Not quite as on key as its predecessor, the focus here is split too much between the singing of the successful all girl a cappella group ‘The Bellas’ from the first film and their less interesting personal diversions and indeed that too of new character Emily, played enthusiastically by Hailee Steinfeld, with the overall effect a dilution of the original’s strongest elements. The cast have all returned including main players Anna Kendrick as Beca Mitchell and Rebel Wilson as ‘Fat Amy’, with Elizabeth Banks, who plays competition commentator Gail, actually taking over directing duties as well – her last outing being the ‘Middleschool Date’ section in ‘Movie 43‘.
The underlying thread is that all the girls are going to have to deal with their upcoming college graduation and with it the end of their time with the group, but this isn’t really explored enough to be a theme and it’s more of a depressant the way they’ve occasionally inserted it in. Pulling weakly in too many directions, the story goes into Beca’s stealthy attempt to become a music producer as well as Emily’s new girl on the block jitters and her inevitable arc of mistakes made and eventual recovery and acceptance, none of these diversions have any real bite to them though.
Eventually, we are greeted with a group riff-off and here the film comes to life, indeed this is the highlight of the movie as although the Bellas are training to take on German world champions Das Sound Machine, it’s easy to forget any of them really care about it with so much trivia going on elsewhere and there simply isn’t enough of the music. Some fun still to be had though, and The Red Dragon certainly enjoyed the several scenes of Beca questioning her sexuality around the glamour of DSM’s lead female vocalist, played by Birgitte Hjort Sorensen. Again, not nearly enough made of this audience winning visual cocktail.
This song was featured in the first film and was released as a highly successful single for Anna Kendrick at the time. I love the Visit Scotland poster at the beginning – I’m happy to give you a guided tour Ms Kendrick, BEFORE I DEVOUR YOUR SOUL AND MAKE YOU MY MINDLESS SLAVE, or something along those lines …