Sing 2 Review

PLOT: In hopes to convince one of the biggest names in show business to give his gang a chance at stardom, Buster Moon has a plan. If he can bring a famous reclusive rock star out of retirement, he’ll get the chance to bring the performance to its biggest audience yet.

REVIEW: As a music fan, I was very excited at the prospect of Illumination Entertainment’s animated musical Sing back in 2016. Sure it looked a bit silly and harmless, but there’s nothing like a good tune to get your toes tapping. For this viewer, however, it left a sour note. Yet many fans enjoyed the showstopping musical numbers and adorable animals belting out the hits. So here we are with a sequel, appropriately titled Sing 2. Is this an improvement over the original? Can Bono himself help make this musical extravaganza rise to the occasion? Some of you will certainly enjoy the new flick. Even with new characters and a slightly more inventive story, it still gives us another dull adventure led by Matthew McConaughey as Buster Moon. It also manages to make amazing tunes like Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” damn near annoying.

Sing 2 begins with a big show. The sequence features the famous tune mentioned above. At the performance, Buster’s hoping that a talent scout will see their worth and give them a shot. The scout (voiced by the talented Chelsea Peretti) wants nothing to do with it. Buster is so frustrated by her leaving the performance early that he decides to bring his troupe to see the big man, a brute named Mr. Crystal (Bobby Cannavale). Somehow, the band of merry misfits sneaks into an audition. Before Crystal can tear them down and have them thrown out, Buster promises something that he may not be able to deliver. The koala bear reveals that he could bring the legendary Clay Calloway (Bono) back from retirement. Will everything go as planned? Can Buster and pals create a massive show in three weeks? Well, it’s a goofy animated movie, so I’m sure the finale won’t surprise anyone.

The animated musical is a predictable sequel, for the most part. Directed by Garth Jennings, it’s a colorful and bright flick with scattered moments of charm. Yet, as a whole, the film is too long, and the script meanders with outrageous musical numbers and attempts at heart-tugging. The near two-hour run time makes for a repetitive story with song after song played throughout. Some of the numbers are a treat. The most heartwarming moments in the film come from the touching relationship between Ash (Scarlett Johansson) and Clay (Bono). Having him play a lonely widower who gave up on music is a bit depressing though, especially for a children’s flick. It all leads to a finale that some U2 fans will delight in. Perhaps delight isn’t the right word for it.

Much like the previous film, the final act is when things get going. The big song and dance, musical numbers are sometimes fun. The performances from Taron Egerton as Johnny, Tori Kelly as Meena, and Reese Witherspoon as Rosita add a little spark. And while Mr. Crystal’s daughter Porsha is painfully obnoxious, Halsey puts on a decent show of it all. There is a ton of talent on display. Great voices. Engaging tunes. Yet the story is all over the place, and the lessons it teaches are questionable. One scene involves Mr. Crystal threatening to drop Buster Moon from a skyscraper because he embarrassed him. I can’t imagine that this won’t freak out younger viewers. And even the good guys break into a theatre, and Rosita has her little piglets terrorize Crystal’s property as a diversion. Frankly, most of the characters are annoying, at least slightly.

As a sequel, the new film jumps into action immediately. The songs come quickly, including selections from U2, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Coldplay, The Struts, and more. And the big show that they build up to is a bizarro space musical. Do the songs fit with the story? Sort of, I guess. Why is an alien dancing around to “Could Have Been Me?” Who knows. And then that weird love song sequence with Meena proves that you can fake chemistry if you think you are performing with somebody else. The variety of tunes is fine, but it doesn’t add more than an empty, over-the-top, animated flick with more style than substance. It’s not a terrible film, and it will probably do well with those who want to hear the music. There’s just more of the same. So if you were into the previous film, it’s fair to say you may appreciate this one.

Sing 2 is more of the same. Good news for some, but it does lack the originality found in the first. Scarlett Johannsson and Bono are a part of a sweet storyline. Even still, there aren’t enough moments like Scarlett singing the simple yet effective “Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of.” If only this sequel had more moving stories like that. As opposed to the continuously loud and boisterous moments that fill out the rest of the movie. The Garth Jennings directed flick isn’t the worst time you’ll have at an animated feature. Yet it fails to inspire much more than maybe checking out the original versions of each song. And perhaps that’s not such a bad thing. It’s certainly one way to get your children interested in some of the music you may love. Sing 2 is strictly for those able to sing the praises of the previous film. If you weren’t a fan, this overly long feature is unlikely to have you dancing in the aisles.

Sing 2

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Source: JoBlo.com

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JimmyO is one of JoBlo.com’s longest-tenured writers, with him reviewing movies and interviewing celebrities since 2007 as the site’s Los Angeles correspondent.