A spy movie farce coupled with plenty of music numbers. Sound like a film idea that will work? Not really, right? And yet it can mean a fun and frivolous 93 minutes at the movies. Listen, not all films have to be of Oscar quality. It is alright to just be fluffy. Take this film as it is meant to be and go in with reasonable expectations so you won’t be disappointed.
After a few years apart and lives that don’t seem to be going anywhere fast, the members of the a cappella group the Bellas are getting together from one last kick at the can. That kick means singing, courtesy of Aubrey’s (Anna Camp – from television’s True Blood) father, on an USO tour with DJ Khaled. Once there they realize that they are not just performing for the troops, but also taking part in a competition with a couple of other bands for the opening spot on tour with Khaled. Their competitive juices kick in and the Bellas are ready to fight.
While this is going on, Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson – Brides Maids, Pitch Perfect) has a personal crisis going on. Her father (John Lithgow – Interstellar, Daddy’s Home 2) is back. They have been estranged since she was 18 as he is a criminal. Now he says that he has changed and just wants to spend time with his daughter. Has this cheetah changed his spots? Or is there an ulterior motive for his desire to reinsert himself in her life.
Beca (Anna Kendrick – Up in the Air, Trolls), who has just quit her music producer job, also finds herself in a pickle. She has caught the eye and ear of DJ Khaled’s manager, Theo (Guy Burnet – from television’s Chicago Fire), who gives a song she writes to DJ Khaled. The music superstar is so impressed that he wants Beca – not the Bellas – as his opening act. Will she walk away from the opportunity of a lifetime because of her loyalty to the Bellas?
What made the original film a success is here – Kendrick is a master of the deadpan and Wilson is just crazy. You cannot help but like the two of them despite the fact that the script they have been given this time is a little tired and paper thin. The highlight of the film is the banter between the ever present John (John Michael Higgins – Best in Show, Blade: Trinity) and Gail (Elizabeth Banks – The Hunger Games, Magic Mike XXL). These two really play off each other well and have many of the best lines in the film.
Besides the comedy most come to Pitch Perfect movies for the music. You get some fun choreography and interesting reworkings of songs like Britney Spears’ “Toxic”, George Michael’s “Freedom” and Sia’s “Cheap Thrills”. Though, I personally, could have done with more music.
The low point of the film was the work of the usually great John Lithgow. Besides his here one moment gone the next Australian accent, there is his completely tone deaf portrayal of Fat Amy’s father which threatens to derail the whole spy film spoof.