Director: Garth Jennings
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton, Bobby Cannavale, Tori Kelly, Nick Kroll, Pharrell Williams, Halsey, Chelsea Peretti, Letitia Wright, Eric André, Adam Buxton, Garth Jennings, Peter Serafinowicz, Jennifer Saunders, Nick Offerman, and Bono
Movie length: 1 hour 50 minutes
If you’ve seen the first Sing movie, you are in for more of the same with Sing 2. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Most of the characters from the first movie are back, singing more songs and overcoming more challenges. Sing 2 breaks literally no new ground, but it is a passable family friendly way to pass some time over the holidays.
One of my rules of thumb is, the more famous people are in an animated movie the worse things get. I’m sure you can find a ton of movies with gobs of famous leads and celebrity cameo stunt casting to prove me wrong, but I base my theory on two things. First, regular stars can be great actors, but that doesn’t make them great voice actors. Second, hearing a distinctive voice can actually be distracting, taking you out of the animated film. This movie doubles down on the stars, to the point I actually pulled my phone out during the movie to figure out who was speaking. Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon, Tori Kelly and newcomer Halsey all do a fine job, but their voices are just recognizable enough that I kept trying to figure out who was speaking. Perhaps most frustrating is Buster Moon, a Koala played by Matthew McConaughey, who is easily recognizable. He does fine, but his southern drawl feels a bit at odds with an animal most associated with Australia. Newcomer Bobby Cannavale has largely become a caricature of himself, but he fits in well with the movie as a casino owner. The best ‘character’ of the movie is the soundtrack, which is more consistent than the first installment and seems targeted to the parents who take their kids to the movie.
Sing 2 lacks some of the heart of the first movie, but amps things up with plenty of bright colors, fast tempo songs, and dancing to go along with the singing. Some of the characters get a bit left behind – Meena the elephant is grossly underused – but everyone gets their ‘big moment.’ Having overcome their doubts to sing in the first movie, the gang (thankfully minus Seth MacFarlane’s Mike the Mouse who was my least favorite part of the original movie) head to a version of Las Vegas to put on a bigger, better show. Sing’s take on Vegas (it’s like Vegas only better) is one of the best parts of the movie, and I’ve gone there enough times to appreciate how they nailed some of the details.
While the first movie was probably ‘better’ I found the sequel more enjoyable. It is entirely predictable, but the songs keep things moving and even when you know each character’s singing version of a ‘hero moment’ is on the way, it still feels great when it happens. Aside from some extremely brief moments of peril, there is nothing whatsoever that would rule this movie out for the youngest member of your family. It kept my 2 ½ year old’s attention even though she was freaking out when the movie started – she’s still talking about the elephants.
Here is the podcast version of my Sing 2 review: https://anchor.fm/darren-shulman/episodes/Sing-2-Movie-Review-e1c4j5j
Score: 8/10 as a family movie, with a bonus for including so many primates.
Sing 2 is now playing in theaters in the United States and will be coming to theaters in the United Kingdom on January 28th 2022.
Are you going watch the movie? Have you already? Feel free to leave a comment below or chat with me on Twitter!
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