What’s the Story: Buster Moon (voiced by Matthew McConaughey) and his team of performers: Johnny (voiced by Taron Egerton), Rosita (voiced by Reese Witherspoon), Meena (voiced by Tori Kelly), Gunter (voiced by Nick Kroll), and Ash (voiced by Scarlett Johannsson), are making it big with his new theater. After failing to impress a talent scout, the team comes together to go on a trip to Vegas-like Redshore City to audition in front of big-time entertainment producer Jimmy Crystal (voiced by Bobby Cannavale). Unimpressed at first, they might get their big shot when they pitched an idea for a space-themed show called “Out of this World” where they convinced him they got the one and only singer Clay Calloway (voiced by U2 frontman Bono) even though he’s been a reclusive person for 15 years after his wife died. The idea sounds great to Crystal and Buster and his crew to put on a show that could end up going either way in their respective obstacles.
When the first Sing came out in theaters in 2016, I thought it was one of the more decent animation movies out of Illumination. But, do I remember much about it? Barely, besides the fact it relied heavily on well-known pop songs. Not that it was one of the best kids’ movies that year, especially when we had another animal-centered movie in Zootopia, but it wasn’t anything noteworthy I didn’t hate myself watching. Considering its placement during the holiday season five years ago, it wasn’t shocking with its box office results, and the announcement of a sequel was going to happen sooner or later. There was a debate in my head if I should see Sing 2 where it could’ve easily waited till it came out in a month or gotten it out of the way ahead of the rush. Even if it means sitting next to a little girl who doesn’t understand the concept of an attention span yet that annoyed me throughout, I walked into this thinking my reaction will be more of the same prior, and I was right.
Suppose you didn’t mind what the first movie had to bring. In that case, this is really no different because you already know what to expect when returning writer/ director Garth Jennings (who also voices Miss Crawly) has animals of all kinds getting a chance to make their dreams come true while performing some of the most popular songs that’ll get stuck in your head. So take or leave it as a slight improvement when talking about the bright and eye-opening animation to get lost by, but not much so with the story that doesn’t have anything memorable until the third act. On the other hand, Sing 2 gives the audiences what they previously liked more grandly.
It presents itself as an easy movie to get through despite the storylines that are hard to find investing in. Without question, there’s a message some will get a kick out of while watching. Each character are given something to do to make the show the best thing in the world. Like what? Johnny is taking fight dancing lessons from a mean dance instructor named Klaus Kickenklober (voiced by Adam Buxton) and gets some skills from street dancer Nooshy (voiced by Letitia Wright); Rosita is afraid of heights and she gets recast by Crystal’s spoiled and untalented daughter Porsha (voiced by Halsey), or Meena not having chemistry with her duet partner Darius (voiced by Eric Andre) and falls for her first crush Alfonso (voiced by Pharrell Williams).
Those who returned to provide the voices of the characters were good enough to not say they did it for a paycheck during this go-around. McConaughey brought the same enthusiasm to voicing the optimum koloa trying to deliver on a promise that might not work. The rest from the cast, along with the new additions sounded like they had a good time. Like last time, Johnny is my favorite character because there’s something I love about Egerton’s voice while he’s singing. I was pretty surprised with Bobby Cannavale as Crystal since he’s always been an actor who can be a formidable antagonist, even in the form of a cartoon. The exciting person to be joining the cast was Bono himself as the lion Clay Calloway. As someone who likes him as a singer and can be a little pretentious as a person, he wasn’t too bad. Sidenote: Ever since South Park ruined Bobo’s image, I can’t hear “Vertigo” with going “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”
Not all the jokes made me laugh, and I’ll admit once they arrived at Redshore City, there was about a solid two minutes that got me to chuckle a few times. After that, the laughs weren’t getting to me during the second act as I wanted, but it’s the kind of jokes children won’t have any trouble with. Nothing about the story has any deep meaning to take away once it’s over when you already know how everything will play out, especially if you watched the trailers.
Being a musical and all, pulling out the music all over was never going to be missing in that department as the cast does their job covering many songs. Whether you’ll find them catchy or annoying, it’s all part of the movie. Granted, you are just waiting for any of these characters to sing another song to move the plot along or something possibly. However, this is also the best way to expose kids to good music because I was surprised to hear Ash sing “Heads Will Roll” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs. But never in a million years did I ever want to hear Halsey sing The Struts’ “Could Have Been Me,” but here we are. Still, this is the second movie in a row where the opportunity for the franchise to have any animal perform “SING” by My Chemical Romance hasn’t happened yet. It’s never too young to have kids listen to listenable emo bands. And because Bono’s in this, we have U2’s latest song, “Your Song Saved My Life,” at the end that has grown on me a little bit after hearing it on the radio driving home from work. Maybe we aren’t looking at a Best Original Song nomination, but it ain’t bad.
Overall, Sing 2 is more of the same as its predecessor, which I thought was alright too. Which do I prefer? Probably this. It won’t be looked at as the greatest animated sequel ever, but kids are going to have a blast. What everybody will get out of this is a very predictable time that probably won’t have you get a headache once it’s over. This has fun animation and tons of songs to tap your foot to. A franchise like this will do well at the box office, and if the studio decides to go with a third installment, I’m more than likely to wait.