Not Aca-perfect, but certainly Aca-mazing… Pitch Perfect (2012) came along as a suprise hit – on the back of the Glee trend – it was funny,with an excellent soundtrack and immensly likeable characters. The sequel, set three years on (reflecting the real life time difference), also manages to hit all the right notes. All of the old favourite characters are back, with one or two new faces. Things are the same, but different. The Barden Bellas have been flying high for the past three years, undisputed and unbeaten champions at the a cappella nationals. The sequel opens mid-action, the Bellas are performing for President Obama’s birthday celebration at the Kennedy centre. This is clearly to not-so-subtly explain to the audience, ‘that’s how big they now are guys!’ Of course this success is not going to last for long (otherwise what would be the point of the next two hours!?!) and, very quickly the girls are back to being the underdogs. As you have probably seen from the trailers or press interviews, during a fierce cover of ‘Wrecking Ball’ Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) has a wardrobe malfunction. The wardrobe malfunction to end all wardrobe malfunctions. When hanging 40 feet in the air, wearing a skint-tight electric-blue unitard whilst performing aerobics, her unitard starts to rip. In the crotch-area. So, when tangled up in metres of fabric and therefore stuck, knowing that she it totally exposed, she is left mearly to rotate and accept the inevitable. The president, and seemingly the entire country, is then ‘forceibly’ exposed to her crotch. The next five minutes of the film are devoted to the media reaction to the ‘horror’ that was having to see Fat Amy’s ‘gift from Down Under’. Whilst the media reaction is clearly and intentionally over-the-top it did start to feel uncomfortable to watch quite quickly. Thinking back to the media attention that used to be given to celebrities like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears – which where never as damning and seemingly disqusted as the new’s reporters are here – is that linked to Fat Amy’s (that is her self-appointed title) size that the media are so…horrified? If it had been one of the other Bellas that had been in the same situation, all of whom are slimmer and more typically Hollywood, would the incident have derailed their career in quite the same way? Nevertheless, the girls are told they can keep their title for the remainder of the year, but are disqualified from re-entering next year or recruiting any new girls at the start of term. That appears to be it for the girls – unless they can win the world a cappella championships. Well that should be easy of these national champs, right? Well not if the reigning world champions have anything to say about it… The Best Bits The Bellas we love are back on fine form. If you loved the first film, and loved the girls, then you’re going to love this film just as much. On a personal note – I continue to strive to be as cool as Beca (Anna Kendrick)…Her combination of music knowledge, sass with just the right amount of adorable awkardness is aspirational! In this film she has a secret that will test her dedication to the Bellas. With graduation round the corner, it’s time for her to make some big choices…Plus Jesse is back – so, you know, that’s good! In terms of cinema’s romance of the year – this has to be a strong contender.They balance each other out perfectly – and get some fantastic scenes together in this film. Together they are sweet and funny, with just the right amount of arrogance that is entertaining as opposed to annoying. Pat Benatar’s ‘We Belong’ will never sound the same again! On that note, what made the first film so strong was the music choices. At times somewhat suprising, but always entertaining, they made the film engaging and made you care about the characters. The same is true with the sequel – which has a soundtrack that is equably listenable and enjoyable. The stand out sequence in the sequal has to be the return of the Riff-Off. In typical sequel-style, it is bigger and more dramatic. Wanting to avoid spoilers at this point, no more detail shall be given on this! To Conclude… All in all, this sequel is solid. Whilst it won’t draw in a new audience, it will appease those returning to a cappella Barden universe. The tone of the film is slightly uneven, at times feeling episodic many of the jokes have the same punch-line to the original and some one-note characterisation. However, this isn’t a case of ‘a difficult first album’, more like a cover or tribute to the first.