Reviewed by Daniel Janks: actor, creative director, writer, cynic, father, husband. He was born in 1977 and has still not died. He loves many things, chief among which are his mythic wife and odd girl-child. Visit his website.
Director Elizabeth Banks
Writer Kay Cannon
Cast Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld
AGE RESTRICTION: [PG13]
There one reference to a vagina. That’s about it.
Yes I’m a 38 year old man with healthy beard, it doesn’t mean I can’t like acapella movies set in college and high-school about a group of loser girls who band together to find their cool, find their voice, and find themselves. And I did, hell I loved this movie. And you will too.
The AcaBellas are back. They’re still at Barden College and they’re still singing without instruments. This time they’re after the world championship title and battling it out against German powerhouses: DAS SOUND MACHINE. You’ll be glad to know that the film does not start with an embarrassing incident where a Bella projectile vomits on stage, disgracing the group and leaving them with a lot to prove. Nope, this time one of the Bellas moons the flag and flashes her … um … her … uh … well she flashes the president. After that it’s an uphill struggle to regain their position, and their good standing. With the end of college looming, the girls are all contemplating life after school, and life after the Bellas.
Look, it’s not The Hurricane, ok? It is what it is, and that’s cool. Each actor brings her (and his) own flavour to the mix. There’s cute acting, there’s serious acting, there’s over the top acting, there’s even some really good acting. But somehow all these different styles and modes all seem to come together to form a quirky macrocosmic performance that is a joy to behold. This is truly an ensemble piece, because without each other the individuals would all look a little silly. Hey! Just like the Bellas themselves. Isn’t that something.
It’s also worth noting that the average age of the Bellas is somewhere around 30, so they do pretty well for a supposed bunch of college kids.
Directing and writing
Elizabeth Banks is pretty close to becoming a household name. She’s been around for a long time, and made some very very good films. Most recently she’s been sublime as Effie Trinket in the Hunger Games movies. And now, it appears, she’s trying her hand at directing as well. Pitch Perfect 2 is her first full feature film. But you couldn’t tell it. She handles the cast, the story, the singing, the good jokes, the bad jokes and the disparate modes and methods of performance with old-hand ease. This is slightly silly movie, but by no means an easy thing to create. If anything this must be one of the hardest types of films to helm. But Banks has managed it flawlessly.
If you have a late model, low mileage, model year 2000 – 2005 teenage girl at home, then make a date and take her to the movies. Like as not you’ll have as good a time as she will. And if you won’t, let me know, I’ll take her. (In a non-creepy, non-weird way, of course)
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