PITCH PERFECT 2 Review: Elizabeth Banks on a Hit

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Pitch Perfect 2 ReviewWith apologies to Elton John, “The Pitch is back!” and better than ever, in no small part thanks to the efforts of first time helmer Elizabeth Banks, who also appears as Gail, the snarky acapella competition commentator in the film. Who knew what talent lurked inside The Hunger Games‘ Effie Trinket? Pitch Perfect 2 is bigger, faster and funnier than the original sleeper hit, and while the jokes and quips fly fast and furious, fresh and feisty a cappella music still rules the day.

This time around, the Bellas, mostly seniors, are the champs of the a cappella competition circuit, and the show opens with a big production number for the President and First Lady. But something involving Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) and a suspended, rotating full body sling goes dreadfully, heinously and hilariously wrong. The Bellas are banned from all activity as a group, except for the international championships in Copenhagen.  Their latest, greatest nemesis is Der Sound Machine from Germany, a lazar edged group with Sprockets robot-like performers.

But now Beca (Anna Kendrick) in charge, although her attention is divided between the Bellas and her music producing internship. Hailee Steinfield is new to the crew as an enthusiastic freshman legacy, and Katey Sagal shows up all too briefly as her mother. Will the girls, their relationships and their voices make it through senior year and the world championships? Who really cares, just so the wisecracks and the jaw-dropping a cappella arrangements keep us entertained.

Not quite a perfect movie, it clocks in at 1 hour and 54 minutes — a good 10-15 minutes could have easily been cut, mostly from Fat Amy’s romance — oddly enough, the Rebel Wilson schtick falls flat at times and weighs the movie down–something I never thought I’d write. But for this Elizabeth Banks can be forgiven. It took some giant lady balls to take the reins of this beloved franchise and make it her pitch. It’s aca-awesome!

1 Hour 54 Minutes

Rated PG 13

Get times and tickets at Fandango.com.

PITCH PERFECT 2 Review: Elizabeth Banks on a Hit

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and seen on Rotten Tomatoes. She recently founded the new lifestyle website ReallyRather.com, where celebrities and experts share their 5 favorite things in the fields of entertainment, lifestyle, wellness, home and food & drink.

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