They are fierce. They are fearless. And they are taking on the world.

The Bellas are back, so get ready to be pitch-slapped. The sequel to Pitch Perfect in 2012, this musical comedy is helmed by actress Elizabeth Banks herself, who also plays emcee Gail Abernathy-McKadden in the film. In her debut feature as director, Banks decently executes Pitch Perfect 2, and delivers a fair mix of music and comedy that is certain to entertain.

The Bellas of Barden University reunite, which sees the return of main members Beca Mitchell (Anna Kendrick), Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), Chloe Beale (Brittany Snow), Cynthia-Rose Adams (Ester Dean), Stacie Conrad (Alexis Knapp) and Lilly Onakurama (Hana Mae Lee). New to the team are Florencia Fluentes (Chrissie Fit) and freshman Emily Junk (Hailee Steinfeld).

Steinfield receives much screen time as the very eager Emily who represents fresh talent. Excited to join the Bellas, she is welcomed after a spontaneous audition that is as serious as the film gets. Emily’s penchant for original songwriting also gets the attention of Beca, who makes use of her talent to create new music.

This time, a mishap involving a wardrobe malfunction causes the Bellas to be suspended from performing a cappella, and this ruins their track record. In order to reclaim their reputation, the Bellas have to prove themselves worthy at none other than the World Championship, dominated by the best a cappella groups from around the world. And if that isn’t enough, they receive constant snide remarks from Gail and her host colleague John Smith (John Michael Higgins).

Being the musical that it is, Pitch Perfect 2 is peppered with pop-culture references throughout, and the soundtrack is further complemented by impressive vocals from the various musical groups portrayed. As such, plot structure becomes secondary to the music, as much of the focus is reliant on the pacing of the musical scores used.

Aside from Beca, the other obvious starlet of the film is Fat Amy. It’s clear that she is always used for comedic one-liners, as every other punch-line is effortlessly delivered by her. However, being dependent on one character for humour is an exhaustive attempt, and her lines begin to fall flat in the second act. Fortunately for director Banks, Fat Amy’s actions are sometimes genuinely amusing to witness.

As if the star-studded cast isn’t enough, there is also a cameo appearance by US President Barack Obama in the film, as an audience in one of their gigs. There is also the appearance of a real-life famous a cappella group that I will leave you to see for yourself.

With a part three already in the works that Fat Amy is set to star in, fans can expect more perfect pitches in the near future. Suffice to say, Pitch Perfect 2 is thoroughly entertaining throughout. It’s also impressive for a debut feature, even more so for a sequel that has to retain its originality and emulate its predecessor.

Pitch Perfect 2 opens in theatres today.

Directed by: Elizabeth Banks
Genre: Comedy, Music
Running time: 115 minutes
Rating: 3.5/5

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