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Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect

Released 21 December 2012
Director Jason Moore

Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Ben Platt, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Rebel Wilson, Alexis Knapp
Writer(s) Kay Cannon

Paul Brooks, Max Handelman, Elizabeth Banks
Origin United States
Running Time 112 minutes
Genre Comedy, music, romance
Rating 12A

Broken record.

Glee lovers will be filled with, well, glee with this musical-comedy. Unfortunately, I'm not a big fan of the hit TV show – in fact, I think it's dreadful. So it is safe to assume that expectations were rather low prior to the viewing of Pitch Perfect, a level of apprehension that I was hoping would work in my favour. With such a low bar it doesn't take that much to meet it, and it worked to a certain extent. But while it offers some laughs and produces an album of toe-tapping routines, the performances on the most part are bland, and the story formulaic.

Beca, played by rising star Anna Kendrick, arrives at a new college more interested in furthering her interest in sound recording and mixing rather than her actual course or making new friends. But her campus is acka-obsessed with a capella and somehow Beca gets involved with its all-female group, the Barden Bellas. After a humiliating incident at last year's finals, the Bellas are only successful in recruiting a bunch of misfits for this season's cut-throat International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella. Stuck in their traditional, straight-edged style, rebel Beca tries to use her background as a DJ to inspire a new look for the group, much to the detest of leader Aubrey, while there's a budding romance with a member from the rival Treble Makers as well.

The film starts off in a charming way as we're introduced to just shy of a million characters but very quickly initiates in us the same reaction most of the audience has with the early Bellas – a few yawns! The story is your run of the mill triumph over adversity flick, adding very little to a packed genre. That said, Kendrick delivers another solid performance that will strengthen her status as one of Hollywood's hottest young actresses and the medleys of mostly pop and rap songs from different eras are enjoyable. So too were the cameos from John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks as the competition's witty commentators.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the rest of the cast. There's nothing essentially wrong with any of their displays, but whether through lazy effort or a poor script there is a distinct lack of character development. You're clearly being asked to care about them – I didn't. And what is with this new obsession with Rebel Wilson? It must (better) just be a fad because she simply isn't funny at all.

The constant reference to The Breakfast Club was cute and served as the inspired ingredient in a dramatic ending but if they think Pitch Perfect can rank alongside that classic in terms of believability they can think again.

- David Caulfield