Pitch Perfect was Bring It On meets Glee — the kind of movie that felt like a comfy childhood favorite even when it was brand new in theaters, the kind that you'd stop and watch whenever you stumbled across it on cable. It was a surprise hit only in the context of the industry's Memento-like inability to remember that young women like to watch movies too, and not just as presumedly reluctant companions of the young men at whom most blockbusters are flagrantly aimed.
The 2012 movie, directed by Jason Moore, was warmhearted and rickety, filled with enjoyable musical numbers and jokes that weren't always targeted very carefully. For the second installment, which opens in theaters on May 15, producer and cast member Elizabeth Banks (she plays Gail Abernathy-McKadden, one half of a brutal commentating pair) is making her directorial debut.
Most of the Barden Bellas are now in their senior year, but their story otherwise recycles most of the same beats — so how does the sequel measure up against the first Pitch Perfect? Here's a look.