Germany Gets Pitch-Slapped in the Second Pitch Perfect 2 Trailer

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If the first trailer for Pitch Perfect 2 got you all misty-eyed with anticipation, this second spot is merely an update on things to get excited about. It is also a plot set-up trailer, with the premise laid out that the Bellas have had another embarrassing performance – this time it’s Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) accidentally exposing her crotch to the Obamas along with the rest of their audience – and the stakes involved in their need to win the a capella world championship. Also a heartfelt dilution of those stake when Beca (Anna Kendrick) confesses that the performances and competitions won’t matter in the long run, because she’ll mostly just remember the rest of the “weirdos” on the team. Aww.

Meanwhile, there’s also more music, more clashing with a German squad (led by YouTube star Flula Borg) seemingly lifted off the pages of an unused Sprockets screenplay and a bit more of the commentators played by John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks, the latter of whom directed the sequel from another script by Kay Cannon. What we don’t see in this spot is very much of the returning male characters (there’s only a brief shot of Skylar Astin and Ben Platt, aka Jesse and Benji, in a crowd) nor new players such as David Cross and Katey Sagal, who plays the mother of new Bella Hailee Steinfeld, a character we also haven’t seen a lot of. Really, the marketing here is all about the Bellas we know and love.

There’s also a good splash of patriotism. An opening shot of Washington, DC, a reference by Beca of the American victory over the Germans in World War II and some stars and stripes at the big finale. The plot of the sequel does deal with an event that the US doesn’t normally fair well at and the obvious conclusion will have the Americans (and their one Australian member) on top of the world in the end. But it shouldn’t be too heavy on the domestic celebration, mainly because nearly half the box office of the first movie came from international ticket sales. Interestingly enough, one of its most successful markets was Germany. I wonder how the sequel will do there given the villains are goofy cartoon representations of its people.

Pitch Perfect 2 also stars returning Bellas Brittany Snow, Alexis Knapp, Hana Mae Lee and Ester Dean. The sequel opens in theaters on May 15, 2015.

Christopher began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called 'Read,' back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials.