Pitch Perfect - Online Review

'an entertaining if limited Comedy, telling a fairly simple coming-of-age tale'

An unexpected hit back in 2012, Pitch Perfect's sequel arrived last week in the UK to a similarly warm fan reception and a healthy box office. Riding on the coat tails of Glee, the first film is an entertaining if limited Comedy, telling a fairly simple coming-of-age tale as Becca (Anna Kendrick) sheds her grumpy loner personality in favour of the slightly geeky clique of the The Barden Bellas all female a cappella group.

So far, so predictable. There's nothing revolutionary about Pitch Perfect's plot per se, following as it does the well established 'people come together in higher education and somehow find each other' structure so beloved of things like The Breakfast Club, a film screenwriter Kay Cannon and director Jason Moore clearly revere.

The characters that make up the Bellas are a mixed bag of stereotypes and something new. Becca is ultimately a little bit of a blank canvas, with a father (John Benjamin Hickey) problem and a love interest (Skylar Astin) on a traditional reconciliatory arc. Much more interesting are respective sidekicks Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) and Benji (Ben Platt), the former in particular allowed to cut loose. Arguably her best scenes are still the scripted ones ('death by burrito' is hilarious), but that's perhaps only because Wilson's improv typically falls towards Anna Camp, who is not quite as assured comedically.

Camp is also laboured with one of a smattering of Pitch Perfect oddities: a running vomit gag, which first rears its bile in the setup and then predictably, lazily, reappears later on. Slightly more distractingly there are also a smattering of jokes about sexuality that don't hit home (one of the bellas is gay: ha ha!) and some very odd humour directed at Jews, particularly bizarre given that religion is never mentioned in any other context.

There are other successes though that mark the film out as a Comedy willing to try things and occasionally succeed. The vast majority of Lilly's (Hana Mae Lee) lines are darkly hilarious (if you can hear them) and Alexis Knapp's sex-obsessed Bella gets some solid laughs. With a few notable exceptions it's perfectly fine funny stuff, with the added significant bonus of some cracking musical numbers.

Pitch Perfect was playing on Amazon Prime Instant Video.

By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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