing other than the songs.
Hailee Steinfeld is the big add here and I get it, she sings and is an actor but she adds almost nothing here and takes a big cast and makes it bigger. The real problem here is the cast is so big people are going to get short changed, Skylar Astin who is likeable and a good singer has a couple of singing moments but gets stuck in the boyfriend role. They do try sub-plots but they don’t go anywhere interesting.
The humour in this one isn’t as strong as the first one, they go for way too many easy jokes. The film isn’t as clever and it makes sense the first one seemed more original and it’s hard for a sequel to be that. The film uses the actors strong singing talents but sadly not their acting talents, good actors don’t have much to work with here.
Final Thoughts: It’s not as good as the first one, I know not a shock, but it’s a fun film and it does deliver on what it promises and if this carries any weight my daughters loved this movie, it was the songs.