Sing 2 (2021) Review!!

Synopsis – Buster Moon and his friends must persuade reclusive rock star Clay Calloway to join them for the opening of a new show.

My Take – Films from Illumination Entertainment (in my opinion), are kind of hit or miss. When they miss, it’s by a mile, for example films like Minions (2015), Despicable Me 3 (2017), and The Grinch (2018), despite the money they made, are claptrap at best, but on the flip side they have delivered excellence with Despicable Me (2010), The Secret Life of Pets (2016) and of course, the star studded Sing (2016).

Released in the same year as Disney‘s monster hit Zootopia, the Garth Jennings directorial, backed by colorful animation, a good soundtrack, strong cast and a bunch of adorable singing and dancing animals with an easily digestible story, managed to win over audiences with its feel-good vibes, amassing $634.2 million worldwide.

Obviously, from a business perspective, a sequel was must, and now five years later, a follow up, once again written and directed by Garth Jennings, has arrived with returning and new animals singing yet another delightful mix of cover songs.

Yes, the film isn’t earth shattering nor does it offer enough originality to truly make it stand out, but with enough charming and entertaining content, familiar faces and sing-along worthy songs, those who got a kick out of the first film will find plenty to love once again.

Add to that its wide-scale roaring musical numbers, laugh out loud humor, a lot of heart, striving messages and surprising returning voice cast that absolutely nails it. It’s enjoyable and not in the least bit challenging. And sometimes that’s enough.

Set years after the events of the first film, the story once again follows Buster Moon (voiced by Matthew McConaughey), an opportunistic koala, who has managed to turn the once run-down venue to a now-thriving theater. Nevertheless, he remains eager for his company to receive even greater acclaim on a bigger stage.

But when Suki (voiced by Chelsea Peretti), a talent scout, coldly tells Buster his group doesn’t have what it takes, he and Miss Crawly (voiced by Garth Jennings), his administrative assistant, determined to prove her wrong, gather his loyal band of talented musicians, Johnny (voiced by Taron Egerton), Rosita (voiced by Reese Witherspoon), Ash (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), Meena (voiced by Tori Kelly) and Gunter (voiced by Nick Kroll) and heads to Redshore City to catch the eye of the Suki’s boss, Jimmy Crystal (voiced by Bobby Cannavale), a ruthless media mogul who runs Crystal Entertainment.

Though Crystal is not immediately impressed, Buster manages to gain his attention by stating that their new show will also feature the return of Clay Calloway (voiced by Bono), a reclusive Rock icon who hasn’t performed in fifteen years. Intrigued, Crystal agrees to give Buster and his crew a chance, inserting his daughter Porsha (voiced by Halsey) into the show, but also threatening to throw Buster off a tall building if he manages to insult him in anyway. However, what Crystal doesn’t know is that Buster doesn’t know Clay personally or even knows how to contact him.

What follows is a madcap tale filled with music and humor as the crew desperately try to get the show ready and stay away from the very dangerous Jimmy Crystal. If the sequel sounds like a shameless excuse for a bunch of celebrities to perform cover versions of Top 40 hits while animated animals lip-sync the lyrics for our amusement, well, that’s essentially what it is. The film doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel when it comes to creating an animated film centered around cute animals singing and dancing to popular music.

The premise will certainly feel all too familiar as the characters take stage yet again for a performance of a lifetime. With a few mildly interesting subplots, a new villain and a few character cameos from the original Sing film, there’s definitely enough action, fast-paced scene changes to keep both kids and adults interested. The new script also includes some beautifully heartfelt moments between Ash and Calloway, and it is their story line that forms the emotional backbone of the film.

Technically, too, the film seems like a clear advancement as the hair and fur, fabric and environments, are all way more sophisticated than they were the first time around. You can feel director Jennings’ freedom, his looseness, as he swings the camera around the production’s cavernous rehearsal space, uninhibited by the physical realities of cameras or crews. As a finished product, Out of This World, the sci-fi final act performance, allows for some fun animation, giving the film an opportunity to expand upon its visuals in a big way.

The returning voice cast also has no issues settling back into their old characters. Matthew McConaughey continues to bring the fast-talker’s charisma to Buster, while Reese Witherspoon and Scarlett Johansson bring heart and joy. Taron Egerton probably gets the most substantial part, his piano-playing gorilla Johnny having to learn some uncomfortably complicated dance moves.

In other voice roles, Bono, Bobby Cannavale, Tori Kelly, Nick Kroll, Halsey, Pharrell Williams, Nick Offerman, Letitia Wright, Eric André, Chelsea Peretti Adam Buxton, Jennifer Saunders, Peter Serafinowicz and Garth Jennings more than deliver. On the whole, ‘Sing 2’ is an entertaining and visually cheerful sequel that aims to please families and fans of the first film.

Directed –

Starring (voices of) – Matthew McConaughey, Taron Egerton, Tori Kelly

Rated – PG

Run Time – 112 minutes

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