2012's "Pitch Perfect" was a sleeper hit for good reason, a cheerful, tart-tongued pop explosion that kept the laughs, the music and the charisma coming for 112 brisk minutes. With an unconventional, independent-minded protagonist in Anna Kendrick's (2015's "The Last Five Years") university freshman Beca Mitchell, the film proved to be a whole lot of things rolled into one: a female-centric friendship comedy, a satiric quasi-musical about collegiate a cappella competitions, and the coming-of-age story of an ambitious young woman who finally learns to let her guard down when she happens upon a community of people who accept and value her. "Pitch Perfect" earned $113-million worldwide on a modest $17-million budget, but it found a larger, even more receptive audience when it hit home video. With its popularity growing and the original soundtrack (led by Kendrick's "Cups") going on to sell 1.2 million copies to date, it was a foregone conclusion that a sequel would be in the cards.
"Pitch Perfect 2" reunites the entire core cast of the original picture, while co-star Elizabeth Banks (2014's "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1") takes over the directorial reigns from Jason Moore. None of the above miss a beat sliding back into their roles, and the film, overall, retains much of its sly comedic bite. If the endlessly entertaining first movie didn't have a single slow moment, this one does, going slack in the pacing department on a few occasions as scenes meander about and overstay their welcome. The script by returning writer Kay Cannon is full of pert zingers and a number of unsuspectingly sweet moments, but in repeating most of the beats of its precursor the overall story and mood have lost a little of their freshness.
See Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com. for full review