Plot: After a humiliating performance, the Barton Bella’s have to prove they have what it takes to still be the winners they are. But it isn’t easy, not when they have been blocked from most competitions and are up against groups that are flawless.
There is only one thing for them to do. Win the World Championships so they can graduate knowing they have proved themselves once and for all. But with the group falling into disharmony and no American team ever having won the championships before, it seems the girls have their work cut out for themselves this time.
Opinion: This film was a nice surprise for me. I came to it having heard bad reports and so had very low expectations. There is no denying it wasn’t nearly as strong as the first one, but neither was it as bad as I was expecting.
What saved this film for me was the time of the girls’ lives. They were graduating, preparing to move on into the big bad world, and that is exactly the position that I found myself in just a few months ago. So while younger or older audiences might have just seen the weakness in the characterisation this time, there was something in this film that I could relate to.
But it is true, it was not as strong. The plot was average and the characters too thinly spread. There was a strong sense of character development in the first film, which was sadly lacking in this one. A new character was introduced, but I didn’t feel there was any depth to her – more just a tool so they can make a next film once these Bella’s have supposedly graduated. If that is the case, I have no desire to continue watching.
While more of the bellas had things to say this time, the boys were not included at all apart from the love interests. It was disappointing. Not to mention the supposed “German” team were so American that it was cringe-worthy.
The plot had no forward momentum. They argued, they embarrassed themselves, they pulled it together and found themselves as a team. The end. There could have been greater scope for development, especially considering their futures supposedly played a part in it. There needed to be more to lose at the championships than just a title – it didn’t feel like it was enough.
Some of the solos went on for too long, undermining their power and the humour that they created in the first film. Fat Amy especially has a long solo that just felt like it dragged – could have cut it by a minute easily.
After the reviews I had read about this film, I was expecting a lot worse. So while I wouldn’t rush back to watch it the way I do with the first, it wasn’t too bad either.