2015 is going to be three hundred and sixty five days of sequels: it's the year we're getting Jurassic World, Terminator: Genisys, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, Taken 3, Insidious: Chapter 3, and a little-known film called The Avengers: Age of Ultron. (Plus: the hotly anticipated Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.) Basically, it's a movie slate designed to put global and domestic box office to the test.
Quietly tucked in among that teeming mass of YA adaptations, superhero rumpuses, horror chillers, and other assorted amusement park rides, though, is Pitch Perfect 2, the follow-up to 2012's Pitch Perfect. Consider the film a sensory refresher in that line-up of whiz-bang spectacle; it isn't 2015's only comedy (think Ted 2 and genre hybrids like Magic Mike XXL), but it's timed just right, arriving in theaters in May to serve as a buffer between rampaging dinosaurs and megalomaniacal robots.
And based on its first trailer, it's going to be an utter delight. Pitch Perfect 2 doesn't really need to do much more than build on all of the qualities that made the first movie such a charmer - its sweetness, its sincerity, its brio - but the tone here feels a bit more grown-up. (We use that term loosely. You cannot call a movie where Rebel Wilson rides a cafeteria tray down a stairwell, or where Anna Kendrick makes fart noises, "adult", per se. And that's not even mentioning the pillow fight.)
That's part of Elizabeth Banks' design - she's making a movie about the Barden Belles' coming of age as they approach the end of their college tenure. But even if the attitude here is changed somewhat, Banks is still making an underdog comedy (see Kendricks' confrontation with the imposing Birgitte Hjort Sørensen), and she's still making a movie about people expressing themselves through song, using the cutthroat world of competitive show choir as her backdrop.
So basically if you dug the original, you're probably on board for this one, too. Frankly, Pitch Perfect 2 shines like a vivacious homing beacon on 2015's summer movie schedule; it looks funny, it looks heartfelt, and it looks like the perfect palette cleanser in a season that's overloaded with mayhem.
Pitch Perfect 2 arrives in US theaters on May 15th, 2015.