The animated film “Sing” was an instant classic when it was released back in 2016. With its likeable cast of characters and quirky premise, the film was a massive sensation at the box office, only being bested by Gareth Edward’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” Indeed, “Sing” was a very big win for Illumination, the studio behind hits such as “The Secret Life of Pets” and the “Despicable Me” franchises that it spawned a sequel, “Sing 2”.
After turning the local New Moon Theater into a local success, aspirant koala Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) sets his sights on the big leagues. Nevertheless, after being written off by a talent scout, Buster and his team — including mother pig Rosita (Reese Witherspoon), polite gorilla Johnny (Taron Egerton), slayin’ porcupine Ash (Scarlett Johansson), reserved elephant Meena (Tori Kelly), and wacky hog Gunter (Nick Kroll) — head to the lights of Redshore City to prove their worth.
Buster and his team sneak into Crystal Entertainment, run by ruthless wolf Jimmy Crystal (Bobby Cannavale, to get their shot at fame. Things, however, do not go as planned as Buster and his team are forced to think on their feet due to Crystal’s initial dismissal.
In an attempt to save their hides, Gunter pitches a musical affair that gets Crystal’s ears to perk up. The job is done but the pressure immediately fizzes due to the extravagant nature of the idea: exuberant props, sophisticated numbers, and to top it all off, plucking lion rock legend Clay Calloway (Bono) out of retirement to perform on the show.
Truly, time is not on the team’s side. With immense pressures and threats mounting, can Buster and co. maintain their composures to get their masterpiece rolling and put on the show of their lives?
Okay, first things first. Is “Sing 2” a rehash of the original?
Well, there is no other way to put this but, yes, it is the same thing. Without a doubt, if the 2016 film was not yours to fancy, this outing will do nothing to change that outlook. Indeed, it has similar story beats, themes, and values. There’s the idea of succeeding at showbiz and being brave enough to seize the opportunity in order to achieve a dream. It’s all there. Indeed, the aim here is to accomplish the same magic once more, but with bigger and more colourful set pieces.
If there’s one thing that “Sing” does well is that it gets audiences to care about its ragtag group of characters. Observing reality competitions like “American Idol”, “Masterchef”, and the “Got Talent” series, these shows are edited in a way that brings both hope and euphoria to an audience that feeds off the notion of wanting them to succeed. That’s exactly what director Garth Jennings and his team achieve with “Sing”, in which they infuse these characters with underdog qualities to make the audience root for them.
Once again, you’ve got an ensemble cast cycling through their own individual issues and they must get it all in order before the big show. If Buster Moon was saving his struggling theatre building in the first one, here he’s attempting to stage the biggest show ever. While Meena was battling stage fright before, now she’s trying her best to tap into the romantic side for her showcase. Johnny, too, is in a position where he has to learn how to dance-slash-fight for a segment of the production. Ash has to deal with the task of convincing Clay to come on the show. So, you have all of these plotlines and it really helps that they are evenly spaced out to get each character to shine all the way till the film’s final act.
Now, we appreciate things moving along at a relatively quick pace, but it is also the softer and sweeter moments where the film shines. We love the montage showing the group in the bus together celebrating the life they have as a family. It shows the growth they had since they started off as undiscovered talents.
Even during the latter portion of the film, there comes a sweet moment involving Ash as she attempts to appeal to Clay. Clay is riddled with guilt and an inability to progress due to the passing of a loved one. And after many failures, it is Ash, a lifelong fan who finds that by using empathy, she is able to connect to her idol. We love the attention to the emotion and the aspects of character that come with loss. We love that.
Wait, what about the songs? Well, of course, we have to talk about that! Just like its predecessor. “Sing 2” is filled to the brim with sing-along diegetic renditions of songs from your favourite artists. Shawn Mendes. Drake. Billie Eilish. Eminem. DNCE. And having a talented voice cast that SINGS really nails it for us.
Of course, some of those renditions are put to comedic use with great effects. Trust us, that audition scene will have you holding your guts together in laughter!
Some fun little trivia for you here, but we find it rather hilarious that Academy Award-winning director Spike Jonze is in this film as a cat assistant (or we’d rather say cat-isstant) to Jimmy Crystal. Akin to how Wes Anderson (bless that beautiful voice) and Edgar Wright both appeared in the previous film, Garth Jennings inserted another friend into his work, albeit in a secret but frontal role. Speaking of Wright, the “Last Night in Soho” helmer lends his voice once again in this outing in a minor capacity.
Ultimately, while “Sing 2” is a predictable, safe ride, it IS a pretty fun time for its viewers. Whether you’re young or old, its vivid qualities and themes of success and determination will resonate with you. While we do not think “Sing 2” will blow audiences away unlike a recent animal-themed film, this animated sequel has its own crowd-pleasing charm that will ensure you have a good time. So, if you’re looking for a feel-good movie to spend time with your loved ones, just have a go with this sequel. Don’t forget to belt your lungs out while you’re at it!
“Sing 2” will be playing in cinemas nationwide this 30th December.
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If you loved the first "Sing" movie, "Sing 2" is a must-watch.
- Sing 2 Review