A repeat of the old formula of Pitch Perfect? Not quite.
This would be a rather long review.
Even before watching PP2, we can already expect three things that will happen:
Firstly, the Bellas would be doing great up to that point, before a miserable mishap in the first scene drive them back to square one. Secondly, we would expect to watch the unavoidable final acapella showdown between the Bellas, and the movie's chosen primary rival group.
Lastly, we would expect it to be an entertaining journey; how the characters to try and improve themselves, learn from their mistakes, and ultimately wins out not against the competition, but against themselves to become the better Bellas than before.
Unfortunately, there is NONE of the above in this sequel.
In between the first scene, and the final, everyone just floated around for most of the 115 minutes run time doing nothing, or spending too much time with their own internal demons (sub-plots) which contribute nothing towards their group's primary plot.
... which bring us to the second problem.
The movie relied too much on tired one-line jokes to try to save the already flawed plot, and the sense of humour is pretty much a miss.
The original also had clever one-liners and good jokes, but they can still make you laugh the second time around. Whereas with the sequel, some of them maybe funny at first, but they'll leave you a bitter taste afterwards.
I would not recommend this movie for children for this reason.
The next problem -- we should expect a good character progression, even from this supposedly simple musical comedy.
The original gives us a good logical development for Beca, Aubrey, and Chloe that help change the Bellas into a much better group in the finale.
In this sequel, not surprisingly, everyone just stay the same from beginning to the end.
Anna Kendrick was severely under-utilized her; which is a shame, as she is arguably one of the best in the current crop of actors / actresses. Like it or not, she also the go-to-actress for any musical movie these days.
She also carried a lot of goodwill from her "Cup" song hit, and from her excellent performances in the recent musical "Into the Woods" and "The Last Five Years".
Last problem -- the simpler music and choreography in the original just felt and looked smarter.
The new original song for the sequel is not that interesting.
Glee had done the same in every season, and it got tired quite quickly.
The bigger budget of PP2 also made obvious changes to add to the "wow" factor to each of the Bella's performance.
Unfortunately, the much simpler (yet smarter) choreography of the original looked to be a more realistic approach as to what a University Acapella group could possibly do.
PP2 basically rely too much on the goodwil that it gain from the first movie, and to less extent, from Anna Kendrick. If this had been the first movie, it will most likely be a huge flop.
PP3 might not be avoidable, but a repeat of PP2 would best be avoided.