"Pitch Perfect" is one of those films that tends to get me to stop the remote whenever I am flipping through cable channels.
Now the 2012 surprise hit gets a follow-up in "Pitch Perfect 2," a film that goes back to the well a lot — basically taking the strengths of the original and finding ways to do it again.
It's a risk that hasn't worked in sequels to movies like "The Hangover," but the calculated risk pays off here — with enough laughs and music to satisfy fans of the original.
"Pitch Perfect 2" picks up with the Barden Bellas (a female acapella group at a fictional Barden college) on top of the world – three time defending national champions and touring throughout the U.S.
When a performance for the president takes an unexpected turn, the group is pulled from competition with the only way to be re-instated for future competitions is by winning the world championship.
The story is really secondary to the characters and music, with the talented cast – including Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and Brittany Snow — all returning.
Kendrick's Beca is still charming – even if the plot forces a conflict that seems to serve as a roadblock just for the sake of conflict.
I'm not really a fan of Wilson, and was afraid her role would be expanded to an annoyance level here, but she works in small dosages.
There are several new faces – including Hailee Steinfeld as the group's newest member — and a few fun cameos, but the biggest addition is Elizabeth Banks taking the helm behind the camera.
Banks shows poise and confidence as a first time director, a cast member who gets the franchise and is able to accentuate its strengths. The musical numbers zip and the one-liners come fast and furious, but Banks reels it all in to a satisfying concoction that fans of the original will surely enjoy.
"Pitch Perfect 2" is rated PG-13 for innuendo and language and is now playing at the Regal Bowling Green Stadium 12 and Highland Cinemas in Glasgow.